If the often vituperative presidential campaign has left some Americans wondering whether either major party candidate actually does put the nationhs best interests before politics, and winning, the nomination of A.W. Clausen to head the World Bank must have comes as a pleasant surprise. President Carter and Governor Reagan exhibited the kind of bipartisan leadership the US electorate longs for by quietly agreeing beforehand to support the choice of a Republican banker qualified by experience, dedication to economic development, and ties in world banking circles to lead the international lending institution.
Mr. Clausen, president and chief executive of the Bank of America, the world's largest commercial bank, seems well suited for the difficult diplomatic and political tasks he will face at the World Bank. Under his leadership, the Bank of America has become a worldwide institution with branches and subsidiaries in 101 countries. Mr. Clausen has the confidence of third world countries. He also has the support of many liberals and conservatives in the US , a factor that could be crucial to convincing Congress to increase the US contribution.
Outgoing World Bank president Robert McNamara warns that 600 million people will likely be living in absolute poverty by the year 2000. It will require all the skills at Mr. Clausen's disposal if the World Bank is to come close to meeting Mr. McNamara's projected goal for a tripling of the bank's loans to needy countries by 1985. Mr. Clausen's has the background and credentials to tackle the job -- but will need lost of support.