Bush Gives Bolton Recess Appointment as U.N. Ambassador

The rumored recess appointment of John Bolton has come to pass.

Bush Appoints Bolton as U.N. Envoy, Bypassing Senate (NYT RSS)

President Bush bypassed the Senate confirmation process today and appointed John R. Bolton as the new United States ambassador to the United Nations. The appointment, while Congress is in recess, ends a months-long standoff between the White House and Senate Democrats who deem Mr. Bolton unfit for the job and have been holding up his confirmation.

“I chose John because of his vast experience in foreign policy, his integrity and his willingness to confront difficult problems head on,” Mr. Bush said in making the announcement at the White House. Referring to the difficulty of the confirmation process, the president said that “partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators,” had denied Mr. Bolton “the up-and-down vote that he deserves.”

I stand by my earlier assessment that this is a bad idea.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, United Nations, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Maybe in the next election the candidates could run under the slogan “Will pick a better UN Ambassador”. I mean, it’s so important to so many Americans.

  2. Herb says:

    Now that John Bolton has been appointed to be the UN Ambassador, Every Congressman, Every Senator, Every Government Official and the American People has the Duty and Obligation as an American to Back Mr Bolton up and give him every possible assistance to make the position successful.

    I know there will be those who disagree, but for once, let the politics go and prove to your neighbors, friends, and America that you are first an American and politics be damned.

    Let’s get the UN on the right Track and end the political corruption.

  3. Ken Taylor says:

    It’s disgusting that the President has to use the recess appointment to place John Bolton in a position that he is highly qualified for because of the partisanship continually displayed by the liberals in Congress. It is the constitutional right for a President to appoint government officials and the various federal courts appointees, yet the libs, (who will not accept that they are no longer in power and the minority), continually obstruct and not allow the president to exercise his authoritative right as the Chief Executive. Although the recess appointment is within those powers it’s ridiculous that it has to be used. Libs it’s time to get over it and quit your obstructionist policies. We the people spoke last November and YOU lost!

  4. ALS says:

    Bad, bad idea… I cringed when I heard it. I really, really hate to say this… but as a conservative Republican who voted for Bush both times (and the wife of an Iraq war veteran), I’m finding it harder and harder to constantly defend this administration’s arrogant actions.

    The Senate obviously had strong bi-partisan opposition to this guy. It would be in the Republicans’ best interest to compromise, at least once in a great while. We aren’t going to have a Republican President and Republican Congress forever. Sadly, someday, we’ll be in the minority again, and we’ll be screaming bloody blue murder when the dems do it to us.

  5. Jim Rhoads (vnjagvet) says:

    Because the “strong bipartisan opposition” is not from a majority of the senate, I think this was a move that was necessary and supported by the President’s supporters.

    This was a political move pure and simple, and I believe it will have a salutary effect on the Senate and the United Nations in the long run.

  6. Great, great idea to get this knocked out.

    Some of you people worry too much about these short-term blips that may cause some lefties to scream and wail and moan.

    Disdain for the UN is a big winner with America. I would think that an OUTSIDE the Beltway blog would get that.

    The most important reason for the appointment is to just get it off the plate. It’s not a pending issue any more. Thus, Bush can focus on his agenda rather than dealing with weird lingering nonsense.

    Republicans need more of this sort of thing, or their voters will start wondering why they are even spending money, time, and effort (not to mention their votes) to elect Republicans, if Republicans are not going to use the tools available to them to win these little ridiculous battles.

  7. DaveD says:

    Yes, there is no doubt that someone “better” than John Bolton could have been found to do this job. The president is charged with making these appointments and the Senate must confirm them. I interpret this as meaning the full Senate, not a committee within the Senate. Certainly the President has the privilege of withdrawing a nomination if the individual is revealed to be unsuitable. In this case Bush obviously feels significant doubts were not raised. The Senate chose not to bring the nomination to a floor vote and the President exercised his privilege of recess appointment. I am happy to live under these same terms when the Democrats regain the majority.