Bush Withdraws Nominee Who Gave To Anti-Kerry Group

By Mary Ann Akers
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has finally gotten some closure -- and a taste of revenge -- on the Swift-boating of his 2004 presidential quest.

The White House yesterday pulled the ambassadorial nomination of Republican donor Sam Fox, who gave $50,000 in 2004 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the controversial group that ran a campaign questioning Kerry's Vietnam record and -- the way Kerry sees it -- doomed his White House bid.

President Bush's decision to withdraw the nomination came as a surprise to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which found out only about 45 minutes before they were scheduled to vote on Fox's nomination late in the morning.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino all but admitted that the votes simply weren't there, saying the president was "disappointed that they made their decision based on partisan politics instead of his leadership abilities."

Democrats still worried privately that Bush might try to give Fox a recess appointment to circumvent the nomination process. Congress begins its spring recess next week. According to one Democratic committee source, the White House gave no assurances that the president would not seek a recess appointment.

Kerry, who had grilled Fox during his confirmation hearing last month, seemed confident, however, that the matter was history. "Sam Fox had every opportunity to disavow the politics of personal destruction and to embrace the truth. He chose not to," Kerry said. "The White House made the right decision to withdraw the nomination."

Eleven Swift Boat veterans who served with Kerry in Vietnam sent a letter to the committee on Tuesday urging senators to oppose Fox's nomination, saying, "In our judgment, those who finance smears and lies of combat veterans don't deserve to represent America on the world stage."

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