Human Events has learned that the White House has become increasingly nervous about the confirmation of John Bolton to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. As a new week begins on Capitol Hill, conservatives are beginning to worry that the Democrats’ smear campaign against John Bolton might be working. With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee set to vote on the nomination on Tuesday, Republicans now fear that they might not have the votes to get Bolton out of committee and onto the Senate floor. Liberal GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.) has long been a question mark for the Senate leadership. Now Majority Leader Frist must add fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Chuck Hagel (R.-Neb.) to his list of possible turncoats. Sources say that the White House is taking seriously reports that Hagel is considering a vote against the President’s pick to represent the U.S. at the United Nations in committee. The Los Angeles Times today reported that Hagel “suggested” he might oppose the Bolton nomination because he is “troubled” by the nominee’s “method of operation” and that he is “concerned about a series of accusations questioning Bolton’s temperament and wondered if he was the right man for the job.” Conservatives in Washington believe that, in effect, a vote against Bolton would put an end to any hopes for higher political office that Sen. Hagel may harbor. What he now says stands in stark contrast to his March 14 statement on the Bolton nomination just over a month ago:
I intend to support John Boltonâ€™s nomination to be Ambassador to the United Nations. His experience and knowledge will serve him well as he represents Americaâ€™s interests in the U.N. at a critically important time. Mr. Boltonâ€™s commitment to consult with members of Congress on a regular basis will be essential in helping him strengthen the U.N. and moving it toward reform. He has the confidence of the President and the Secretary of State and I believe he will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
As of this posting, Sen. Hagel’s office had not yet responded to phone or email messages.