Back in 2016, when Rex Tillerson’s name was floated as Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, I wrote hopefully here about Tillerson’s skill as a canny corporate diplomat, about how the down-to-earth, pickup-driving native of Wichita Falls would bring some needed discipline to the new administration.
Boy, was I wrong.
Almost from the get-go, Tillerson, the former CEO of Irving-based Exxon Mobil, seemed out of sorts and out of step with his mercurial boss. There was disagreement between the two over the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Syria, Russia, North Korea. It was famously reported that Tillerson privately called Trump a “f****** moron.”
The president, of course, took notice. Now he’s fired the secretary of state in favor of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, opting for someone who’s more in tune with Trump’s world view. “We were not really thinking the same,” the president said today, referring to himself and Tillerson. “Really, it was a different mind-set, a different thinking.”
The Texan’s last day as secretary will be March 31, whereupon he just might breathe a big sigh of relief.