As I have stated before, I am fairly new to the “political scene”. The fact that I am actually writing about politics and researching political candidates absolutely blows my mind!
I’m one of those that I gripe about now. I had my head in the sand for years. I honestly did not care to know, because my thought process was, “Hey, I can’t change things anyway, what’s the point?” Unfortunately, too many people have had that attitude in the last 4 decades or so, and I firmly believe that is why we are in the position we are in.
What changed things for me was the 2008 election. I was appalled at the comments from women who said they were voting for Obama because he was “cute”. Well, looks are subjective, so I will not even comment on that side of things. However, I knew that this man was not good for our country!
My husband is a Political Science major, so when we married almost 9 years ago I got quite the induction into politics. Let me just say I did not go willingly! Then, as I said, the 2008 election came along. Things really did not change for me until Sarah Palin came on the scene. I was so disgusted with having to once again choose the lesser of two evils. I had even told my husband and my dad that I was not even going to vote. Oh, I’m sure you can imagine the outrage from both of them!
So, with all this being said, I knew John Bolton as a Fox News commentator. My husband has tried to give me a “crash course”, so to speak, to catch me up on “who’s who” in politics, what positions they’ve held through the years, the good that they’ve done, the bad that they’ve done, and all other information in between. My husband is a very “black and white” kind of guy- no grey areas! He’s very objective in his views. It’s quite a unique for me- a woman- who is obviously more “emotional” in my opinions. Hey, it’s just a fact ladies, our emotions play a major role in our decisions.
I’ve always like John Bolton’s commentaries on the various Fox News shows, but I would not have thought of him as “Presidential” material. However, I have determined that what many consider “Presidential material” are found lacking in many areas. So…. maybe it’s time we look outside what we see as normal “Presidential material”. Maybe John Bolton fits that bill!
Let’s explore the facts about Mr. Bolton and then decide!
John Robert Bolton was born November 20, 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of a fireman, and the family grew up in a working class neighborhood in Maryland.
Mr. Bolton is married to Gretchen, and they have one daughter. They currently live in Bethesda, Maryland.
1966- Graduated from the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland
1970- Graduated with a B.A., summa cum laude from Yale University
1974- Graduated with a J.D degree from Yale University
Early Political Activist
1964- In high school, Mr. Bolton ran the school’s Students for Goldwater campaign
Member of the Yale Political Union
College Classmates and Contemporaries
Bill Clinton- at Yale Law School
Hillary Rodham- at Yale Law School
A “protege” of Conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms
Mr. Bolton supported the Vietnam War and enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard, but avoided serving in Vietnam. He later said that by the time he was graduating it was clear to him that the opponents of the war had made sure we could not prevail.
When I read this fact about Mr. Bolton- that he purposely avoided the war, though he supported it, it made me pause. My dad tried to enlist, but had a couple of health issues going against him. Number one, he was underweight. He drank milkshakes twice a day trying to gain weight to enlist. Now we tease him that he would probably love to go back to those days where he was trying to gain weight!
Also- my father-in-law did go to Vietnam. He had a grenade blow up right next to him and he now has permanent hearing loss in one of his ears from it. Oh, he was lucky, I know! Well, let me rephrase that- luck had absolutely nothing to do with it! I know without a doubt the hand of God Almighty was on his life.
Too many men lost their lives in Vietnam. It is a war that we should have never been in! Or, as the politicians of the day put it, a “police action” we should have never been in! (can you see me rolling my eyes from here?!)
I absolutely agree with Mr. Bolton- it was very clear that the opponents of the war had made sure we could not prevail. However, to purposely avoid going when he supported the effort, war, police action, or whatever else you want to call it- it just makes me a bit uncomfortable. By no means am I saying that his life is not worth something- that he should have gone and gotten killed. All I am saying is that a lot of young men went and did not come back- or for those who did come back their lives were never the same. There’s just something about this that makes me very uncomfortable.
1974 to 1981- Associate at Covington & Burling law firm
1983 to 1985- Returned to his position as Associate at Covington & Burling law firm
1993 to 1999- Partner in the law firm of Lerner, Reed, Bolton & McManus
Former Executive Director of the Committee on Resolutions in the Republican National Committee
Senior Vice President for Public Policy Research at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
- Fox News Channel commentator
- Counsel to the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, in their Washington D.C. office.
