After a long, messy battle between Senator Jim DeMint and the Obama administration, Senator DeMint removed his holds on two key administration appointees whose nominations have been languishing pending the outcome over a battle involving the Honduras ouster of President Manuel Zelaya.
In his statement on the Senate floor, DeMint lavished praise on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon — whose nomination as the next US Ambassador to Brazil DeMint also had on hold — for yielding to his views that whether or not the Honduras legislature votes Zelaya back into office that the Obama administration will recognize the outcome of the coming November 29th elections as legitimate and fair.
There is growing dispute about a Honduran government deal with Zelaya that the ousted leader now says the de facto government is not abiding by. Some suggest that Jim DeMint had some influence on pulling apart the Honduran deal with his own negotiations with the Obama administration over what was needed for the US to recognized the November election results.
The great news is that Arturo Valenzuela, Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, has now been confirmed as Thomas Shannon‘s successor as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs.
Valenzuela served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council in the second term of the Clinton administration.
Only problem is that one of the other key players in this Shakespearian political drama, Tom Shannon (who Jim DeMint now thinks is great!) got stuck on the floor last night when recently appointed Senator George LeMiuex began to flex his Senatorial muscles by not allowing Shannon’s nomination to be voted on with a big passle of other nominees who were unanimously approved by the Senate at 5:30 pm yesterday evening.
Allegedly, the pro-embargo, anti-Castro crowd hijacked the Freshman Senator — who will show great promise as a US Senator when he doesn’t yield so publicly to the overtly crude and frivolous whims of fanatics who will lose the battle on Tom Shannon, but who want to waste the government’s time.
– Steve Clemons