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|#1 Posted on 27.4.04 1131.08 |
Reposted on: 27.4.11 1132.33
| This would definately give Powell a high-profile ticket out of the administration, while potentially keeping his head above water if he ever decides to jump into a run for office.....|
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Psst! Is Powell Bound for the World Bank?
By ELIZABETH BECKER
ASHINGTON, April 26 - Forget the official pronouncements that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is staying put at the State Department.
The buzz in the capital is at least a couple of steps beyond that, as people in business and finance circles here are speculating that he could become the next president of the World Bank, the largest and most influential development agency in the world.
The whispers only grew louder the other night after Mr. Powell dined with James D. Wolfensohn, the current bank head, at his home in the Kalorama section of Washington.
Over Arctic char, Mr. Powell joined Mr. Wolfensohn and a handful of other guests, including Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, to toast Horst Köhler, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who resigned last month to run for president of Germany.
"It was basically a family dinner,'' Mr. Wolfensohn said. "Colin Powell came as a friend, not a member of the administration.''
Dinner guests said that not a word was uttered about whether Mr. Wolfensohn would stay on for an unusual third term or pass the baton to his good friend Mr. Powell.
"I don't think there's the slightest likelihood that Colin Powell would want to become president of the World Bank after putting up with everything he's put up with as secretary of state,'' Mr. Wolfensohn said in an interview.
Maybe so. But it could be that Mr. Wolfensohn has yet to proclaim himself on his way out.
To others, however, the World Bank job would seem an obvious landing spot for Mr. Powell. After all, he would be running the show, not jockeying for position in a war cabinet where his views are often in the minority.
Richard Boucher, spokesman for the secretary of state, said that his boss was not "looking for the job nor has he been asked to take it.''
Yet the rumors persist, if only because many World Bank officials say they would love to have him as the next president should Mr. Wolfensohn leave. He has the reputation of a good manager who can lift morale. And his life story has made him popular around the world.
"Who better to represent the bank than Colin Powell?'' said a senior bank official who insisted on not being identified.
The speculation about Mr. Powell increased after the publication of Bob Woodward's book, "Plan of Attack.'' Mr. Woodward's portrait of the secretary of state as dissenting from the hawks in the Bush war cabinet seemed to confirm what many believed inevitable, that Mr. Powell will not remain as secretary in a second Bush administration.
To those pressing for Mr. Powell to make the move, what better position than as spokesman for the world's poor? He served as chairman of America's Promise, a charity aimed at helping children at risk.
While his policy speeches are replete with praise for the Iraq war and Mr. Bush's more muscular initiatives, Mr. Powell never fails to list as major accomplishments the administration's contributions to the fight against AIDS and world poverty - all items on the bank's agenda.
By tradition, the president of the United States gets to decide the head of the World Bank. Should Mr. Bush win re-election, he could pick Mr. Powell as the first black to head the organization.
The administration denied that Mr. Powell or anyone else is at the head of a list of candidates for a position that will not be open until June 2005.
"It's premature and wouldn't be fair to anyone to throw names out there,'' said Tony Fratto, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department, which the White House has charged with coming up with a slate of candidates.
To be fair, Mr. Powell was not the only prospect gossiped about in the corridors this weekend at the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. One name was Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Before he was elected mayor of New York, he told friends he would like to be secretary general of the United Nations or president of the World Bank.
Less glamorous names being bandied about were John Taylor, a top-ranking official at the Treasury Department; Peter McPherson, the president of Michigan State University, who headed the first team sent to Iraq to revitalize the economy; and Robert B. Zoellick, the United States trade representative.
Of course, there is the distinct possibility that no one will be succeeding the popular Mr. Wolfensohn, who could be reappointed. So far he has refused to say whether he would accept a third five-year term.
"I'd rather not be in the position of acting as a lame duck or a pretender,'' he said.
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|#2 Posted on 27.4.04 1142.15 |
Reposted on: 27.4.11 1142.18
| Gen. Powell's traditionally been too middle-of-the-road for either party, and he likes his neutrality.|
I'm hoping he'll evenutally run for the GOP in 2008. But if he crosses over and goes Dem, which I doubt, I might just have to cross party lines.
By the way, read his book, An American Journey. My last Annual Training in the field at Ft. McCoy in 1998, I couldn't put it down. Still read parts of it every week. Awesome only-in-America story.
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|#3 Posted on 27.4.04 1204.58 |
Reposted on: 27.4.11 1206.23
| Most cabinet members opt out after the first term, unless you're Janet Reno. This would be a good fit for Powell and his interests. I just have to think there is more truth in Woodard's book than the administration is admitting. It's quite believable that someone who has been involved in actual combat is more hesistant to start a war than those who never did. Powell being the good soldier has kept quiet and likely always will. He is one of the members of the Cabinet who is truly admirable. |
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