United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton leaves a Security Council meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006. Speculation on a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to succeed John Bolton is focusing on Washington’s current ambassador in Iraq , Zalmay Khalilzad, and a former U.S. deputy ambassador at the U.N., Richard Williamson. President Bush accepted Bolton’s resignation Monday, angered that a few Republicans joined Democrats in preventing his nomination from reaching the floor of the Senate.
Speculation on a new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to succeed John Bolton is focusing on Washington’s current ambassador in Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, and a former U.S. deputy ambassador at the U.N., Richard Williamson.
But there also are a number of other Republicans and even some Democrats whose names have been floated among diplomats at U.N. headquarters.
The Republican speculation includes Rep. Jim Leach (news, bio, voting record), a 15-term lawmaker from Iowa and opponent of the war in Iraq who lost his seat in the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in November, and two undersecretaries at the State Department, Nicholas Burns and Paula Dobriansky.
On the Democratic side, two former senators have been mentioned â€” George Mitchell of Maine and Sam Nunn of Georgia.
The President has two fine choices in Zalmay Khalilzad and Richard Williamson. the others are just “window dressing” so it appears the President is b-partisan. Make no mistake about it, but, in the United Nations the President will want HIS ambassador.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq in this Sunday, May 21, 2006 file photo.
Khalilzad, an Afghan-born Sunni Muslim and Republican insider, took up the Iraq post in June 2005 after serving as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 following the fall of the Taliban. In November, a senior State Department official said he was likely to leave Iraq as soon as the end of the year but was more likely to remain through the spring.
ABC News reported Tuesday that Khalilzad will soon return to the United States and is under “strong consideration” to be the new ambassador to the U.N., quoting a senior administration official.
Khalilzad served at the National Security Council as special assistant to the president and senior director for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia, and as head of the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department.
U.S. Deputy Ambassador Richard Williamson speaks to media after a Security Council vote, outside the Security Council Chamber at the United Nations headquarters in this Friday, June 21, 2002 file photo.
Williamson, now a partner in the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw, was a deputy ambassador at the U.N. in 2002-03 and ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 2004. He was recently in Washington where he reportedly spoke to several senior State Department officials.
Williamson served as assistant secretary of state for international organizations in the State Department from 1988-89. He is a former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and currently on the board of directors of the International Republican Institute.
Two excellent candidates – each with strengths and definitely confirmable in a Democrat controlled Senate. Clearly, the President will make a personal choice.
And John Bolton?
President Bush accepted Bolton’s resignation Monday, angered that a few Republicans joined Democrats in preventing his nomination from reaching the floor of the Senate. Bush appointed Bolton last year when Congress was in recess, but his term is about to expire. With a long fight for confirmation going nowhere, Bolton decided to resign.
Bolton refused to talk about his personal situation when he came to U.N. headquarters Thursday to vote on a resolution authorizing an African force to protect Somalia’s transitional government, which the U.S. sponsored.
“I will continue to serve until my appointment ends because I’ve not resigned, I’ve simply indicated I will leave federal service when the recess appointment ends,” he said. That will happen when Congress adjourns, either in late December or early January.
Well, has Bolton had enough of government service? Flap is sure that Bolton will be offered many academic and/or private sector consulting opportuinities.
In any case, Flap looks forward to Bolton’s book – especially with regard to the Iran nuclear crisis, Hugo Chavez and Kofi Annan.