who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Zoellick no longer Bank favourite. It won't be Zoellick, according to the Nelson Report, an insiders' briefing that circulates around Washington (not online), but Bill Clinton may be worth an outside bet!

"The Bob Zoellick for Deputy Secretary of State under Condi Rice rumor is true, bearing in mind that the gods can always change their minds," Chris Nelson writes.

So what's Zoellick's thinking?

"The consensus, based on cynical realism, and not hard facts, is that Rice... may run for Sen Dianne Feinstein's California seat, up in 2006, leaving Zoellick as the logical successor...

"Less machiavellian reasoning includes that Zoellick calculated he wasn't going to get the nod for World Bank from President Bush... and, in any event, the Bank is mired in scandal and controversy, is fundamentally unmanageable, and is in line for holy hell on Capitol Hill."

Nelson reckons that Powell is still ruling himself out of the running [but past Presidents have done that to no avail], "despite what may look like an audition tour this week in tsunami tragedy-ridden Asia."

So if not Zoellick or Powell, then perhaps Bill Clinton. Why? To generate some bipartisan warmth. To have a Democrat to soak up heat at the Bank. To put Bill back in the limelight (at the expense of Hillary). Even to see whether the "World Bank scandal factor" can tarnish the Clinton name.

Far from a done deal, Nelson concludes (and probably pie-in-the-sky, we say), but well worth the speculation...

David Steven ~ January 06, 2005

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