What's the buzz on ... Paul Wolfowitz?
Each week, CNN.com takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation. This week we focus on World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who will leave office June 30 amid a controversy over his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend, bank employee Shaha Ali Riza. Here's a look at what bloggers were saying when the controversy arose.
Overall opinion (April 11-April 17, 2007)
So what does this mean?
Blog comments about Wolfowitz were overwhelmingly negative for the week overall, with liberal and conservative bloggers in agreement that Wolfowitz's actions were unethical. Liberal bloggers were slightly more negative, many citing President Bush's nomination of Wolfowitz as another sign of hypocrisy and corruption within the Republican Party. Few bloggers had anything positive to say. Those who did cited a perceived smear campaign by liberals and Wolfowitz's efforts to try to "clean up" corruption in the World Bank.
In their own words
Devilstower on Daily Kos
... Having secured for his girlfriend a job at the State Department where the World Bank treated her to a $193,000 tax free salary (which is, by the way, greater than that of Condoleezza Rice), Wolfowitz's credentials as a fighter of corruption are now on par with Kim Jung Il's bona fides for pushing democracy.
He's followed the neocon script to the letter. Launch a quixotic but laudable-sounding quest, disregard how your actions may be harming the people you are supposedly helping, and demonstrate your disdain for the rules as they apply to yourself. Truly, nobody does it better.
Kyle Robertson in a comment thread on Managing Globalization
... As necessary as an equally reform-minded person is needed, who would possibly replace Wolfowitz? Does the board expect Bush would nominate someone better? Bolton or Gonzalez comes to mind. … To what extent does the new Democrat majority in the Congress affect the nomination? Is there really any chance a non-American would get the job - someone from the South perhaps? A fair process of presidential selection ought to recover some of the lost credibility. Corruption does need to be addressed, and scaling back bank staff and decentralizing responsibilities to focus on more local initiatives is critical, but regardless of how much Wolfowitz might want to do this, he'll never be able to now.
Betsy on Betsy's Page
When rumors first started circulating that Paul Wolfowitz had used his position as President of the World Bank to give his girlfriend a big raise, I found it hard to believe that someone with as much experience as Wolfowitz would make such a mistake. Well, now that the documentary records have been released, it is clear that this story has been the result of selective leaks geared towards damaging his reputation but with the barest relationship to what actually went on.
Jerry Prager in a comment thread on John Baker's Blog
Remember Wily Coyote, how he used to put on a sheep skin and try and fool the sheep dog, only his snout stuck out and every 2-year-old with a TV knew he wasn't a sheep, I mean gosh gee golly holy gee wiz, but where did all that early warning discernment ability go. Maybe I just never grew up, and so never stopped looking for canine snouts in sheep's clothing, but I remember jumping up and down in front of the TV telling CNN and everyone else Watch Out Watch Out that's a Wolfowitz under there.
I guess that's the problem with TV, it's not two way. Thank god for blogs.