Bolton Running in 2016?
Robert Costa reports some very funny news:
But Paul’s positions and rapid ascent have alarmed many Republican hawks. Behind the scenes, they’re worried that he has a shot at the nomination.
Enter John Bolton. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is being encouraged by several leading conservative power brokers to consider a presidential bid.
Because Bolton is such an easily caricatured and genuinely dangerous hawk, a 2016 Bolton presidential bid might be one of the better things to happen to the cause of foreign policy restraint in the GOP in years. A Bolton campaign would have absolutely nothing new or relevant to say to most primary voters on the domestic issues that matter most to them, and Bolton’s hard-line foreign policy views would be an added drag to a candidacy that has no more reason to exist that Giuliani’s ill-fated 2008 bid. As an added bonus, a Bolton campaign would siphon off a little support from one or more of the slightly more credible hard-liners in the field. That would deprive Rubio or Santorum or whoever of some votes, and that in turn would make it easier for someone like Paul to prevail. On top of all this, Bolton has no experience campaigning or serving in elected office, so he would be a uniquely poor standard-bearer for the cause of hard-line foreign policy. Republican primary voters would reject a Bolton candidacy, and I imagine they would do overwhelmingly. If a Bolton candidacy made it harder for a Rubio or a Santorum to win in early states, it would also make the GOP slightly less likely to nominate a candidate with disastrous foreign policy ideas, and that would be good for the country as well as the party.
Bolton endorsed Romney in the 2012 primaries, but during and after the election he expressed his frustration with how little Romney talked about national security and foreign policy issues. Since Romney was at a significant disadvantage on these issues, Bolton’s complaints never made much sense politically, but they offer a hint of what we could expect from a Bolton candidacy. If Romney was not aggressive enough for Bolton, we can assume that Bolton would be positively rabid. Of course, Bolton will probably spoil all of this by not running, but it’s telling how oblivious these “leading conservative power brokers” are to the sentiments of most people in their own party that they think this is a good idea.