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Meet Bush's Pick for Top Teller

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Now that Paul Wolfowitz has "resigned" as president of the World Bank for getting caught giving his girlfriend a huge raise, President Bush needs to install a new guy. The choice he's announcing today: former U.S. Trade Representative and State Department official Robert Zoellick.

So who is he? Let's see ... Goldman Sachs credentials (a must for any Bush buddy), check. Support of Bush's most ridiculous blunders, check (like Wolfowitz, Zoellick signed a now-notorious 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein). But those ready to dismiss him simply as a cookie-cutter Bush-bot could be in for a surprise.

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First of all, check out the mustache. And as his stint as second-in-command at the State Department confirms, the guy likes to mix it up.

In 2005, Zoellick rolled into war-torn Fallujah himself to see if reports about progress in rebuilding the city were accurate (they weren't). In Darfur, he angrily confronted a stooge for the Sudanese government, shouting "I can't trust your government!" after the man tried to interfere with his fact-finding mission. And in China, he rejected the advice of aides who counseled against posing for a goofy picture with a panda because he wanted to send the Chinese a signal about cooperation—and also because his wife wanted a picture of him with a panda.

Photo: Getty Images


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