Talking Points Memo has excerpts from The Nelson Report, a daily update for subscribers who want to know what’s going on in Washington. It warns “certain personality traits will carry over, and create problems with his Bank colleagues different than the Wolfowitz debacle, but no less damaging, should they occur”. These traits already led to Zoellick being ousted as president of another institution: the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Meanwhile Steve Clemons supports Zoellick and gives him advice.
The report continues: “veterans of CSIS during that period will tell you, Zoellick had by that time made himself very unpopular with both the Board and his colleagues for some of the same problems which cropped up at USTR:
He has a terrible temper, he is “prone to tirades” – a daily dump on Japan generally, and its trade ministers specifically, came to be something of a ritual at USTR – and he has been known to keep “enemies lists”.
So not such a huge change from Wolfowitz then.
One more point which Bank staff, borrowing country ministers, Bank board members and others should be aware of is “Zoellick’s penchant to lecture, point by point, with little concern for editorial compression …”.
Meanwhile Steve Clemons, writing in his Washington Note blog, has praise for Zoellick, as well as a series of suggestions for him if he gets the job. The praise includes that Zoellick is “a coalition-builder who can work beyond the parochial dimensions of America’s needs and wants and help meld collaborative international efforts to handle big challenges”. My pick of Clemons’ advice is “break out of the ideological game. Ignore those who will want to pitch your efforts one way or the other as promoting free trade or protectionism. You are doing neither. You are building capacity and trying to get large multiplier effects from Bank programs”.