by Patrick Appel
From Max Fisher's live-blog:
Who is Lieutenant General Omar Suleiman, whom Mubarak just appointed as the first Egyptian vice president since 1981? Suleiman's appointment makes him the likely successor to Mubarak, ruling out long-presumed Gamal Mubarak, the president's son. Issandr Amrani profiled Suleiman in 2009 for Foreign Policy, concluding, "neither Gamal Mubarak nor Omar Suleiman presents a clear departure from the present state of affairs." Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell pulled out this excerpt from a 2007 U.S. State Department cable, released by WikiLeaks, offering one diplomat's opinion on Suleiman.
HIS LOYALTY TO MUBARAK SEEMS ROCK-SOLID. AT AGE 71, HE COULD BE ATTRACTIVE TO THE RULING APPARATUS AND THE PUBLIC AT LARGE AS A RELIABLE FIGURE UNLIKELY TO HARBOR AMBITIONS FOR ANOTHER MULTI-DECADE PRESIDENCY. A KEY UNANSWERED QUESTION IS HOW HE WOULD RESPOND TO A GAMAL PRESIDENCY ONCE MUBARAK IS DEAD. AN ALLEGED PERSONAL FRIEND OF SOLIMAN TELLS US THAT SOLIMAN "DETESTS" THE IDEA OF GAMAL AS PRESIDENT, AND THAT HE ALSO WAS "DEEPLY PERSONALLY HURT" BY MUBARAK, WHO PROMISED TO NAME HIM VICE-PRESIDENT SEVERAL YEARS AGO, BUT THEN RENEGED.