IGNORANCE IS BLISS. Robert Zoellick was pretty ineffective as US Trade Representative, so I'm not sure we should shed too many tears over him not getting the Treasury Secretary job. The explanation for why he's not getting it, however, is moronic. The White House is looking for someone "who would command more respect on Wall Street, in international financial markets, on Capitol Hill and among the public" than does John Snow. Zoellick doesn't fit the bill because the White House wants a guy "who would be a better salesman" than Zoellick, who "is more widely admired for his policy knowledge."

They recognize that nobody respects Snow, but they can't seem to figure out why. But of course precisely the reason nobody respects Snow is that nobody admires his policy knowledge and nobody thinks he plays a real role in shaping the administration's policies. He's just a speech-giver, a talking head, like Tony Snow, so there's no reason for anyone to take his statements seriously. Finding a slicker salesman who likewise won't have the capacity to do the substantive aspects of the job and likewise won't be taken seriously in policy debates (if they've started having policy debates in the White House...) inside the administration won't accomplish anything.

--Matthew Yglesias

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