Rex Tillerson testified during his Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State. (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.