Monday, March 07, 2005

Jockeying for World Bank President


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The hottest parlor game in DC (well, the second hottest after trying to get into NBC News Correspondent Cambell Scott's pants) is figuring out who will head the World Bank. There are rock stars, senators, a former CEO and all sorts of yummy cabinet undersecretaries on this list. Throw in a Hollywood studio exec and the shortlist reads like Patricia Duff's little black book. According to The Independent:

"The lobbying, and the subtle jostling for position are well under way. In Washington wine bars, names are bandied around like chips on a poker table."

As that significant cultural phenomenon Kenny Rogers once said, you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to open a chicken shack, when the music's dies.

But we digress: So, who's going to follow the cello-playing James Wolfensohn? Here are some of the names being mentioned with The Corsair's entirely unscientific odds making:


Carly Fiorina: Long shot. Some feminine energy might be nice. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO. Left under a cloud, blamed for dissipating the HP tradition. Student of Medieval History and Philosophy. Long shot. 75-1

Former Senator Nancy Kassebaum-Baker: A Less Likely Shot. Again, feminine energy without the HP baggage. According to " ... ex-senator and currently serving on Tony Blair's pet project, the Commission for Africa, where she's rubbing shoulders with Geldof, Manuel, Camdessus, Brown, and other members of development's great and the good." Very possible choice: Odds: 50-50.

Paul Wolfowitz: Neocon overlord, US Deputy Defense Secretary. Pro: Allegedly on shortlist. Con: Allegedly off shortlist. Odds:WTF?!

Bill Clinton: Ha-ha. Odds: More likely that The Corsair gets an evening with Angelina Jolie.

Former UN Ambassador Danforth: The perfect pick (to us). Pro: A good man, hugely qualified, a minister, of saintly character. Con: Wants a private life with the wife. Has dodgy relationships with the Bushies from his UN dealings. Unlikely, but a Corsair can dream, can't he? Odds: 95-1

Bill Gates. Pro: The Guardian loves him; Con: The Guardian loves him. According to the Guardian, " ... serious consideration should be given to the man on the front page of today's newspaper: Bill Gates. His eye-catching donations show that Mr Gates has a deep interest in development. His experience in running a large organisation would be invaluable. And, as an internationally respected yet non-political figure, Mr Gates might be just what the bank needs now." Odds: 75-1

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE): Well liked, but not well likely to give up his powerful Senate position. Has too much juice already. The outgoing President of the World Bank told Le Monde that "if he had any say in the matter" he would back Hagel. Has 2008 Presidential ambitions, but unlikely to beat either the Rove-backed Senate Majority puppet Bill Frist, or beloved war hero, Senator John McCain. Odds on Hagel: 50-50

John Taylor: Undertreasury Secretary. According to his bio, "As Under Secretary, he serves as principal advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on international economic issues." Odds: 50-50.

Colin Powell: Apparently, the job is his for the asking, but, according to the Independent, "... Unfortunately, he's shown no sign of being interested." Quo vadis? Odds: 4-1

Bono: Treasury Sec. John Snow would not rule him out, but we're pretty sure Bush would. The poet makes for good copy, though. His coal black hair-dye budget alone would break the venerable institution. We prefer Mick Jagger, the rock star who dropped out of the London School of Economics. Jagger would, more likely than not, institute a pervy Brazilian "Supermodels-for-dollars" policy. Bono's Odds: 1,000-1

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