Swift-boater gets recess appointment

fox.jpgOne week after withdrawing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth donor Sam Fox’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to Belgium, President Bush today named him to the post as a recess appointment, sidestepping the Senate Foreign Relations Committee‘s resistance.

Fox, 77 — a Missouri businessman, national chairman of the Jewish Republican Coalition and a “ranger” who helped raise at least $200,000 for President Bush’s 2004 campaign — gave $50,000 to the group that was impugning Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry‘s military service in Vietnam. That didn’t sit well with committee members including Kerry and current presidential contenders Barack Obama, D-Ill.; Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; and committee chairman Joe Biden, D-Del.

So Bush pulled Fox’s name off the table last week less than an hour before the committee was to vote on his confirmation. But today, with the Senate off on its spring recess, the president used his recess-appointment power to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation until the end of this Congress’ session — which means through rest of Bush’s term.

Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is a member of the committee, too. We’re waiting to hear whether she’s ticked off about this.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.