Skip to comments.Voinovich sticks to his conscience (FR Mention)
Posted on 05/13/2005 5:17:59 PM PDT by Pikamax
Voinovich sticks to his conscience -- White House shouldn't have been surprised at opposition
By GEORGE E. CONDON Jr., Copley Washington Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON Sen. George Voinovichs decision to oppose John Bolton came as a great shock to the White House. But it could not have surprised anyone who has watched the Republican senators long career in public office in Ohio.
As a county auditor and commissioner, Cleveland mayor, Ohio governor and now as senator, Voinovich has always insisted on civility and decent treatment of public employees, a trait he found woefully lacking in President Bushs nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations.
And despite threats and hostile advertising from conservative groups out to punish him for his apostasy, it is also not surprising that Voinovich did not buckle under what became a withering three-week assault from Boltons supporters.
Because he is so principled, he is extremely tough, said Ted Hollingsworth, a longtime Voinovich staffer who recently left as his chief of staff. As long as he really believes in his heart that he is doing the right thing for the right reasons he absolutely will never be intimidated. People who think they can intimidate him are fooling themselves.
For Voinovich, the decision to oppose a president of his own party was painful.
But he said simply, My conscience got to me.
And once he was convinced that Bolton is diplomatically ill-suited for the U.N. post, he did not mince words in stating his view. The result was a scathing critique of the nomination and a pledge to do everything I can to defeat Bolton in the full Senate.
When it was over, he was near tears, he said later. And, he confessed to reporters, Im tired.
The Ohio senators emergence as the only Republican on the Foreign Affairs committee to speak against Bolton came after what veteran congressional analyst Norman Ornstein called an inept White House lobbying effort and a ham-handed campaign by conservative groups to force Voinovich to toe the party line.
They are so used to Republicans falling in line behind them that they only look at the squeaky wheels, and Voinovich said nothing, said Ornstein. The White House just made an assumption, a foolish assumption that he would support Bolton.
Then when Voinovich signaled his unhappiness with tales of Boltons mistreatment of subordinates, the conservative attacks began. Go to hell, Voinovich, said one blogger on freerepublic.com, a leading conservative Internet blog. Another blogger dismissed Voinovich as a gun-grabbing, tax raising RINO Republican In Name Only.
A group called Move America Forward spent tens of thousands of dollars to air a radio ad in Ohio in which actors state, Shame on Sen. Voinovich and calling him a traitor to the Republican Party.
In a conference call with reporters late Thursday, Voinovich said he ignored the attacks. If they dont like it, thats tough, he said, noting, Ive been around Ohio for a long time. People know who I am. If they want to beat me up, they can beat me up.
Indeed, Voinovich has been on the ballot 15 times since 1966, losing only once. He won his second term as governor with a record 72 percent of the vote and was re-elected to the Senate last year with 64 percent. He is the latest in a long line of centrist-to-conservative Republicans who have fared well in Ohio.
But even as he tries to engineer a major defeat for the president he is trying to maintain good ties with Bush. I respect the president. I think ... hes a tremendous human being, the senator said in a conference call with reporters. He realizes that Voinovich is Voinovich, he said with a laugh.
He knows that I dont have axes to grind. Im not a hateful person. Im not somebody who is an ideologue. I just try to do what I think is right and all common sense ... He knows were straight shooters and good people.
But what the White House had failed to grasp is how passionate Voinovich is about public officials treating their employees with respect and decency. Interviews with three longtime and high-ranking Voinovich staffers made clear that the Ohioan always demanded that.
So he was personally repulsed at what he saw in Bolton.
Thats a big deal, said Voinovich. Ive been involved in trying to improve the environment for the people who get the work done around here for some time now. Its been a cause celebre in terms of my career here in the Senate and one I feel very proud of.
He felt certain that many in the State Department said hooray when he stood up for them against Bolton. Im pleased that we were able to get the message out to the thousands of people who work in the State Department that somebody cares about them, he said, adding he was trying to send a signal that if you behave the way Mr. Bolton behaves that there comes a day when you will have to stand up and be accountable.
Active in European and NATO groups and a frequent overseas traveler, Voinovich also believes that Boltons appointment would set back the presidents announced plans to improve on public diplomacy and do better on persuading the rest of the world to support American efforts on a broad front, including the war against terrorism.
Right now, were Uncle Sugar. Its our men and women who are dying over there for the most part. Its our country that is paying enormous sums of money for this, he said. Weve got to convince the rest of the world that, by golly, theyve got to be with us and on board with us.
Go to hell, Voinovich,
A little known fact: Senators who are tough guys often get weepy when they are tired.
If GEORGE E. CONDON Jr had a sense of fair play he would have openly asked how Voin-a-sell-out's treatment of the FAA employees matches his call for decency.
What a absolute loon. He discounts all of the other people who say Bolton was hard but fair and attaches on to a DU loon of her own, a organizer of Mothers against Bush and uses that for his "moral highground".
It would seem someone that was so firm in his beliefs of "fairness" would understand a man like Bolton.
Ohio, please remember 2005 and John Bolton in 2010.
I belive he'll be an indenpendent before then anyhow.
George E. Condon, journalist, author and historian, is a native of Fall River, Mass., sharing that distinction with Lizzie Borden, whose name, of course, is a prominent one in American crime annals. As a Plain Dealer reporter and historian, George has written about his adopted home for many years. In 1983 George V. Voinovich, mayor of Cleveland, issued a proclamation praising Condon as a "distinguished Clevelander and gentleman journalist." Cleveland has embraced George as one of its own. He now resides here in Lakewood and we are glad to have him.
Voinovich sticks to his conscience (FR Mention
I didn't know he had a conscience.
..what a "load" of Cr@p!
Sen. George Voinovich (D)
And will someone please repossess his RINO card, asap.
The important thing is to be popular with the left wing hacks who staff the Foggy Bottom bureaucracy and spend all day every day doing their best to undermine President Bush's foreign policy.
Unless his plane can't take off when he wants it too, even if Air Force One is in the airspace. Then I hear he can get quite testy.
Well. He is!
Hey, drama queen....if you can't take the heat, get the he!! out of the kitchen!
I thought his name was No-Good Backstabbing Sonovavich.
Hey, Voinovich...you set the standard...and we will hold you to it every day of your public life. --- Promise.
Gov. Short Fuse blew on Oct. 20 when federal rules delayed his plane's takeoff as the president arrived in Columbus.
As it often does when the president flies, the FAA issued a Temporary Flight Restriction, commonly referred to as a no-fly order.
When this order is in effect, no planes other than essential aircraft are cleared for takeoff. That reduces the chances of a terrorist staging a kamikaze attack on Air Force One.
The order kept the governor and his plane on the ground. And he was honked.
Gov. Voinovich called it "bull"-something and ordered his pilot to break the rules and take off. He even dared the control tower to "shoot us down." That, too, would have cost. One hour of flying time for an F-15 Eagle fighter jet runs $3,399 to $4,037.
The pilot followed orders and took off. The FAA responded by slapping the governor with a standard $1,500 fine.
Senator Voinovich has a short fuse problem himself.
I wonder if he has been to anger management. He sure seems to have a high opinion of himself.
6 posted on 04/21/2005 10:36:29 AM PDT by Tarpon
In the MSM the difference between conscience that makes you principled and rigidity that makes you unwilling to "work with others" or "compromise" is defined only by whose side you're on.
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