Bolton resigns as U.N. ambassador

President Bush yesterday accepted the resignation of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. The president blamed “a handful” of senators for obstructing an up-and-down vote that would have allowed Bolton, a recess appointee, to stay on the job.

Echoing Bush, former Bolton critic Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he was “very disappointed” that the ambassador would not stay at the U.N. longer.

“Given the fragile nature of the world situation, and the critical task of reforming the U.N., he should have been given an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor,” Voinovich said.

Democrats hailed Bolton’s decision to leave the post when his recess appointment expires. Their last presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), said the “resignation offers a chance to turn the page at a critical period.”

Saying the Middle East is “on the verge of chaos” and that nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran are increasing, Kerry urged Bush to pick a successor who has “the full support of Congress and can help rally the international community to tackle the serious threats we face.”