Monday, June 13, 2005

News on Bolton Nomination

Steve Clemons reports this evening that a media advisory has been issued for an announcement on the John Bolton nomination. Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist and John McCain will meet with the press tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. in Frist's office.

What's up? Clemons says "the most likely scenario to me is that the White House is yielding on something and letting McCain take credit." Would they do that?

Stay tuned. If I hear more, I'll update as soon as I can.

[Update: I'm still trying to get my head around this. Here's what I'm thinking currently:

1. It doesn't seem likely to be a withdrawal of Bolton's nomination; that would be handled by the White House or the State Department, not Frist/McCain.

2. It also doesn't seem likely that this is an announcement that proponents of Bolton have enough votes to achieve cloture: why bring McCain out if that's the case and not Lugar, the chair of the responsible committee? Sure, McCain's been a strong backer of Bolton's, but technically Lugar's the one in charge of sheparding him through the process.

3. I guess the most likely scenario is that Frist and McCain will announce that the White House is going to turn over some portion of the materials requested by the Democrats. Again, it doesn't make a ton of sense to me to have McCain there if they're doing that - why not Lugar and Roberts?

The inclusion of McCain confuses me. Some out there are suggesting that this is only marginally about Bolton (i.e. an announcement of when the next attempt at cloture will be) and then that McCain and Frist will say something about the Bush judicial nominees whose nominations remain stalled under the Gang of 14 deal. I don't see this is particularly likely, but I must confess I'm sort of at a loss as to what the point could possibly be. -- 8:09 p.m.]

[Update: The Associated Press has a new report out noting that Frist "has privately indicated to the Democratic leadership that he wants a vote on John Bolton's stalled nomination this week, congressional aides say." A Reid aide said as far as the Minority Leader knows, no votes have changed since last month's cloture attempt. What does this mean for tomorrow's press meeting? Your guess is as good as mine. -- 10:07 p.m.]


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