- Involved with a variety of conservative think tanks and policy institutes, including the following:
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)
Project for the New American Century (PNAC)
Institute of East-Wet Dynamics
National Rifle Association (NRA)
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG)
Council for National Policy (CNP)
1981 to 1982- General Counsel, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
1982 to 1983- Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy Coordination, USAID
1985 to 1989- Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice
1989 to 1993- Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs at the Department of State
1999 to 2001- Served on the board of the Committee for International Religious Freedom
2001 to 2005- Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
2005 to 2006- U.S. Ambassador to the UN
The rumor is Mr. Bolton is considering a run for the office of President in 2012
1997 to 2000- Mr. Bolton worked pro bono as an assistant to James Baker in Baker’s capacity as Kofi Annan’s personal envoy to the Western Sahara.
2003- He was part of the State Department’s delegation to six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear program, but was removed from the delegation after describing Kim Jong-il as a “tyrannical dictator” and adding that life for the North Korean’s under Kim’s rule, “life is a hellish nightmare.”
Served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy Research at the American Enterprise Institute
Formerly involved with these conservative groups:
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
National Policy Forum
National Advisory Board
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
New Atlantic Initiative
Project on Transitional Democracies
Mr. Bolton led the successful effort to rescind the 1970’s UN resolution that equated Zionism with racism.
Mr. Bolton played a major role in obtaining UN resolutions endorsing the use of force to fight Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
In his position at the Justice department, he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair.
He also helped lead in the judicial nomination process for Antonin Scalia.
Mr. Bolton was a key-figure in derailing a 2001 biological weapons conference in Geneva convened to endorse a UN proposal to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
Mr. Bolton has the reputation of being hawkish on his foreign policy views. He is also described as neo-conservative, but he personally rejects the term, reminding people that he has been a conservative since high school.
He is known to be highly successful in pushing his agenda, but his bluntness has earned him many enemies.
He has been accused of trying to spin intelligence to support his views and political objectives on more than one occasion.
The Economist wrote that Mr. Bolton was “the most controversial Ambassador ever sent by America to the United Nations.”
David Kopel praised Bolton as “Horatio at the Bridge, saving the Second Amendment from a full-scale assault at the United Nations.”
I love the fact that Mr. Bolton is “blunt”. I cannot stand someone who does not “say what they mean and mean what they say”. We’ve got more than enough mealy-mouth politicians in Washington, we most certainly do not need any more!
On several occasions I’ve seen Mr. Bolton’s “bluntness”, and I appreciate that! I would LOVE to have a President that did not mince his words! I have no doubt that Mr. Bolton would have no problem accomplishing that task!
I am also very encouraged by the experience Mr. Bolton brings to the table. This is a definite positive, especially with how vigilant he is with addressing the issues that need to be addressed.
His Happiest Moment
Mr. Bolton has said that his ‘happiest moment at State was personally ‘unsigning’ the Rome Statute,’ which had set up the International Criminal Court.
On The UN
Mr. Bolton has been a strong critic of the United Nations for much of his career. He has said,
“There is no such thing as the United Nations. there is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United states.”
On A Possible Run For President in 2012
In an interview with Politico, he said:
“As I survey the situation, I think the Republican field is wide open. I don’t think the party’s anywhere close to a decision. And stranger things have happened. For example, inexperienced senators from Illinois have gotten presidential nominations.”
And in an interview with National Review he said:
“Individual liberty is the whole purpose of political life, and I thought it was threatened back then”-in 1964 during the Goldwater campaign which he describes as “my formative political experience”-“and I think it’s threatened now…..I write, I give speeches, I appear on television-but the only way in contemporary American circumstances to make those issues as salient as they should be is to run for president.”
One thing is for certain- the Republican field is DEFINITELY wide open! There is one candidate that is actually running right now that I can see myself voting for with confidence. There are a couple of others that intrigue me, but only one stands out as definitely someone I would campaign for. Only time will tell who all the candidates will be, and if Mr. Bolton will be in the line-up.
On The Web
John Bolton on Twitter
John Bolton on Facebook
In His Words- War-Powers Crisis