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Former ambassador campaigns for Missouri auditor

State Auditor Tom Schweich, right, listens as former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is interviewed before a fundraiser Tuesday evening for Schweich.

State Auditor Tom Schweich, right, listens as former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is interviewed before a fundraiser Tuesday evening for Schweich.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is raising money for next year’s re-election campaign and, once again, got fund-raising help from a former colleague — John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“I got to know Tom when he was at the U.N.,” Bolton said in a Tuesday afternoon interview before the fundraiser. “Jack Danforth had brought him along, and we worked together for a time.”

After serving as Danforth’s chief of staff in the investigation of the 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian compound, Schweich again was named as his chief of staff when the former Missouri senator became the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

And when President George W. Bush named Bolton to the U.N. post, Schweich again served as chief of staff.

“He was handling things that were of considerable interest to me,” Bolton explained. “He was in charge of the overall scrutiny of U.N. management issues, which are very important to the United States as the largest contributor.

“At that point, we were giving 22 percent of the U.N.’s assessed budget and 25 percent for peacekeeping — so, when there’s mismanagement in the U.N. system, it has big-dollar consequences for the United States.”

Bolton also campaigned for Schweich in 2010, when the St. Louis lawyer first ran for the state auditor’s job.

“I thought then, and I still think now, that the experience that (Schweich) had in dealing with the U.N. bureaucracy and then dealing with the bureaucracy in Washington — and in the programs that he ran in the international narcotics and law enforcement area — really provided a background and perspective of how things can go wrong in the government, that would be very usefully applied in auditing the state government,” Bolton said Tuesday.

Bolton, 64, a Maryland native, earned his law degree at Yale University, which Schweich also attended.

Bolton once was a senior vice president for the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and research institution, and currently is an AEI senior fellow. He also is a Fox News Channel commentator.

He said he’s working to champion “strong Republican candidates ... because we’ve got a lot of problems in Washington. ... I believe the party needs the best people it can get, the most qualified people it can get to run for all offices.”

He said his view of politics is, “You’ve got to say what you believe. It’s a lot easier to go to sleep at night, when you tell the truth, and say what you believe.”

Bolton served as a U.S. State Department assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs from1989-93, in the George H.W. Bush administration.

From 2001-05, he was undersecretary of state for arms control and international security in the George W. Bush administration until the president named him the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Bolton resigned in December 2006, and said Tuesday he doesn’t miss the job, because he doesn’t look backward.

“You do what you do, and then you go on to something else,” he said, adding “I think the job of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. is, largely, damage control. There are a lot of things that some countries want to do there that affect American interests adversely.

“There’s not so much that we can accomplish positively, but there are a lot of issues that arise, that we can protect against harmful things happening to the United States.”

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