Ocampo and Iweala hit campaign trail: but where the hell is Kim?

Has anyone heard a peep out of Jim Yong Kim?  He wants to be President of the world’s most influential development institution, yet – as far as I can tell – he hasn’t given a single interview to any press outlet anywhere.

Meanwhile his two more experienced rivals are already all over the airwaves, often attacking Kim. Ocampo was on Bloomberg and had this to say to AFP:

“He is a very competent doctor, but if we speak strictly about development experience, the Nigerian minister and I amply surpass him.”

Iweala gave the Washington Postperhaps the most barbed quote of the week on Kim:

“He is known as a health expert who has helped developing countries and I have great respect for what he has been able to do …You cannot just look at health and view development through that lens, or just at agriculture or manufacturing — there are so many inter-relationships.”

Kim, however, is keeping schtum. OK, so he did an op-ed in the Financial Times, perhaps ironically calling for an “open, inclusive World Bank”.  But has he answered a single question from the media or others?

He is campaigning of course – he visited the Chinese vice-premier over the weekend.  And we know that because, erm, Chinese state media told us. Oh, and Japan has said it will back him after meeting him – but not the other candidates.

Is this beginning to look like a stitch-up to anyone else?  Let’s start a Kim-watch.  If anyone sees or hear him say anything in public, let me know…

16 thoughts on “Ocampo and Iweala hit campaign trail: but where the hell is Kim?

  1. Are you not displaying lack of knowledge by circulating unfounded stories against Ngozi Okonjo Iweala?.

    What proof do you or anyone helping you spread this rumour have, why have you decided to play the destroyer?…My advice is that you do a bit of soul searching and you should stop messing with her name.

  2. Pingback: Jim Yong Kim’s depressing tactical silence | Felix Salmon

  3. Sloppy of the USG to forget a stop in Europe, reminding us all of lady year’s IMF deal. Bad form, but no one has complained about Lim’s attention to MICs and Africa.


  4. Please for the love of God and everything that is holy and just, “DO NOT” elect Ngozi Okonji Iweala for this position. As Nigeria’s finance minister, she has amassed and enriched not just herself but her siblings as well under the so called Debt reduction Program she claimed managed. She is now part of a cancerous corrupt system that has placed the lives of many Nigerians precarious conditions.

    Her desire to be world bank President, only highlights her dubious ambition, greed, demonic nature and self interest. In the last 2 months, they have been calls for her removal by Nigerians for her removal. A good example of her corrupt venture is the acquisition of a 1.2 billion naira ($9.2 million) in a highbrew area in Abuja, Nigerian capital)
    Please click on link to read about her dubious activities

  5. Some people seem to think that a: these candidates are equal and b: there needs to be some sort of political campaign or debate. They are not and there need not. Just because someone, unbidden, declares he (or she) is a candidate does not make it so. The US president chooses the candidate and the board then selects that candidate or not. These upstarts can rant and moan all they like. NOI would be an absolute disaster as president. Her previous times at the World Bank were and there’s no reason to think that drunk with power (which is all she’s after) she would govern the institution to its or her credit.

  6. A medical doctor is the best nominee for world bank for presidency. This is because he has more experience as a financial expect.

  7. In a merit based process for a top political position, there ought to be exposure to public scrutiny. A part of the President’s role is to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, it’s reasonable to answer questions from them as part of the selection process. The Bank has a serious legitimacy issue, particularly in the developing world, but also across a large swathe of civil society. Drumming up the votes of countries promising who knows what in return won’t do the Bank or Kim any favours.
    As for Japan, well, supporting a candidate without even meeting the others or waiting for the Board interviews…. I’m not sure why anyone would be keen to endorse that?

  8. I just feel this could be the case of a typographical error on the nomination memo. President Obama may have thought the nomination was for the World Health Organisation rather than World Bank, and sincerely nominated the good doctor to head it. The Obama nominee could have been the best candidate to lead the World Health Organisation. If Kim succeeds and becomes the World Bank President, it sends a messsage that anyone can be anything and lead anything in this world. You do not need to have the specific and prefered credentials. You just need the endorsement of a pwerful president to become whatever you want. Poor and developing countries are doomed never to lead these institutions.

  9. I could not agree more, 123.

    The public agreement by Ngozi and Ocampo that “the other one is more competent than Jim Kim” is beneath contempt.

    This is not a political campaign, and the ranting needs to stop. As experienced politicians, demanding recognition for the offices they held, they should both know better.

  10. I am not exactly sure what the author’s problem is. Perhaps Jesse Griffiths is confused, and is thinking that just because the position has the word ‘president’ in it, it must be an election where you rack up votes with political shots and media exposure.

    The President of the World Bank is chosen when the Board of Governors gives a green light to whatever nominee is there. So why does Kim need to damage his gravitas, and draw more unwelcome attention to the fact that he is yet another American, by going all over the media and start ranting like the two idiots who are overplaying their hands in a desperate bid for the job? And why would it be a stitch-up if Kim does not engage in the same sort of rabble-rousing, if he only needs the nods from the parties that really matter (read: Japan, China and other economic powers)? I hear Japan supported his candidacy, and you tell me he also visited China, presumably to discuss his candidacy. Europe is certainly going to return the favour with that Christine Lagarde business and all. South Korea, understandably, is very happy with Obama’s choice as well. Looks like he already has the job in his pocket, and it would only be a stitch-up if this was a political office open to universal franchise.

    So root for Iweala if you have caught on the fad, fanned from the Economist, of all the places. Just don’t confuse this with a concurrent campaign for presidency of the United States, because it is not.

  11. Ah, opinion again, hiding behind someone else’s puff piece.

  12. The sad part is that after promising a merit based selection process, it is indeed looking like a stich up. The only real losers in this will be the world bank and Kim himself, the credibility of both will be damaged beyond repair.

  13. This is not a political campaign. Op-eds in the Guardian, and an ambiguous headline in the Economist, are not as good an endorsement as Japan’s. He’s answering the questions that count. NOI is setting herself up as a victim, by talking about process. Ocampo is going along with that fom his ivory tower in New York.

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