September 25, 2005

Bolton: The Building Still Stands!

People were very cautious, to say the least, because of his reputation as a tough guy who didn't like the U.N." said Abdallah Baali, the ambassador of Algeria, who said he knew Mr. Bolton from working with him in Africa. "In fact, I was the only one who said that Bolton was an intelligent man who could be creative and constructive and wouldn't go around bullying delegations."

Instead of strong-arming delegations, Mr. Bolton won points for glad- handing them, making it a point to make contact with all 32 envoys who participated in the talks.

"I was struck by this almost hysterical notion of what having Bolton in the room would mean and how that would work out," said a European ambassador, who said he could comment on a colleague only anonymously.

"Quite frankly," he said, "not even one-third of what was feared about John Bolton, his style, his approach, the way he would work, actually came through in the room. All I saw was an ambassador who did his work and did it well." [emphasis added]

As I wrote repeatedly in this space, there was a lot of hysterical over-reaction (I'm thinking of you, Steve Clemons!) re: what a Bolton Ambassadorship to USUN would mean. Much like Harry Reid's absurd repudiation of John Roberts (exactly the kind of Justice we should all be urging Bush to appoint again to fill the O'Connor vacancy)--these kinds of hyper-ventilations don't help lend credibility to the opposition party, do they? And this coming from someone dismayed by each of the ever-growing abuse scandals, the lack of a clear success strategy in Iraq (risible and grotesquely under-informed blogospheric Iraq cheer-leading notwithstanding), and the bungling of the federal aspects of a coherent Katrina response.

Posted by Gregory at September 25, 2005 04:28 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments


With all due respect, I think it is early days yet.

I don't think anyone would have suggested that Bolton *always* blew his top: "PEPSI! I ORDERED COKE!" or "GODDAMN IT, I SAID THAT DRESS MAKES YOUR ASS LOOK BIG AND I MEANT IT!".

Perhaps these negotiations weren't on a topic important enough to him. Maybe he was on best behavior. Maybe he wasn't getting a lot of pressure from above.

Posted by: Jon H at September 26, 2005 06:58 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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