This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
The thought occurred to us after watching the GOP debate at Nevada that it would be fun at least to imagine a Perry-Ros-Lehtinen ticket. It turns out that Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen isn’t eligible to accede to the vice presidency, as she was born at Cuba. The more’s the pity. The thought was ignited by the eruption of applause when Governor Perry called for curtailing American financial support for the United Nations. The issue happens to be one of this newspaper’s favorites, and it’s hotter than a pistol right now, though few newspapers other than the Drudge Report have done much with it.
It’s hot because of a bill just approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen. The measure would give America discretion over how — or even whether — it pays money into the United Nations system. Mr. Perry raised the United Nations as an issue after a question about foreign aid was raised by a member of the debate audience, Vicki O’Keefe, of Boulder City, Nevada. Mr. Perry, who agreed that foreign aid could be curtailed, quickly turned to the United Nations. “As a matter of fact I think it’s time for us to have a very serious discussion about defunding the United Nations,” he said before he was interrupted by applause.
Continued he: “When you think about the Palestinian Authority circumventing those Oslo Accords and going to New York to try to create the conflict and to have themselves approved as a state without going through the proper channels, [it] is a travesty. And I think it’s time not only to have that entire debate about all of our foreign aid but particular about the U.N. Why are we funding that organization?”
That is precisely the question Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen has been pressing in the House. With her bill to reform the way American funds the United Nations and with her post as Foreign Affairs chairwoman, she is in a position to move United Nations reform way past where other congressional critics have managed to take it. It is hard to remember a point when the United Nations was behaving in a less responsible way than it is today.
Clearly we’re a long way from the point where Mr. Perry is going to be thinking about an administration. He’s got to win the nomination first, and he’s got some stumbling to get over if he is going to be a contender. But he picked a good issue with the United Nations. What luck that there is a powerful figure in the Congress who could be of help — a brilliant, hard-line, anti-communist, pro-freedom Latina from Florida. If Mr. Perry is going to go after the United Nations, Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen is the team-mate to seek — in one role or another as his campaign progresses.
The late edition of this editorial has been corrected to reflect the fact that Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen was born at Cuba.