The Washington Post

Don’t blame Mike Enzi for trying to block ambo to Russia confirmation

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As we reported late Thursday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez moved to bring up several ambassadorial nominees, including John Tefft to Moscow, a fairly significant post — especially these days — that’s been vacant since February.

That effort, and subsequent ones to confirm just Tefft, were initially shot down.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) objected because Senate Democrats took away the GOP’s “minority rights” by limiting the ability of Republicans to block nominees via filibuster.

Don’t be too angry with Enzi. He was probably just going through the motions.

We can’t say for sure, but we think that Enzi’s heart wasn’t in it and he was just jerking Menendez’s chain. It’s impossible to believe that Enzi, from the state that gave us our favorite senator ever, Alan Simpson, would approve of a mystifyingly dumb hold-up of an ambassador to Moscow, especially at this time in America’s dicey relationship with Putin and co.

That would be like grounding your kids to punish them because the neighbor hit your car.

So Enzi critics should lighten up. And everything worked out in the end. At least Tefft eventually got confirmed.


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
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect at tonight's debate
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the issues with drinking water in Flint, Mich. But Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
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%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as he heads into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

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.