Kerry Leaps to Defense of Hill as Iraq Ambassador
Republican objections only slow down important work
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 25, 2009 8:34 AM CDT
In this Dec. 7, 2008 file photo, U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill speaks with reporters in Beijing. President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Hill as Ambassador to Iraq.   (AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, File)
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(Newser) – Anticipating GOP resistance, John Kerry goes to bat for Iraq ambassador nominee Chris Hill,  arguing in a Politico piece that he should be confirmed immediately.  Kerry's committee is considering the veteran diplomat's nomination today. Despite Hill’s lack of Middle East experience, he’s cut out for peacemaking in Iraq, the senator argues, and “has the perfect background to engage in this sort of complicated diplomatic effort.”

Some Republicans have objected to Hill’s nomination because the lack of Middle East experience; Sen. Sam Brownback, who has sparred with Hill repeatedly over human rights, promised to hold up his confirmation, the AP reports. In his op-ed, Kerry contends that Hill will be confirmed eventually and warns that "to use Senate procedures to delay his arrival to Baghdad at a critical time in this war would be a serious mistake."