Rex Tillerson testified during his Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State. He got the job but doesn't have it anymore. (Credit: Newsmax)

Politics & Government

The President’s Cavalry Arrives … In the Form of Rex Tillerson

Former ExxonMobil chief confirmed by Senate as secretary of state.

Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO who was confirmed today as secretary of state, was whacked mercilessly by critics for not being a member of the D.C. striped-pants set—despite the fact that he’s one of the most accomplished corporate diplomats of our time.

So it’s a little ironic that, had Tillerson been okayed last week as secretary, he might well have prevented President Trump’s ham-handedness in rolling out a temporary moratorium on newcomers from terror-prone, majority Muslim countries. The executive order will likely show support among a not-insignificant swath of Americans, as evidenced by the right-leaning pollster Rasmussen as well as the more down-the-middle predictor FiveThirtyEight. But the manner in which it was unveiled and enacted undeniably left critics with a big, fat, juicy, heart-string-tugging target to attack.

Tillerson, who’s used to dealing with the most sensitive issues in the world’s toughest venues, surely would have had a better handle on the moratorium’s optics. A native of Wichita Falls, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, and an employee of Irving-based Exxon since 1975, Tillerson was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 56 to 43. And not a moment too soon, the president probably agrees.

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Comments

  • Mavdog

    Note that neither poll cited in the article asked the relevant question “Do you support or oppose prohibiting travelers from the 7 countries from entering the United States, even if they are family of US residents and citizens, or employees of US companies”?

    My guess is that the majority of Americans, including Mr. Tillerson, would say oppose.

  • Glenn, if Tillerson had been in place, it wouldn’t have mattered. Trump wouldn’t have sought his counsel. From the New Yorker:

    “The Presidential order that Donald Trump signed on Friday barring all refugees and citizens from seven Muslim countries from travel to the United States was reviewed by virtually no one. The State Department did not help craft it, nor the Defense Department, nor Justice. Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, ‘saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized,’ CNN reported.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/a-dangerously-isolated-president?mbid=social_twitter

    • GlennHunter

      Tim, the order originated with Rudy Giuliani and a team of advisers (congressmen and a federal judge) and then was vetted (apparently not sufficiently) by congressional staffers. The point is that the State Department was without leadership at the time and Trump’s implementation of an order affecting the department was inept. With Tillerson in place you are likely to see things done differently.

  • Greg Brown

    Nice work Glenn. You have finally figured out how to write satire.

  • DubiousBrother

    Clinton was approved on the first day of Obama’s presidency – “It is essential that we provide the president with the tools and resources he needs to effect change, and that starts with putting a national security team in place as soon as possible,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
    I guess since the world is so much safer after Obama’s 8 years President Trump doesn’t need the tools and resources.

    • Mavdog

      Hillary Clinton was announced as the State nominee on December 1, 2008 and confirmed on January 21, 2009.
      Rex Tillerson was announced as the State nominee on December 13, 2016 and was confirmed on February 1, 2017.
      You either can’t do the math or you are still exhibiting Clintonphobia, or maybe in this case Obamaphobia. Either way your point is hollow.

      • DubiousBrother

        Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009. I don’t think Bush wanted Clinton as his SOS. President Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017. The Dems have been obstructing Trump’s cabinet choices on purpose including the SOS. But who cares, Trump will do what he has to do until the cabinet member can start.

        • Mavdog

          Obvious attempt to ignore the facts and continue with your rant.

          The word “obstructing” is an interesting choice. A rational person would see the Senators (both Democrats and Republicans BTW) as doing their job in asking pertinent questions and vetting the nominees who, for the vast majority, have no experience or track record in the positions to which they have been nominated.