Confirmation Controversies: An Overview

(Julia Malakie/AP Photo) Nominated as Ambassador to Mexico Weld, a popular former Republican governor of Massachusetts, was picked by President Clinton in 1997 to become ambassador to Mexico. But Weld’s selection was torpedoed by a fellow Republican, Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee refused to hold hearings on the appointment. Helms charged that Weld held overly permissive views on social policy and refused to yield, despite public efforts by Weld to force Helms’s hand.

Anthony Lake (1997)

(Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo) Nominated as CIA Director Anthony Lake, then President Clinton’s national security adviser, was nominated for CIA director at the outset of Clinton’s second term, but withdrew from consideration in March 1997 after Republicans in Congress objected to the administration’s foreign policy and relations with China. “Washington has gone haywire,” said Lake, who also called his confirmation hearing a “political circus” after pulling his name from consideration.

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