U.N. envoy John Bolton’s recess appointment is unlikely to stand now that the Democrats have taken over Congress. Although Bush has asked the outgoing Senate to rush through a confirmation, good news is doubtful for the controversial and cantankerous diplomat.
Mr. Bolton’s appointment in August 2005 was a procedural manoeuvre which avoided the need for him to be confirmed until the end of this year.
That procedure cannot be repeated, and the new climate in Congress appears to rule out winning a two-thirds majority of senators.
President Bush has formally asked for Mr. Bolton to be confirmed during the final session of the outgoing Senate.
But the senators who opposed Mr. Bolton last time, including one Republican, are refusing to change their minds.
Lincoln Chaffee, who was defeated by his Democrat rival in Rhode Island this week, said it would be illogical to change his stance at the last minute.
“The American people have spoken out against the president’s agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those fronts is on foreign policy,” Mr. Chaffee said.
“And at this late stage in my term, I’m not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against.”