Nomination of John Robert Bolton to be the Representative of the United States of America to the United nations--Continued

By:  Lindsey Graham
Date: May 26, 2005
Location: Washington, DC



Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I appreciate Senator Voinovich allowing me to speak a moment or two on the John Bolton nomination.

No. 1, when it comes to how and why Members vote, every Senator has to make a decision they feel comfortable with, that is good for the Nation, good for the Senate, good for the White House, good for the American people.

One thing I am confident of: Senator Voinovich, of all the people I know in the Senate, is right at the top of the list of those who make decisions based on conscience and principle. Whatever problems he has with this nominee have come from soul searching, thinking, and looking. He will articulate why he feels the way he does and vote his conscience. That is exactly what he should do. I am all for that because that is what makes the Senate great. That is what makes America great.

In terms of myself, I would like a moment or two to express why I have come to the conclusion that I think John Bolton will make an outstanding ambassador to the United Nations. We have heard a lot about his disposition, about his temper, about his working relations. Everyone will make a judgment about where they come down on that. I made a judgment that, obviously, some of the things about his working relationships can be troubling. The idea that he has been confirmed four times, has served his country for well over 20 years in a variety of posts and done an outstanding job, is what I will base my vote on--not a conversation here or there but 20-plus years of serving the United States at the highest level of Government, with a great academic background.

But why him and why now? Are there other people who can be United States ambassador to the United Nations? There are a lot of good people out there. What drove the President to pick him now? The honest truth is, I haven't talked to the President about why he picked John Bolton, but I have a pretty good idea what was on his mind. The President sees very clearly the need for the United Nations. This world is in tremendous conflict. We are splitting along religious lines. We are having all kinds of problems getting along with each other and trying to find out how to fight the war on terrorism. The United Nations provides a hope for the world, a place where we can come together and have good people stand up to bad people. Sometimes it is hard to determine who is good and who is bad, but many times it is not, and it should be a place where people of good will can deal with problems for bad people such as Saddam Hussein and others, the Osama bin Ladens of the world, a place where they can be controlled and checked.

The President sees from the American conservative perspective that the United Nations has lost its way. From a conservative point of view, being a conservative Republican, I hear continuously of problems with the United Nations from people I represent and people I know. The worst thing we can do is to allow the good will of the American people to slip away from the United Nations and reject that body.

What will it take to repair the damage done from the Oil-for-Food Program, the corruption at the United Nations, the, at the least, inconsistent approach to regulating dictators such as Saddam Hussein? How can we get the United States and the United Nations back together where we can work as one team? It will take a person Americans have faith in. And that is a big problem with the United Nations right now.

American conservatives need to feel better. John Bolton will provide that assurance from a conservative point of view that the United Nations would be pushed to reform itself. From a moderate and liberal point of view, I can assure members that the policies John Bolton will fight for will be those policies directed by President Bush, who won the last election. And some may not agree with the policies, but that is where he will get his marching orders.

He sees the United Nations as a value-added product to the world. He sees clearly where it has gone astray. He has the credibility with the American public, particularly among conservatives, to be a force for change.

The worst thing that could happen is for the United Nations to slip away, in the eyes of Americans, as an effective body. It surely has gone that route.

The best thing that can happen from this nomination is that John Bolton goes to the U.N. with an attitude of: I will work with you, but you have to be better--and to effectively articulate President Bush's policies. I think that can happen. I think it must happen. Not only am I enthusiastic about his nomination, he clearly--given the dynamic our country has with the United Nations--is the right person at the right time and can do things no other person could do; namely, repair the image of the U.N. with a large percentage of the American people, who believe it has lost its way. That is why I will support this nominee with enthusiasm.

Thank you, Mr. President.

I yield the floor.

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