The Los Angeles Times nominated Bono to be the next World Bank president, and Bono nominated Colin Powell. But that all turned out to be one big rhetorical exercise, because the Bush administration has just made its choice: Paul Wolfowitz. This may come as a bit of surprise given that only a few weeks ago, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita suggested that Wolfowitz would be staying on at his current job. Even current World Bank president James Wolfensohn didn’t think Wolfowitz was a serious contender. When asked whether he thought Wolfowitz met the criteria to be a solid World Bank president, Wolfensohn quipped, “I submitted the name of my son and I think they got it mixed up.”
There are plenty of arguments against the nomination of Wolfowitz to this job. Check out here for the roundup. My main hesitancy applies less to Wolfowitz personally than to the Bush administration’s intention of pressuring out Wolfensohn, who has pushed the World Bank in a distinctly humanitarian direction, while replacing him with a guy who thinks that manhandling countries into democracy is the key to promoting world peace. It’s also hard to figure out the intent behind pushing John Bolton and Wolfowitz into global positions—either it’s a way of getting these guys out of Washington, or a chance to push the neoconservative agenda even further.