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Insider Report: Why Voinovich Hates John Bolton

Friday, 27 May 2005 12:00 AM

We were not shocked when Ohio's Republican Senator, George Voinovich refused to recommend John Bolton to the full Senate as America's next U.N. ambassador.

We were surprised, however, by the Senator's performance on the floor of the Senate when, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer put it, he "choked back tears on the Senate floor as he pleaded with colleagues to vote against John Bolton's nomination for United Nations ambassador. "

Crying over John Bolton's appointment? Perhaps they were crocodile tears.

"This appointment is very, very important to our country," Voinovich concluded after a 45 minute speech denouncing Bolton. "At a strategic time when we need friends all over the world, we need somebody up there that's going to be able to get the job done.

Voinovich's stated reason for opposing Bolton: "I know, some of my friends say, 'Let it go, George. It's going to work out,' " said Voinovich, the only Republican opposing the appointment. "I don't want to take the risk. I came back here and ran for a second term because I'm worried about my kids and my grandchildren. And I just hope my colleagues will take the time and...do some serious thinking about whether or not we should send John Bolton to the United Nations."
His kids and grandkids?

Had the Senator been so worried about his children and Bolton's nomination, he might have shown up for most of the Foreign Relations Committee hearings about Bolton. But the Senator missed almost all the meetings.

The real reason Voinovich is angry was a series of TV ads played by a conservative group in Ohio criticizing the Senator for not backing Bolton early.

Bolton and the White House had nothing to do with the ads. But insiders say Voinovich was so ticked off by the local pressure he vowed to get Bolton.

2. Italian Restaurant May Sue Clinton over No-Show
 
Romeo Caraccio was thrilled when a former President of the United States made reservations in his restaurant, one of Rome's finest, but he never dreamed that he'd end up being stiffed by Bill Clinton.
 
According to The Scotsman, the restaurant, popular with visiting celebrities, got a call from a member of Clinton's staff asking that a table be set aside at 1:30 p.m. for the ex-president and his party of 18.

A delighted Caraccio went all out, clearing away a corner of his dining room and ordering more than $1,000 worth of extra food and wine for his VIP guest and entourage.
 
However, 1:30 p.m.  came and went and there was still no sign of Clinton or his party, who the Scotsman reported was in Rome as part of a week-long visit promoting links between Africa and Europe.
 
A waiter at the restaurant told the Scotsman "We had a call from one of his security team making the reservation and then a visit to check out the place.
 
"It was all confirmed and the boss even ordered in more food and wine - he spent an extra £1,000, but he never turned up.
 
"The boss was furious as he didn't even have the decency to cancel. When he called the security guard to find out what was happening he said 'change of plan' and just put the phone down."
 
Mr. Caraccio said: "The story is true, but I don't really want to comment any further. We were expecting Mr. Clinton, but he never arrived and he didn't even cancel his reservation." 

Caraccio wants to be compensated for the trouble he went to preparing for Clinton's visit and the Scotsman writes that he may sue to get it.

The New York Post this week got a fierce reaction to the story from a spokesman for Mr. Clinton. Clinton's aide said the entourage did in fact cancel in a timely manner and paid the restaurant as well.

3. Schwarzenegger Suspects Stallone of Smear

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suspects Sly Stallone tried to smear him as a Nazi sympathizer during the 1980s, according to a new book due out in June.

In "Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger," author Laurence Leamer says Schwarzenegger told him Stallone was "furious" when he read a 1988 Playboy interview in which the "Terminator" star said Stallone "is not my friend ... He hired the best publicity agents (but) there's nothing anyone can do ... to save his image."

A few days after the interview appeared, Stallone invited British journalist Wendy Leigh to the "Rambo III" set in Arizona, according to Leamer.

He told Leigh that Schwarzenegger has "always been out to get me. Now he's gone too far."

Stallone said Schwarzenegger's father had been a member of the Nazi party and Arnold remained a "secret admirer of Hitler."

Leamer says that Leigh told him Stallone found her a book agent and hooked her up with sources for an article, including Stallone's ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen, who'd had an affair with Schwarzenegger.

After Leigh's article appeared in a British newspaper - claiming Schwarzenegger held "fervent Nazi and anti-Semitic views" - he sued the paper and Leigh. Leigh told Leamer that Stallone paid her legal fees and her settlement with Schwarzenegger.

Stallone claims he didn't contribute to the Leigh piece, according to the New York Daily News.

But Leamer says Arnold "reluctantly" confirmed he believed Stallone was behind the Nazi smear.

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We were not shocked when Ohio's Republican Senator, George Voinovich refused to recommend John Bolton to the full Senate as America's next U.N. ambassador.We were surprised, however, by the Senator's performance on the floor of the Senate when, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer...
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2005-00-27
Friday, 27 May 2005 12:00 AM
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