Is this finally the week? Reality check in the US

Inside sources in Washington are abuzz. It seems this will be the week according to people in the know, and Zoellick will imminently be announcing his attention to not seek a second term. They didn’t have an exact date for the announcement – could be Tuesday or as late as Friday. But now is really the time to start thinking about the processes – after all a well designed process would have started 6 weeks ago.

So the post yesterday by Nancy Birdsall over at CGD provides a timely look into the US political constraints. She asks:

Can the Obama White House in an election year, facing a Congress suspicious of a globally honored president, eschew pushing through its own American candidate? …

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Timely history on international appointments – US likes to throw its weight around

Last week, an IPS article provides a timely history of how the US likes to throw its weight around in international appointments. It review some ongoing appointments at UN agencies and relates stories from the leadership of Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the UN Secretariat.From IPS:

Ertharin Cousin, a U.S. national, will be the new executive director in an organisation [World Food Programme] which in recent years has been dominated by the United States, the last two heads being Catherine Bertini and Josette Sheeran. Continue reading