For White House, Bolton debate about state of U.N.
The White House is shifting debate away from John R. Bolton, President Bush's embattled nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and toward the scandal-plagued U.N. itself.
"We are going to make the case from here on out that this is about reform -- or more of the same -- at the U.N.," a senior administration official told The Washington Times.
"Senators are realizing this is about the U.N.," added the official, who discussed Mr. Bolton on the condition of anonymity. "And they know the president is firmly behind him."
To underscore the point, the White House wants Mr. Bolton to meet with Sen. George V. Voinovich to assuage the Ohio Republican's concerns about the nominee's temperament, which some consider abrasive.
The official said Mr. Bush thinks Mr. Voinovich, who last week put the Bolton nomination on hold until May 12, "will support him once questions are addressed."
Voinovich spokeswoman Marcie Ridgway would not answer questions about a White House-brokered meeting with the nominee, saying only that the senator "is still reviewing Bolton's record."
Enlisting the support of Mr. Voinovich would allow the administration to focus more on the United Nations, which has been rocked by scandals ranging from the oil-for-food program in Iraq to sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Africa.