Wolfowitz asked to step down

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: A top deputy at the World Bank has reportedly told bank president Paul Wolfowitz to step down. Wolfowitz has admitted he helped arrange a new job and a raise for his girlfriend. She's still on the payroll at the World Bank, but the White House is still supporting Wolfowitz and ousting him would be new territory for the bank. Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Former bank historian Jochen Kraske says no board has ever fired a bank president.
JOCHEN KRASKE: This is the first time that there's a president who allegedly has done things that are not proper.

The board does have the power to fire Wolfowitz, but the politics are tricky. The board's international members are kind of like the Wizard of Oz — they look powerful, but peek behind the curtain and you'll see they're just mid-level bureaucrats.

George Washington University professor William Becker says their bosses, who are top government leaders, will call the shots on Wolfowitz.

WILLIAM BECKER: To remove a president is a very high-level political decision that policymakers would have to decide if they want to take the United States on about this.

Just yesterday, President Bush said he had "full confidence" in Wolfowitz.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...