Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Small world

The Wall Street Journal editorial page exults at the breadth of consensus against the US Federal Reserve's lax monetary policy --

It would be hard to find two more unlikely intellectual comrades than Robert Zoellick, the World Bank technocrat, and Sarah Palin, the populist conservative politician. But in separate interventions yesterday, the pair roiled the global monetary debate in complementary and timely fashion.

In September 2009, Sarah Palin decided to roll out her new improved foreign policy credentials with a high-profile speech to an investment conference in Hong Kong. Here's a paragraph --

Just four years ago, then-Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick urged China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. He observed the many benefits to China of a “benign international environment.”

The peaceful regional environment that China has enjoyed was created through the hard work of Americans, Japanese, South Koreans and Australians. Secretary Zoellick urged China to step up and play its role too. We are working with China to de-nuclearize North Korea. But to be a responsible member of the international community China should exert greater pressure on North Korea to denuclearize and undergo the fundamental reforms it needs. Zoellick urged China to play a greater role in stabilizing the international energy market by ceasing its support of dangerous regimes.

She goes to Hong Kong to give 3 name-checks to a former Deputy US Secretary of State? And there are 2 more mentions later.

In a case like this, the simple explanation is usually the right one. In this case, the conclusion is that someone who worked for Zoellick when the original speech was written is now writing her economics material, and the common philosophy is coming through.  Incidentally, the Hong Kong speechwriter seemed to be trying to out himself with other signals in the same address.

A more amusing strand would be if the Wall Street Journal knows who the common factor is, but is choosing to hide it for the sake of an eye-catching opening sentence.

UPDATE: The dance continues.  Palin approvingly quotes Zoellick, even though he's now backing away from what people said he said.  

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