Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lieberman endorses Bush appointee for U.N. post

New York Daily News
Lieberman endorses Bush appointee for U.N. post
By Helen Kennedy

NEW YORK - Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman on Monday endorsed controversial Bush appointee John Bolton for a permanent slot at the United Nations - putting him at odds once again with Democrats and his Senate colleague, Chris Dodd.

Dodd, D-Conn., is the leading critic of Bolton, the controversial envoy Bush sent to the U.N. on a temporary ambassadorship after Democrats and some key Republicans balked at nominating him.

"I see no reason not to be for Bolton," Lieberman told a meeting of the New York Daily News editorial board.

"Based on his capabilities - and now based on his performance - I believe Bolton is well-qualified," he said.

"I think he's been a good negotiator and a good spokesman. He deserves to have a vote. I think he deserves to be confirmed."

Bolton's recess appointment expires at the end of the year and he will need Senate approval to remain as U.N. ambassador.

Lieberman had not publicly taken a position on Bolton before.

Lieberman's support for Bush's foreign policies lost him the Democratic primary in Connecticut. He is now running for re-election as an independent and has a comfortable lead in polls.

Dodd, who is campaigning for the Democratic candidate, Ned Lamont, had lead the fight against nominating Bolton and remains his fiercest critic, saying his performance at the U.N. so far merits "a failing grade."

In a blistering Senate speech last month listing what he called Bolton's failures, Dodd said, "My objection isn't that he is a bully, but that he's been a very ineffective bully - he can't win the day when it really counts."