We went to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last night for dinner. Red wine, red meat, chocolate pudding cake with red berries for dessert. Heard the veep, just back from a tour of the war zone, where he was targeted by al Qaeda.
"As you might have heard, I've just been out of the countrywhich, in some quarters is considered a good thing," he joked. Dick Cheney was tough, but not as hard on his enemies as John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations. In fact, when Bolton was introduced to the crowd, he got a loud applause, second only to Cheney's. In his address, he revealed that he is writing a book about his experiences, a surprise to a book publisher I was sitting with.
"It ought to sell," said the publisher.
That's because it will be very tough on the U.N., which Bolton tried to reform during his year there with admittedly little success. In fact, he suggested that former U.N. boss Kofi Annan "should have been fired for incompetence long ago." And he'll call for major funding changes so that the United States doesn't get stuck paying for a large portion of the bill. Here was his novel idea: The United States, which now funds 22 percent of the U.N. budget, should just voluntarily pay what it wants to. Or, as he said, "Pay for what we want and demand we get what we pay for."