McCain Snarls, But Senate OKs Hill as Iraq Ambassador

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2009 8:45 PM CDT
In this March 25 file photo, Christopher Hill testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The Senate tonight approved Christopher Hill to be the next ambassador to Iraq, overriding the strong objections of John McCain, the Hill reports. McCain argued that Hill doesn't have enough Mideast experience, and he also criticized his work as ambassador to North Korea. Despite the opposition, the Senate approved the appointment by a vote of 73-23.

“Now is not the time to send a person who I believe is not only unqualified on the face of it, but also has, in my view, not conducted himself in the most admirable fashion in his previous work,” McCain said, citing North Korea's recent missile launch. “I don’t believe it is appropriate to select as our next ambassador someone who will require on-the-job training on Iraqi affairs and Middle East issues.”