President-elect Donald J. Trump’s extended deliberations over assembling a team to run the State Department are reviving some of the same debates that consumed the years of war and strife in the administration of George W. Bush. And in some cases, the cast of rivals is even the same.
The conflict has come to a head over choosing a deputy to serve under Rex W. Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil chief executive whom Mr. Trump selected this week to be secretary of state. Mr. Trump is weighing whether to choose John R. Bolton, a combative and strident advocate for an expansive American foreign policy who was closely aligned with Vice President Dick Cheney in the Bush administration.
Mr. Bolton’s nomination as deputy secretary of state would be subject to a vote in the Senate, and it is not clear whether he would survive his confirmation hearing. Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has said privately that he has misgivings, according to a person who has spoken with him. And Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, another Republican on the committee, has promised to block the nomination.
“There is something to be said,” Mr. Paul said Wednesday, “for one of the top diplomats in the country being diplomatic.”
My guess here is that he was always put out there as a sacrificial lamb: It's been an awfully long time since an incoming president's nominations have all gone through the Senate, and Trump gets points from the lunatic fringe of the Republican foreign policy establishment for nominating him, and the Senate gets to kill the nomination, creating the illusion of due diligence on their part.
You have to remember the stories about this guy, when he did things like pound on the door of a woman and scream at a woman that he had a policy argument with at all hours of the day, and we also have the fact that Bill "Wrong on everything, always" Kristol loves the choice:
“I like John Bolton and hope he gets a senior position,” said William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and a Trump critic. “But the Trump people shouldn’t kid themselves that any selection as deputy would erase the deep concerns about Tillerson of those of us who believe we can’t afford to continue Obama’s policy of supineness to Putin.”This guy is completely toxic, and I think that Trump cannot have missed this: Toxicity is Trump's mutant power.*
Though Mr. Bolton, 68, is admired by conservatives like Mr. Kristol who agreed with the Bush administration that American military intervention was a necessary force for promoting stability throughout the world, there are also many Republicans who want to leave the Bush years in the past.
I think that Trump is playing to lose on this appointment.
*Well, toxicity and the hair thing.