This morning he waded further into the subject, telling me he's "very seriously" contemplating a White House run in 2012 and that he's begun consulting with high-level campaign operatives to discuss feasibility and logistics. Bolton cited what he described as President Obama's failures, the "wide open" Republican field, and the knowledge and experience he could bring to the table as the primary factors that sparked his interest in running. He also repeatedly stressed that an official decision is not imminent because his top focus remains working to help Republicans succeed in next month's midterm elections.
Does he think he can win? Could his rift with President Bush complicate his chances? How does he size up his potential Republican adversaries? Would he shave the 'stache?
For the answers to those questions and more, check back here early next week for a comprehensive write-up of our discussion.
UPDATE: The American Spectator's Philip Klein weighs in on the Bolton factor:
Bolton has had a lot of fans among conservatives ever since his bitter confirmation battle during the Bush administration. Though he's unlikely to have a broad enough appeal to capture the nomination, he could still have an impact on the race...Should he enter the GOP race, he could help generate more discussion about foreign policy so that it doesn't get ignored at a time of economic challenges.