When John Bolton was the Interim U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush years, the UN hated him, the Democrats wouldn’t confirm him, and Republicans and conservatives loved him. He was one of the toughest talking U.S. Ambassadors since Jean Kirkpatrick though he outdid her sternness, to be sure.

At least since last winter, Bolton has been exploring a run for the White House, still he has yet to make a final decision. Bolton, though, insists that the current filed has seen no “coalescing around a particular candidate.” Apparently he still feels there is plenty of time to make a final decision.

Costa reports that Ambassador Bolton was “not impressed” by the CNN-sponsored GOP debate last week.


Watching the recent CNN debate, Bolton was unimpressed. “Bumper-sticker responses to bumper-sticker-length questions,” he says. “Are we going to have a debate about the Republican debate, or is the media going to have that debate? It’s that sort of thing that actually impels me to get in, just to stand up. I hope I would have had the courage in that debate, if I was asked the deep-dish-pizza question, to say that this is silly.”

Bolton has said that he will make his final decision by Labor Day.

But why is he the better candidate? He told Costa, “I have more experience in the executive branch of the federal government — which is what the presidential candidates are running to head — than anybody in the field, or those likely to get into the field.”

This may be true, but how does he get the name recognition in the shorter campaign time frame he is allowing himself? His strategy is to begin at New Hampshire, proceed to South Carolina, then Florida and then Nevada, skipping Iowa (he feels being wholly against ethanol will doom him there).

But will this later strategy work?

Bolton is certainly well known with policy wonks, hard-core watchers of politics, conservative bloggers and radio guys, and others similarly deeply involved in politics. But what do average voters know about him? It might be a clue that few polls taken thus far have even included the Ambassador so it’s hard to even gauge where he might stand.

One thing is sure, though, if he were to go head-to-head with Obama in a debate, there is little doubt that against Bolton’s expertise Obama would come off looking like a babe in the woods, even after nearly 4 years of being president! But can a candidate Bolton get far enough to confront the president in a debate?

So, what impact will a Bolton candidacy have? It really is hard to tell, but with his low name recognition and his late jump taking away that time to build his name recognition, I have a hard time imagining that he will be an effective candidate.

I have a pair of videos I made of Mr. Bolton that might be of interest here, too:

Interview With John Bolton (2/5/11)

Bolton Addresses the Illinois GOP (2/5/11)