After the President’s Cabinet Meeting this morning, Bush laid out his priorities for the lame duck session of Congress:
First order of business is for Congress to complete the work on the federal spending bills for this year, with strong fiscal discipline, and without diminishing our capacity to fight the war on terror. Another important priority in the war on terror is for the Congress to pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act. We also need to pass the bipartisan energy legislation that’s now before Congress. And on the foreign policy front, we need to complete the work on legislation that will allow us to cooperate with India on civilian nuclear technology and pass trade legislation that will enable us to recognize Vietnam as a member of the WTO.
A friend on the Hill points out that if the White House thought Bolton had a chance, the President would have made reference to him in this statement, since the nomination was made today.
But Lincoln Chafee wants to make sure nobody remembers him as a Republican, so he will continue to oppose, and Joe Biden pretty much promised to block the nomination procedurally for the rest of the session even if it is voted out of committee, so Bolton is almost certainly finished at the U.N.
He will be missed, but his departure is certainly good news for those of us who thought it was a bad idea to elevate the role and prestige of the U.N. Security Council.