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Lugar’s Full Statement Supporting Chris Hill

As I reported earlier, and in my piece that just went up now, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is backing Chris Hill as the next ambassador to Iraq. Here’s Lugar’s just-released full statement:

“As President Bush’s envoy to the Six Party Talks, Assistant Secretary Chris Hill demonstrated extraordinary diplomatic and managerial skills in dealing with an isolated and inscrutable North Korean regime that presents the United States with one of its most difficult diplomatic challenges. His innovative and meticulous approach contributed to successes, including the ongoing disablement of the Yongbyon nuclear complex in the presence of American monitors, the re-entry into North Korea of IAEA officials, and the potential transition of the Six Party process into a forum for broader multi-lateral engagement in Northeast Asia.

“Beyond his diplomatic efforts, I have appreciated Mr. Hill’s accessibility to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has always been willing to inform us about developments on the Korean Peninsula or elsewhere in East Asia.

“President Obama has informed the Senate of his strong confidence in Chris Hill to serve as our Ambassador to Iraq. In doing so, the President has chosen one of our most experienced and capable diplomats for one of our most critical diplomatic assignments. It is my hope that Assistant Secretary Hill will be confirmed by the Senate.”

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) resistance to Hill may have just had its back broken. The Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee are a bunch of n00bs who all ducked my calls about their stance on Hill. However, they’ll likely be reluctant to break with Lugar. What are McCain and Graham going to do, filibuster Chris Hill’s nomination when it makes it out of committee?

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