Musical chairs:

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, plans to leave his post and will be replaced by Ryan Crocker, the current ambassador to Pakistan, according to two officials familiar with the matter…

The United Nations ambassadorship being vacated by John Bolton, who announced today he will be leaving that post, is a job that may be open to the 55-year-old Khalilzad, according to the administration official.

The administration official said what job Khalilzad would get next was among the most hotly debated personnel matters within the government. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is considering him for deputy secretary of state or the role of her counselor, in addition to the UN post, the official said.

Would the Democrats confirm Bush’s man in Iraq for the UN job? Yeah, probably. Their line is that no one could have made things work with Chimpy in charge so, if anything, Khalilzad’s a sympathetic figure.

Here’s Crocker’s bio at Wikipedia. He certainly knows the region. I don’t know enough about him to even guess why he’d be the pick, but he won’t have as much influence as Khalilzad, who’s been described as a de facto “viceroy,” did. Which is for the best. We’re not staying much longer anyway — although things could get interesting before we go.