A conservative advocacy group called Move America Forward is planning to run a television ad this week promoting John R. Bolton's appointment as ambassador to the United Nations.
The ad notes the candidate's support for "American values," mocking Democrats who "blame America first" and making little mention of the United Nations itself. But a visit to the organization's Web site would seem to confirm the fears of Democrats who say the administration has named a longtime U.N. critic to the job. Senate confirmation hearings open today on the nomination.
"We tell other countries not to harbor organizations that support terrorists. Why, then, do we harbor the U.N. here in America?" said an announcer in a video on the group's site. "Join us as we help move America forward by kicking the U.N. out of the U.S."
Howard Kaloogian, co-chairman of the California-based group, said it is backing Bolton because of his support for President Bush's policies -- not because his confirmation would necessarily advance the group's goal of sending the U.N. packing. Bolton "will promote the administration's position, not Move America Forward's," he said. "I've never even considered that."
The ad is to run in Rhode Island, Kaloogian said in an interview last week, in hopes of pressuring Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.) to support Bush's pick. But it may be unnecessary. Chafee told the Providence Journal last week that he plans to vote for Bolton's nomination.
Mark My Words
It's hard to find good help these days.
"It is with profound disappointment and regret that I learned today that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document. It was not approved by me or any other member of my staff, nor were we aware of its existence until very recently."
-- Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), April 6, 2005, blaming his staff for a controversial memo about politicizing the Terri Schiavo case.
"It was something that was put out by someone in the office and immediately withdrawn, as we saw what had happened. [It was] absolutely not my words and never would be my words."
-- Martinez, Sept. 28, 2004, blaming his staff for a news release calling federal agents "armed thugs" for seizing Elian Gonzalez.
"Words were used that were not mine, and were not of my choosing. Those words were spoken by others."
-- Martinez, Aug. 27, 2004, blaming his staff for a flier saying his opponent was catering to the "radical homosexual lobby."
Making or Calling the Law?
Senators, or sheriffs? Two Senate Democrats called in the law in recent days. On April 1, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) sent a letter to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) telling him he may have broken a federal law against threatening a judge when he said, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior" in the Terri Schiavo case.
Four days later, newly elected Sen. Ken Salazar (Colo.) sent letters to local and federal authorities suggesting that a GOP staffer at a Bush event in Denver may have broken laws against impersonating a law enforcement officer. Three Denver residents said they were forcibly removed from the event by a person who appeared to be a Secret Service agent but may have been a party worker.