Un­likely choice

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

A House Repub­li­can and Demo­crat are urg­ing Pres­i­dent Bush to name de­feated Repub­li­can Rep. Jim Leach to be the next U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions.

“He is the most diplo­matic politi­cian I have ever met,” Rep. Earl Blu­me­nauer, Ore­gon Demo­crat, said of Mr. Leach, a lib­eral from Iowa known for his op­po­si­tion to the war in Iraq.

“I can’t think of any Amer­i­can bet­ter qual­i­fied to rep­re­sent our in­ter­ests be­fore the United Na­tions,” said Rep. James T. Walsh, New York Repub­li­can, who on Nov. 14 joined Mr. Blu­me­nauer in cir­cu­lat­ing a let­ter in the House seek­ing sup­port for Mr. Leach if the act­ing U.N. am­bas­sador, John R. Bolton, fails to win Se­nate ap­proval as am­bas­sador.

Mr. Bolton has been tem­po­rary am­bas­sador since Au­gust 2005. He was un­able to win con­fir­ma­tion be­cause of a Demo­cratic fil­i­buster.

The White House re­cently renom­i­nated Mr. Bolton to the post, but Se­nate sup­port­ers ap- pear to lack the votes, in which case Mr. Bolton would be forced to step down when the new Congress is seated in Jan­uary.

Mr. Leach, 64, nar­rowly lost to col­lege pro­fes­sor Dave Loeb­sack in the Nov. 7 elec­tion, end­ing a 30year ca­reer as a House leg­is­la­tor.

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