Of the Emperor Galba, Tacitus wrote that he was "universally seen as capable of ruling, had he never ruled." Of Bob Zoellick, he was universally seen in the late 1990s as one of the bright lights of the next Republican administration--but then he was given high administration jobs. Universally seen as a failure as Trade Representative, most especially because of the stalling-out of the Doha Round and his failure to block the Bush steel tariff. And I can't find anyone today who will say he has done anything other than spin his wheels as Deputy Secretary of State.
Another reputational casualty of the Bush administration:
FT.com / World / US - Zoellick "ready to quit" White House : By Demetri Sevastopulo, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Caroline Daniel in Washington: Published: May 23 2006 22:02 | Last updated: May 23 2006 22:19: Robert Zoellick, the US deputy secretary of state, is preparing to leave the Bush administration and has held talks with Wall Street investment banks on job options, according to people close to the administration. Mr Zoellick, who also served as trade representative during George W. Bush’s first term as president, had hoped to replace John Snow, the Treasury secretary, whose departure has been the subject of constant speculation in Washington.
A business lobbyist with ties to the White House said Mr Zoellick was leaving the administration. A friend of Mr Zoellick said he told the White House in February of his intention to leave but that his departure was delayed because of his involvement in the Darfur peace negotiations. Two people close to the administration said Mr Zoellick had been holding discussions with investment banks, while his friend said he had talked to Merrill Lynch....
It appears that Zoellick is leaving because George W. Bush has concluded that he knows too much about policy to be Treasury Secretary:
The White House has been seeking to replace Mr Snow with someone who would command more respect on Wall Street, in international financial markets, on Capitol Hill and among the public. One influential Republican with close ties to the White House said Mr Zoellick was leaving “soon” because he was not getting the Treasury job. The Republican added that the White House wanted someone who would be a better salesman. Mr Zoellick is more widely admired for his policy knowledge. The departure of Mr Zoellick would fuel speculation that the White House had decided on a candidate to replace Mr Snow. It would also mark the latest personnel change in an administration desperately trying to shore up Mr Bush’s approval rating and reinvigorate his moribund legislative agenda before November’s congressional elections.