But even if Wolfowitz resigns in the end, nothing will have been accomplished if President George W. Bush is permitted to select his successor, as U.S. Presidents have done since the Bank was establish[ed]. Instead, the head of the World Bank should be selected in a transparent process with the goal of finding the most qualified candidate - whether he or she comes from the U.S., from Europe or from a developing country.
In reality, the way Wolfowitz arrived at his position is the very thing that makes him so vulnerable to attack. His appointment by a U.S. Government, which is hardly cooperative internationally, was a provocation. The World Bank is an institution for financing development. But Wolfowitz' career in the U.S. Departments of Defense and State never prepared him for this role. Instead as is well known, he is the architect of America’s failed War in Iraq. By all accounts, Wolfowitz is brilliant, but it seems inconceivable that he would have been selected as leader of the World Bank in an open, transparent and multilateral selection process. [Emphasis added]
Mr. Rogoff makes it clear that the American spoils system is no longer appropriate or acceptable for such an international and sensitive position. After living through Mr. Bush's appointments to the UN, FEMA, FDA, MSHA, and many other federal positions, I find it pretty hard to fault Mr. Rogoff's argument.