Friday, May 18, 2007

Blair For World Bank?

By Cernig

Now that Paul Wolfowitz has finally quit his World Bank sinecure, the White House is keen to appoint a successor quickly.

Amanda at Think Progress has a list of names that are coming up - and at the head of that list is one Tony Blair, the Stan to Dubya's Ollie.

It would be an astute move politically. Europe would get a European as Wold Bank head, which would go a long way to mollifying those across the pond who were so angered by Wolfowitz' adoption of the U.S. hard right's agenda at the Bank. At the same time, Bush could be assured of having a yes-man on many issues even if Blair might restore the Wold Bank's former direction on climate change and Third World aid.

As an economic thinker Blair would make a great poodle for Bush's administration. It's no secret that Gordon Brown has always done his financial thinking for him and without Brown to hold his hand Blair couldn't balance his own checkbook. According to UPI, Blair's agent told the UK's press that Tony was ready to consider quitting Parliament if "a big international" job came up.

Other rumored candidates include Bill Frist, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Update The UK's Guardian reports that British betting giant Ladbrokes has Blair as a 25/1 outsider for the World bank job. Even John Bolton (16/1) shows better. But the favorites are Ashraf Ghani, chairman of Kabul University and former World bank economist (4/5) and Nigeria's foreign minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (5/2). Before taking up her current position, Okonjo-Iweala was was vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank.

The Americans who shows best under ladbrokes' current odds are ex Condi aide Robert Zoellick (7/2) and current deputy treasury secretary Robert Kimmitt (5/1).

Rumsfield is the 100-1 rank outsider.

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