The Washington Post

Bipartisan foreign policy heavyweights want Senate to fill post

Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (L) and ranking members Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) listen during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee June 5, 2014 on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 49 foreign policy veterans — including some former senior officials in the Bush II administration — are calling on the Senate to fill the job of assistant secretary of state for International Organization Affairs (IO).

The job’s been vacant for a year and and the nomination of Bathsheba Crocker, a foreign policy hand who’s now at the State Department, to helm the IO — John Bolton’s old job during Bush I — has been pending about seven months.

The foreign policy heavyweights, including former deputy secretary of State John Negroponte and Bush White House and State Department legal adviser John Bellinger, wrote to Senate leaders recently about the nomination, noting the critical issues IO has before it, such as Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, Iran nukes and so on.

In the post-nuclear option world, virtually no nominations are moving even when, like Crocker, they have broad bipartisan support and a unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

We’re told the group urges that “her quick confirmation would send a strong message that the U.S. Senate is serious about ensuring the United States” continues to lead the world for democracy and freedom.

Thinking it’s gonna take a whole lot more than that before anyone thinks the Senate is serious about anything these days.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.