Iowa Congressman Jim Leach, who lost his bid for a sixteenth term in Congress this month, has been recommended for a new job — the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer recommended the republican Leach this (Tuesday) morning on the floor of the House in Washington, and said in a teleconference later in the day that people are already “signing on” to the idea.
Blumenauer, who’s on the House International Relations Committee, says he’s worked with Leach on many issues and can’t think of anyone better qualified to represent our interests before the United Nations. The Oregon congressman said he and the colleagues who already are showing support for his idea are not calling for a Senate vote against John Bolton, the current ambassador put into office by a presidential “recess appointment” while Congress was adjourned.
Blumenauer says Leach has sterling qualifications to serve the Bush administration, even though he voted against the president on the Iraq war. “He worked for Donald Rumsfeld as a young staffer when Rumsfeld was a congressman here almost forty years ago,” Blumenauer says. “And he remains a friend of Secretary Rumsfeld.” Blumenauer says Leach also worked for the first President Bush, when Bush was a foreign-service officer detailed to the United Nations.
The Oregon representative says Leach has a broad range of interests and range of talents, and is extraordinarily diplomatic. “He would be loyal to the administration and to the United States’ policies, and he would be able to express them.” Leach was elected to congress in 1976. Through his years there, which included a stint as chairman of the House Banking Committee, Leach has gained a reputation as a moderate Republican with a vast knowledge of world politics.
Blumenauer says while it’s the Senate that votes on appointees to such positions, he’s writing up a letter proposing Leach for the job and has already been told by fellow House members that they’ll support it, sight unseen.