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The 2008 Angle on the Zoellick Nomination

Regular readers know that the World Bank isn't typically written about in The Fix. But President George W. Bush's nomination of Robert Zoellick to replace Paul Wolfowitz at the bank has an interesting tie-in to the 2008 presidential campaign.

Zoellick had been serving as policy director for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- reprising his role as "policy guru in chief" that he held for President Bush's 2000 presidential bid. Zoellick was widely rumored to be the leading candidate for Secretary of State in a McCain administration.

"As a volunteer policy adviser, [Zoellick] was a valuable member of the team," said McCain Communications Director Brian Jones.

Jones noted that McCain's policy shop remains well-stocked, with former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former McCain legislative director Dan McKivergan and Randy Scheunemann, who advised McCain on policy in 2000. He said Zoellick would not likely be replaced.

Policy hands rarely get the publicity that political and fundraising operatives draw, but they serve a critical role in getting the candidate up to speed on the issues and informing larger policy proposals that can make or break campaigns. Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) is serving as Mitt Romney's chief policy adviser, while former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon is handling that duty for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 30, 2007; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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