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January 24, 2014 9:58 AM Just What the Political Doctor Ordered: John Bolton!

By Ed Kilgore

So if the potential 2016 Republican presidential field is looking a bit thinner with all of Chris Christie’s problems, have no fear, GOPers: an old friend may be coming to your assistance, per WSJ’s Neil King:

A strange thing happened Tuesday night at a Los Angeles dinner packed with well-heeled businesspeople and Republican donors.

A conservative, best known for his hawkish views on foreign policy, got a rousing ovation when he said he was “thinking about” running for president in 2016.
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton may not make a big splash if he jumps into the presidential race—as those close to him expect he will—but his flirtation raises some intriguing questions.
Which face of the Republican Party will dominate if and when foreign policy rears its head during the next presidential campaign? And is there opportunity in running as the party’s resident hawk?

I’m sure there is “opportunity” in becoming useful to more serious candidates who want Rand Paul exposed as a gutless hippie isolationist and possible Arab-lover without having to do the dirty work themselves. Secretary of State in a Republican administration isn’t too outlandish a reward for that kind of yeoman duty.

In any event, Bolton looks up to the job:

In an interview Tuesday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mr. Bolton warned of U.S. retreat from the world and decried that the Republican Party was spawning “an isolationist wing for the first time since the 1930s.”
Mr. Hewitt, who attended the L.A. fundraising dinner for Mr. Bolton later that night, makes two predictions on the Bolton front: Mr. Bolton will run, and at the least, he will play the provocateur’s role that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did in 2012.
“He will make the others on the stage squirm, just like Newt did,” Mr. Hewitt said.

Couldn’t happen to nicer people.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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