This is a big deal. Mike Allen has the story:

Former Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick is planning to go to work fulltime next year for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, overseeing development of domestic and foreign policy, Republican officials tell TIME.

It is hard to overstate this guy’s importance. He is a Bush guy. Really. This is star of the Bush family (H.W. and W.) signing up for McCain. This is further evidence that the Bush operation is supporting McCain. The point here is not that McCain hired a good guy. It is that McCain is taking the entire GOP establishment. Note that this was announced the same day as the hiring of a bunch of high-quality new media people.

Zoellick’s experience includes (Whitehouse bio, Wiki bio):

  • Deputy Secretary of State. He left this because he didn’t get Treasury. And he didn’t want to stay at State because the responsibility for passing out foreign aid was getting shifted around. He was generally considered the best diplomat in the Bush administration.
  • United States Trade Representative. He put together the Bush trade strategy and was a member of the Cabinet.

Under Bush’s dad he was:

  • White House Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs

And he held several Treasury Department positions under Reagan. He also has experience at Goldman and Fannie Mae (the last makes me sick).