Kim-watch update

Felix Salmon from Reuters has picked up the Kim-watch theme, calling it a “depressing tactical silence”:

Kim has actually given a handful of on-the-record interviews, which make it very clear that giving on-the-record interviews is not a great way for him to get the job. Indeed, the most striking thing about them is his propensity to flat-out lie. “I am very proud to be part of what is the first contested, merit based, open election ever for presidency of the World Bank,” he told Capital Ethiopia. “I am proud of being part of the first transparent, merit-based election in the World Bank history,” he said to the Hindustan Times. “I’m coming into this election and not asking people to support me because I’m an American,” he told Nikkei. “I ask people to support me because of my experience.” But of course it goes without saying that this election is not transparent, and is not merit-based. If it were merit-based, the Canadians and the Japanese would probably have met with Okonjo-Iweala and Ocampo before declaring their support for Kim. It’s bad enough that Kim is being installed in the presidency of the World Bank by the divine right of POTUS. But it’s much worse that he thinks that if he wins, he’s going to have done so fair and square.

After my last post on this theme I got an email from the US State Department with very similar information, telling me that Kim was in fact on a ‘listening tour’ and was doing interviews with local media along the way.  Salmon is sceptical that Kim will appear for the CGD candidate interviews next week…. but CGD is maintaining that he will. The watch continues.

8 thoughts on “Kim-watch update

  1. i already kno dat kim’ll win the game coz america rules UN and World bank is just a fearther of the org. I now know evrytin now dpends on U.S and one day it’ll crash on ’em

  2. so who is the bird, plane or chicken? But in my opinion, Okonjo Iweala is the most qualified for the job. I hope the politics will not interfere with merit.

  3. Ngozi was recommended by African head of state for her experience and expertise. There are better qualified people in the US that President Obama would have picked. definitely, not Kim!

  4. Thanks for the correction! So we’re waiting to see if he turns up…. I’m sure the online bookmakers Paddy Power – who closed betting on who will be the next President – won’t take any bets on that.

  5. I think Salmon’s point is that Kim accepted the nomination knowing it was a shoe-in regardless of who else was in the running. So it’s disingenuous of Kim to suggest that he will win the race on “merit.” You may not agree, but I don’t think that makes Salmon wrong.

  6. Look… Up in the sky… Its a bird… No its a plane…. No its a … Chicken

  7. Jesse – Correction: we at CGD continue to hope that Jim Kim will accept our invitation to appear at one of the World Bank President Events we are organizing with the Washington Post. We have not stated or implied that he will. The scheduled events, one candidate each, are Monday and Tuesday.

  8. Felix Salmon is wrong on many points. None of us know what the US Treasury and White House did before they announced Kim’s nomination. Knowing Washington, and the White House appointment process, someone would have run Jim Kim’s CV past key constituencies who could be counted on not to leak the process or the nominees.

    None of us knows for sure what happened before the Rose Garden announcement. Knowing that no one can disprove his allegations, Felix Salmon is just amplifying the disappointment some have that Jim Kim is an Asian-American man, with a modest background and a track record of doing change.

    Not, frankly, that it matters. African heads of state pressed for Ngozi, and no one complained. Not exactly open or transparent, either.

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