First, let me say it was Bolton that calmed the restive, disgruntled crowd at CPAC when he spoke and endorsed McCain. I was there. I had the displeasure of going on to introduce Steyn right after Romney withdrew from the race. Conservatives were not happy. Certainly not with McCain. It was was as if the air had been sucked out of the room. When McCain spoke he had to pack the room with his peeps. Someone who would know in the CPAC organization had told me that McCain took 500 tickets for his speech. 500 tickets ......... and he filled them.
And anecdotally, I know that people were literally thrown out of their seats, asked to move to accommodate McCain's manufactured cheerleaders.
CPAC attendees were not cheering, they were booing but they were relegated to the sides of the ballroom, not the middle where the mics and the plants were. And no one was wearing McCain pins or stickers except folks that worked for him.
Bolton corralled the conservatives. Bolton insisted and explained, cajoled the crowd to back McCain. He didn't have to. He could have furthered the a case of impeding the ominous threat of NORK nukes, Iranian nukes etc. But he didn't. He put his enormous reputation as a conservative to work to create a cohesive Republican tent in support of ..... McCain. He turned the conference for McCain. And frankly, only he could have done it.
I have previously queried as to Bolton's status (or lack thereof) in the McCain camp. It confounded me. The conservatives trust Bolton. McCain exploited this trust. Bolton gave McCain conservative cred. Surely he would lead his foreign policy staff (personally I think he belongs on the ticket). McCain's misstep is major. Real Clear Politics is reporting Bolton is not part of the McCain circle. WTF?
Bolton saved him.
Dissing Bolton? RealClearPolitics (hat tip Dave)
John Bolton, who as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005-2006 became a conservative icon, has not connected with Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, though he desires to help out.
Friends say Bolton was puzzled when his offers of assistance got no response from the McCain campaign. He did receive a late request to be a spokesman for McCain Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C., where the candidate addressed selection of federal judges. However, Bolton got the impression that he was merely being asked to attend the event and declined the invitation.
Bolton's treatment did not appear to signify disrespect for him by McCain but rather disorganization at the candidate's headquarters.
Dave nailed it, "Man, this guy is a total loser".
UPDATE: More bad news. This is a reoccurring nightmare. From yidwithlid: Palestinians Told May Be Dealing With Rice AS VICE PRESIDENT