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March 07, 2005

The butt-kicking continues

Bush is nominating John Bolton to serve as ambassador to the United Nations. Meanwhile, here are my nominations. Let's call them The Bolty Awards.

Best quip: Joe Biden, 2001

"My problem with you over the years is that you've been too competent," Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) told Bolton four years ago. "I would rather you be stupid and not very effective."
Best backhanded compliment: New York Times
The United Nations is at a delicate point, under fire over abuses of the Iraq oil-for-food program and allegations of sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers in Congo. This has added to harsh criticism of the organization by some American conservatives.
Best endorsement: Kim Jung Il
[Bolton] labeled Kim a "tyrannical dictator" who had made North Korea "a hellish nightmare" -- which prompted the North Korean government to call him "human scum and bloodsucker."
Best anecdote about Bolton:

In a 2002 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Bolton was asked about what seemed to be mixed signals from the Bush administration on North Korea. He grabbed a book from a shelf and laid it on the table. Its title: "The End of North Korea."

"That," he told the interviewer, "is our policy."

Best effort to be diplomatic: Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya
Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya, who will sit with Mr. Bolton as a permanent Security Council member, described the choice as "interesting". "It's an interesting appointment, yes. Certainly we will respect the choice the government has made, and certainly myself I think I can work together with a character like Mr. Bolton. This is the choice the president had made, and for myself and I have several contacts with him, I know we can work together," he said.
Best clueless response: Argentine U.N. Ambassador Cesar Mayoral
"I think any nomination, any designation, is to send a message. I don't know what is the message."
Best suggestion for U.N. reform: Bolton
Bolton's past comments on the UN often seemed dismissive. He has been widely quoted as saying at a 1994 conference that "if the UN secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
Best effort to become somehow relevant: John Kerry
"I recognize John Bolton's long service to our country, but this is just about the most inexplicable appointment the President could make to represent the United States to the world community," Sen. Kerry will assert.
UPDATE (3/8): A more serious discussion is going on over at Q&O.

UPDATE (3/8): Welcome, Polipundit readers, and thanks, Lorie, for the nice blurb.

UPDATE (3/8): Welcome, also, to Jeff Goldstein's friends from protein wisdom.

UPDATE (3/10): One more "Bolty" award: Best imitation of a 60s-era children's television host.