President-elect Barack Obama will name First Buddy Ron Kirk the chief U.S. trade representative at 1:15 p.m. today; set your schedules accordingly to see the former Dallas mayor appointed to the position of ambassador -- though, as evidenced by the photo at right, we clearly intend to refer to him as "Admiral Kirk" during his tenure. Regardless, as Kirk plans his move from the M Streets to D.C., his appointment has prompted the inevitable debate concerning "the free-trader" and his position on NAFTA, China, etc., which Vince Leibowitz summarizes at Capitol Annex this morning on his way to insisting Kirk ain't as pro-NAFTA as he used to be. --Robert Wilonsky
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