Before the first debate, his aides proclaimed him above the use of “zingers.” On this occasion, he came with his pockets bulging with them, none more zingy than his crack about the military having fewer bayonets and horses than it did in 1916—a riposte that clearly had been prepared for use if Romney repeated his line about the U.S. Navy having fewer warships now than it had almost a hundred years ago, which indeed he did. Not content with mocking his opponent once, Obama proceeded to do it twice more: “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them,” he said. “We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” ...Cassidy, New Yorker
Seems to me, as it does to the Hendrik Hertzberg, that the choice is clear.
Mitt Romney essentially supports Barack Obama’s foreign policy in almost every particular. The question is: Whom do you trust more to carry out Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? (And by the way, as the Mittster would say: Whose team would you rather have in charge of executing that policy day to day, people like Hillary Clinton or people like John Bolton?) ...Hertzberg, New Yorker
John Bolton! The New York Times' editors, back in 2005, described the reaction of many to the move of the infamous John Bolton to the UN as our representative during the Bush administration.
If there's a positive side to President Bush's appointment of John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, it's that as long as Mr. Bolton is in New York, he will not be wreaking diplomatic havoc anywhere else. Talks with North Korea, for instance, have been looking more productive since Mr. Bolton left the State Department, and it's hard not to think that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's generally positive performance in office is due, in part, to her canniness in dispatching Mr. Bolton out of Washington.
But the appointment is, of course, terrible news for the United Nations, whose diplomats have heard weeks of Senate testimony about Mr. Bolton's lack of respect for their institution and his deeply undiplomatic, bullying style of doing business...
...This may be the first time a world superpower has used its top United Nations post as a spot for the remedial training of a troublesome government employee. ...NYT
ABC News, a month or so ago, reviewed the Romney campaign's foreign policy team.
Romney keeps a large group of foreign-policy advisers, eight of whom participated in the early neoconservative group Project for a New American Century think tank, founded in 1997 and headed by William Kristol, the Nation’s Ari Berman reported in May. In the same month, The New York Times’ Magazine’s David Sanger reported on discontent within that big team, with some complaining that Romney only listens to John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador under president Bush. ...ABC News
Even that group of hard right neocons was troubled by Romney's dependence on Bolton. Romney, no moral standard-bearer, feels free to switch tactics and philosophies whenever it suits him. It suited him during Debate #3 to sound like a centrist, a kind of shadow Obama. But that, of course, remains a tactic, not a policy. Always in the background are advisors like John Bolton, one of the more repugnant activists/chicken hawks within the Republican party.
How did I miss, first time around, this piece of wisdom about Romney and Bolton written by Charles Pierce around 1 a.m. -- after the debate.
It was early in the proceedings here on Monday night when I was struck with a horrible vision. It may have been right about that moment in the final presidential debate when Willard Romney — who, for most of the past two years, has been the most bellicose Mormon since they disbanded the Nauvoo Legion — looked deeply into the camera's eye and, inches from actual sincerity, said, "We can't kill our way out of this mess." Or, perhaps, it was when, in a discussion of his newfound dedication to comprehensive solutions to complex problems, he announced his devotion to "a peaceful planet," or when he cited a group of Arab scholars in support of loosening the grip of theocratic tyranny in the Middle East.
It was the horrible vision of John Bolton in four-point restraints. ...Daily Politics