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Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 in International, Politics | 18 comments

Newt Gingrich Would Appoint John Bolton As Secretary of State

Former House Speaker and current front-runner for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination Newt Gingrich has announced that if he’s elected he’d appoint John Bolton as Secretary of State, rather than someone who indulges in “appeasement” as he says Hillary Clinton is doing. Yes, it’s the same John Bolton who ran into trouble being confirmed as UN ambassador under George Bush — but I contend that was due to the facial hair curse.

It’s the same Bolton who is a super-hard liner on many foreign policy issues, a huge hero to the party’s conservative base — it seems the duty of Republican national figures in the 21st century is to try and appeal ONLY to their party base and to forget about independents, moderates, and centrists who are considered to be all mushy or uninformed, anyway — and the one who wrote an introduction to a book on Barack Obama’s “war on America.”

For those who didn’t know that Obama is conducting a war on America, you are in good company because most of the world, Americans and Obama don’t know, either. (Just as most people didn’t know that Hillary Clinton is an appeaser.)

Which gives us a perfect Quote of the Day from David Frum, the former GW Bush aid who has been extremely vocal about how the party he knew seems to have left him as it has veered more and more towards the right and to the talk radio political culture (to the extent that Fox News apparently won’t have him on anymore):

Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that he’d offer the top diplomatic job to the famously rough-edged Bolton reminds me of the shrewd English definition of a gentleman: one who never gives offense unintentionally.

P.S.: Gingrich might instead consider appointing Michael Bolton. (But that might be more controversial.)

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  • JSpencer

    Good lord. Talk about red meat. Crikey!

  • dduck

    I would prefer Condoleeza Rice…………

  • hyperflow

    Newt just likes the attention.
    Bolton is walking flamebait, a troll.

  • cjjack

    I think the headline might be wrong. It would be more accurate to say “Gingrich Would Appoint John Bolton As Secretary of War.”

    Specifically, war with Iran.

    Bolton has been advocating an attack on Tehran since…well, he’s always been advocating an attack on Tehran.

  • slamfu

    I was just thinking we could use another bull-in-the-china-shop Secretary of State. Things have been getting better in the last 3 years, time to undo all that.

    Seriously, just another example of GOP candidates openly stating they wish to return to the policies of the Bush years despite the horrendous results they produced. Maybe this time it will be different.

  • StockBoyLA

    Bush created the DHS, Gingrich can create the new Dept. of War and appoint Bolton to that. Cain can be Sec. of State.

  • PJBFan

    The last thing we need is another Neocon in Foggy Bottom. If he’s going to appoint any Foreign Policy Wonk, he really should put Ron Paul in the position. It’s the smartest, safest, and wisest place to put Rep. Paul.

  • bluebelle

    An arrogant, aggressive, self-aggrandizing idiot appointing another arrogant aggressive self-aggrandizing idiot. What’s not to like?

    I can see into the future of the Gingrich administration and its full of all the unemployed neocons from the Bush administration. What’s Wolfowitz doing?

    Newt will fill his cabinet with old white Christian men, while minorities get janitorial training programs!

  • JSpencer

    “Newt will fill his cabinet with old white Christian men, while minorities get janitorial training programs!”

    That would be minority children. (Another of Newt’s great ideas). Cjjack is right, Bolton would be a Secretary of War, not a Secretary of State.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    I read or saw somewhere –someone check it out — that it is not kosher/legal to announce who your appointees are going to be by presidential candidates.

    But, even if so, why should a little thing like a rule or a campaign law keep Gingrich from doing as Gingrich wants…

  • rudi

    DD
    The legality and Bolton came from a Larison post.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/2011/12/07/gingrich-breaks-federal-law-with-bolton-pledge-bashes-state-department-as-appeasers/

    Newt Gingrich pledged to name John Bolton as Secretary of State in his RJC speech today. In addition to being a horrifyingly bad selection for many reasons, Gingrich’s promise of an office to someone before the election is apparently a violation of federal law:

    According to U.S. law, a candidate cannot “directly or indirectly” promise or pledge an appointment. If a candidate violates this, they can be fined or imprisoned.

    This is what Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code says:

    Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    As I read this, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the candidate follows through in making the appointment, and it makes no difference if the would-be appointee accepts the position. I doubt that anyone will bother pursuing Gingrich over this.

  • bluebelle

    Ha – the Gingrich campaign: unethical and illegal from the get go! reminds me of the good ol’ days when he faced 84 ethics violations and admitted he lied to the congressional committee that was investigating him, before leaving town with his tail between his legs.
    Way to go, Newt!

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thanks, Rudi.

    I agree. Nothing will be done about it. Who bothers with little things such as the U.S. Code anymore…

  • bluebelle

    Maybe we can have shock and awe over Tehran right after the inauguration!

  • hyperflow

    Is it counter intuitive to hide your intended cabinet appointments?

    Considering that Treasury Secretary may actually have more practical financial power than the president, it might be MORE important to ask who a president would put in power than the president’s policy opinions.

    (FYI: not newt supporter)

  • CStanley

    I don’t think I had ever heard about that legal restriction before and I don’t really get it. Why isn’t it copacetic to announce who one would appoint? That seems really germane to the voters’ interest in knowing what kind of administration they’re voting for.

  • dduck

    Well, it could influence people to vote for candidate A instead of B. And, imagine that two candidates said they would appoint, Bernie Madoff, if he were out, for Sec. of treas. What confusion that would be.

  • Allen

    Duck-

    If elected, Newt could pardon Madoff and then appoint. He probably sees Madoff as a victim of over regulation. I mean he did create an empire. Jobs right?

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