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Wolfie In The World


Two pieces in today’s New York Times – both on Paul Wolfowitz’s nomination to run the World Bank – serve as reminders that former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was once on the list for that job.
What happened? No, not sexism. I know that’s what you thought I was going to say but Carly lost this one herself. It looks very much like another clash between business and politics.
Carly blabbed. That’s what happened. Someone – probably someone who thought she was doing the boss a favor – told the Financial Times that she was up for the gig. That’s all it took in a White House that’s known for its emphasis on team-playing and discretion, to torpedo her nomination. In business, leaking a done deal – and Fiorina came close, make no mistake – is a great way to get some free press. In politics, where you get all the free press you want (and much you don’t) leaking any news before its time is a great way to take the “done” out of the deal. And guess who decides when it’s time? Not the nominee, that’s for sure. In politics, the employment contract ain’t signed until after the press releases go out and debate over qualifications held.
We’ll see a nice demonstration of this as Wolfowitz nomination moves forward. The Times Biz section takes a look at the quiet reservations expressed by the bank’s European members. On the op-ed page, former Clinton Administration staffer, James Rubin (Mr. Christiane Amanpour to you) is urging Democrats to support Wolfowitz’ nomination. He makes some good points that are worth remembering if you’re a self-styled “progressive.” There’s a middle ground here as Rubin nicely points out.
Still the Wolfowitz nomination is going to be tricky; trickier than if Fiornina had gotten the nod. And it’s not the political slam dunk that her crashing the World Bank boys club would have provided. Anytime you’re being compared to post-Vietnam, pre-Errol Morris Robert McNamara, it’s not good and that’s about where Wolfowitz is right now.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:58 AM | Permalink

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