Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be political head of NATO
If political opponents ever attempt to use his failure to win the office of NATO Secretary General against him, at least Peter MacKay can continue to insist that he was never pursuing the job to begin with.
Today current Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be his replacement.
The die was officially cast for MacKay yesterday, when Turkey retracted its objection to Rasmussen.
"I look very much forward to continuing the good job done by Secretary-General Scheffer in the transformation of NATO to manage the new challenges of the 21st century," Fogh announced.
MacKay is the second Canadian to come close to winning the job in recent history. Former Liberal deputy Prime Minister John Manley also came awfully close.
And while it is unfortunate that, once again, Canada's ambitions to lead in NATO was thwarted by mere European parochialism -- even after the offer of an important key structural compromise by US Vice President Joe Biden -- NATO's new leadership should be well-poised to move the alliance forward, both in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
There will be other times, and other offices for Peter MacKay. Some day, almost certainly, Prime Minister of Canada.
If anything, MacKay's failed bid for the NATO leadership has left him free to pursue the agenda that MacKay himself insisted came first -- his duties in Canada.
Other bloggers writing about this topic:
Can of Contemplation - "NATO Sticks With Old Europe"