John Bolton: Presidential Run?
Jamie WeinStein of The Daily Caller spoke to John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, about the current wrecking ball foreign policy actions of the Obama administration and ...wait for it... a suggested Bolton bid for the White House in 2012.
With regard to President Obama's conduct of aspects of the War on Terror, Mr. Bolton phrased it admirably concisely and clearly. The following from him gets our resounding endorsement.
"Well, certainly he has done things that have been unexpected in Afghanistan and certain aspects of the War on Terrorism. I think those are steps he has taken because it has been impossible - even for him - to avoid taking them," Bolton proffered. "For example, much of what he has done in terms of interrogation or Guantanamo Bay or aspects of the War on Terrorism are things that are driven either by the imperative of defending executive branch prerogatives under the Constitution or because he has come to realize that the Bush administration looked at a lot of alternatives and couldn't find any. So it is not that he has done these things happily or willingly."
Well put. On a persistent line of questioning regarding suggestions that he run for president in 2012, Allahpundit at Hot Air probably gets it right in deciphering Bolton's responses.
He's not saying he'd run to win, as I read him, rather that he'd run to make sure that foreign policy features prominently at the debates and to drag the big cheeses like Romney and Palin to the right. Although (a) I doubt there's much daylight between the 'Stache and the cheeses on most FP issues (his enthusiasm for attacking Iran's nuclear program might be, shall we say, somewhat more robust than theirs), and (b) in theory Ron Paul's presence at the debates last time should have forced the field a bit to the left on war and a bit to the right on spending and yet I can't remember any of them saying or doing anything differently to pander to his followers. Where a neoconservative dark horse candidacy might become important (whether it's Bolton or Liz Cheney or someone else) is if Afghanistan deteriorates further and the right starts to split on whether to stay or go.
The most invaluable aspect of John Bolton is not his knowledge of world affairs and historical context, but rather, it is his clarity and direct communication. No one ever leaves a conversation with John Bolton wondering what the facts are or where he stands on an issue. This is dangerously rare these days in foreign policy circles in an era of American conflict.