The current head of the World Bank is expected to step down sometime this year, and you may or may not be surprised to know that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is reportedly lobbying for the prestigious and powerful job.

But, whether she is or isn't pursuing the job depends upon whom you ask.


Clinton said just recently that she will leave the State Department at the end of this year, whether President Barack Obama is re-elected or not.

She hasn't said what she will do when she leaves, but her close associates say she is interested in the World Bank job -- if the bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term later this year.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says "It's totally wrong."  A spokesman for Clinton also denies the reports, but several others familiar with the situation all say the reports are true.

It's easy to see why official Washington is denying the story.  Revelations of the discussions could weaken Clinton's efforts as America's top diplomat if she is seen as a lame duck at a time of great foreign policy challenges for the Obama administration.

Under normal circumstances, names of potential candidates for the World Bank position would not surface many months before the post becomes vacant.  But these are not normal times, given the sudden opening of the top job at the bank's sister organization, the IMF, and the New York sex scandal that forced Dominique Strauss-Kahn to resign.

The World Bank provides billions of dollars in development funds to the poorest countries and is also at the center of issues such as climate change, rebuilding countries emerging from conflict and recently the transitions to democracy in Tunisia and Egypt.

Hillary Clinton for World Bank?  Why not?  Over her entire public life she has risen to one important role after another, nationally and globally. From the powerful First Lady of Arkansas, to the equally and unusually powerful First Lady of the United States, to U.S. Senator from New York, to U.S. Secretary of State.

Now we hear that she wants to perform on the global stage as head of the World Bank.  She would be one of the most powerful people in the world.  Why not?