PRESIDENT Bush's nomination of Robert Zoellick to succeed Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank has been widely welcomed and is sure to be confirmed by the Bank's governing board. He was many people's choice in 2005 but instead Mr Bush named Wolfowitz, one of the principal architects of the Iraq war, and has now paid for that appalling misjudgement. Robert Zoellick, 53, has an outstanding record as a public servant, beginning his career as an adviser to Ronald Reagan and subsequently working in senior positions for both of the Bush family presidents. He has made a particularly strong impression as a tough but fair negotiator in international trade talks, in relations with Congress and as a diplomat. Perhap's Wolfowitz's two wasted years may have served a purpose. The row that prefaced his departure was about more than the special treatment he sought for his woman companion; it focussed attention on the work of an institution that is too often taken for granted despite the key role it plays in Third World development. Mr Zoellick will have seen that it needs to be more open in future. Here's an interesting thought about where power lies in the United States today. A year ago Henry Paulson, then chief executive of the investment firm Goldman Sachs, became US Treasury Secretary at President Bush's request. Subsequently Mr Zoellick left Washington to join Goldman Sachs. Now he moves to the World Bank. Mr Paulson stood beside President Bush as he made the announcement.


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