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.