When John Bolton to sign my copy of his book (reviewed & recommended here and here) at the Log Cabin “convention” this weekend, I, noting how he had been asked of having a temper during his confirmation hearings, asked how he maintained his cool during the constant frustrations of diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations and elsewhere.
His reply (as best as I can remember it) was that if he were the man portrayed in the media, he wouldn’t have supported his own confirmation.
What impressed me about John Bolton the man when he spoke to Log Cabin last Friday was how diplomatic and unassuming he was. Given what I’d read in the media, I expected a man to emerge spouting fire and emitting smoke.
Instead, a level-headed man emerged, able to talk thoughtfully about world affairs. I had assumed he was a man like many passionate men (including yours truly) who on occasion when frustrated lose their cool and say and do things they later regret. I had believed that the MSM was making overmuch of a handful of outbursts, to which they themselves may also be subject.
But, after observing him, albeit for a limited time, I could see him keeping his cool, even under trying circumstances.Â He showed his real strength in the breadth of knowledge he offered in his responses to the various audience questions.
To a question on Cuba, he was not only able to talk about current conditions on that island prison, but also to discuss the history of Soviet aide. He even knew that about the popularity in Russia of a 1990s documentary about those subsidies.
Focusing on the current contest for the White House, he found a “conceptual gulf” between John McCain and either of the two Democratic presidential contenders. If we allow the Democrats to win in ’08 so GOP could retake the White House in ’12, he said, the country would be “at risk.” He warned of the Democrats controlling both House of Congress and the White House as they had for the entirety of the Carter Administration and the first two years of Clinton’s.
He also acknowledged that “nobody’s going to be satisfied with candidate’s view on every issue.”