Voinovich 'Shocked'

Via The Plain Dealer:

Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich says he is surprised by the fuss he stirred with his unexpected announcement Tuesday that he wasn’t prepared to vote to confirm John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.

“I feel real good,” he said Thursday. “My conscience told me this is what I think I should do.”

Voinovich said he changed his mind for various reasons, including “hearing some things that bothered me” at the committee meeting. He cited complaints about Bolton’s interpersonal relationships that made him question whether Bolton treats people “with dignity and respect.”

The Senator didn’t attend the first three committee meetings (where the allegations against Bolton were debunked). No matter. It’s clear that a few helpful Democrats ‘filled him in’.

Voinovich said he also was disturbed by the outrage on the faces of Democrats on the panel who complained that they weren’t being given a chance to examine allegations about Bolton.

“This was very serious business,” said Voinovich. “These are guys who have been on this committee for a long time.”

Intimidated by the “outrage on the faces of Democrats”; That’s called ‘lacking a spine’, Senator.

Voinovich said he feared that failing to give Democrats a chance to explore their concerns could undermine “a sense of decency” that often has prevailed on the foreign relations panel and “do real damage to the possibility of having a bipartisan foreign policy.”

He felt that Bolton and the Bush administration would be better off if questions about the nomination were resolved by the committee.

The alternative, he said, was a “free-for-all” on the Senate floor.

And? Debate is what the Senate is all about. Warm up the C-SPAN cameras and bring in the announcer – “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!” 

Voinovich, who has periodically infuriated conservatives by straying from the party line, declined to say whether he is being pressured by the White House to support Bolton. And he laughed off a question about whether GOP colleagues are upset with him.

“My colleagues know I’m the same old George,” he said.

No George, I think your colleagues are finding out who you really are.

Voinovich wanted his 15 minutes in the spotlight, his name in the papers and his mug on TV. He got all of that. Now, he’s surprised at the reaction? Gimme a break. Your episode is about to be cancelled sir.

Voinovich now joins club ‘gutless’ alongside Chuck Hagel and Lincoln Chafee.

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