Call it what you want. A war between an upstart politician on the make vs. an entrenched Senate crank, North against South revisited or an honest political fray. The important thing is the internecine Republican squabble between Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and the nominee for U.S. ambassadorship to Mexico, William Weld, is over.
Mr. Weld surrendered Monday when he realized he can't fight Mr. Foreign Relations on his own turf. He miscalculated badly, but he was right in saying his nomination fight may well claim fast-track trade legislation as its victim.Despite the murky politics behind his nomination, Mr. Weld was fit for the job. He was a free trader who saw the ambassador's role in Mexico City as that of a promoter of close economic ties. Mr. Clinton should keep this in mind when looking for another nominee.