John Bolton may run for president

The neoconservative is reportedly about to start hiring up for a 2016 campaign

Published August 22, 2013 4:30PM (EDT)

Former U.N. ambassador and staunch neocon John Bolton is very seriously considering a run for president in 2016, according to the National Review, which reports that he is even about to start staffing up for a campaign.

From Robert Costa at NRO:

Over the past few months, Bolton confides, he has called veteran Republican strategists and friends from the Bush years, informally pitching them on what he envisions as a policy-driven, hawkish campaign. Most of the people on the other side of the line are surprised, even shocked, to hear that Bolton, a no-nonsense, private man, is serious. Bolton, though, presses on, and urges them to e-mail him tidbits of advice or early-state contact information. “I’ve enjoyed the process,” he says. “It’s taken some time to put together, since I’m paying close attention to the business details of how to run a PAC, like why it costs so much to do direct mail. At times, I feel like I’m back at Covington & Burling doing campaign-finance law.”

Bolton, currently a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told NRO that he decided to consider running after watching the Republican candidates in 2012. “After that, I sat back and thought that if I had the chance, I had to do something more for my party and my country than idly watching." He added: “That means forming a political-action committee and a super PAC, hitting the road and speaking out, and looking into my own campaign, and I’m doing all of that.”

Bolton, who also teased a 2012 presidential bid (though wound up serving as an adviser to Mitt Romney instead), recently claimed that Hillary Clinton faked a concussion to get out of testifying at a hearing on the Benghazi attacks, and has called it "unpresidential" for President Obama to take credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.

But Daily Intel answers what is perhaps the most important question about all of this: Would Bolton keep his mustache if he ran? "I'm sure he will keep it," Christine Samuelian, Bolton's assistant at AEI, told Dan Amira.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2016 Elections John Bolton Neoconservatives Republicans United Nations