Hastert for UN?
The List: Who Will Replace John Bolton?Please, please, please let Hastert be nominated, and soon.
John Bolton is the most controversial U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in history. But, to the delight of his critics, his temporary appointment is nearing expiration. With congressional Democrats in charge, President Bush won’t have the votes to send Bolton back to New York. Or will he? This week’s FP List considers the contenders for Bolton’s spot.
Dennis Hastert, Republican congressman from Illinois
Why he’ll get the post: The outgoing Speaker of the House is already rumored to be at the top of Bush’s list to become the next ambassador to Japan. Hastert has said publicly that the 2007–2008 term will be his last, and there’s a chance the president will encourage him to step down early in order to go to Turtle Bay instead of Tokyo. That way, Bush can stick it to the Democrats who scuttled the Bolton nomination by appointing someone who equally raises partisan hackles.
Why he won’t: Hastert is politically polarizing. Critics call him a defender of congressional corruption. He was recently called out for his handling of the Mark Foley sex scandal and was a little too close for comfort to Jack Abramoff. Plus, his foreign-policy experience is thin. He briefly served on the House subcommittee tasked with national security, hardly a stand-out resume for the country’s top diplomat.