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Well said, Senator McCain.. although still a bit of an understatement. I’ll get back to the Republican senator in a bit. What I want to do is review Tillerson’s remarks to the press this last Oct. 4th. I know.. nearly 13 days ago. But it’s been mulling in my head for a while. Here’s some bullet points I took away from that.
- He didn’t write that speech, and that’s not unusual at all by itself. Most of these people have staffers/speech writers for speeches and opening remarks. But maybe I was looking for some inkling if it was a Trump speechwriter or a State Department writer. Why might that make a difference? Well, my speculation if a Trump speechwriter there will be the usual initial bravado of accomplishments for the good of America, and maybe it’s also a sign that Trump wants to make sure what’s being said. I came away thinking it was a Trump speechwriter because, 1. This press thing was not even necessary to begin with. They could have easily ignored it and let the press simmer on all the “moron” stuff and “Tillerson is out” rumors. This was Trump’s idea.. with maybe a tacit agreement from Tillerson. 2. The opening of the speech was an all encompassing update on current international initiatives as well as comments regarding other agencies. Something a State speechwriter might not have ready access. Ok.. and so what, you might say.. what difference does it make? I guess it’s trying to establish who in fact decided on the press briefing, given it was designed to be a Tillerson event. It’s interesting to understand just how much Tillerson had to say about it all… or is it all Trump. Let’s complete the picture.
- Tillerson says he’s amazed at all the nit-picking done in D.C. and he said more than once that he is new to D.C. and not familiar with the politics and hence can’t understand it all. Well, wait… he’s gotta be near my age and I don’t even live in D.C. and I have been listening to the news for 5 decades at least.. and even I know what gets reported on in D.C. Did the head guy from Exxon, with all this alleged international experience and global friends, live in a news vacuum? Trump I would expect to be ignorant of the ways of any sort of politics as he constantly demonstrates that on a daily basis. Is Tillerson trying to get some sympathy from the public for claiming he’s not part of some good-old-boy elitist political network?
- I do wish the press would stop with the damn ‘moron’ stuff. Not that I don’t whole-heartedly agree but it doesn’t really matter in the greater picture. Tillerson refuses to acknowledge it one way or the other.. which means what he said about the President being a f***king moron is true (I suppose I mean that in both ways… Tillerson did indeed say that to Trump, and Trump pretty much is one.).
- The press Q&A.. this was the good part. It showed Tillerson’s ability to speak randomly and off the cuff. There was no word stumbling or confused repetition. He showed he’s a smart articulate guy. It also shows, to me, that he’s a guy who gets focused on solving the problem.. something he had to do a lot of at Exxon. His comments revealed to me that he’s methodical. He’s trying to do a good job, no question. A guy that process oriented has to be going nuts with Trump as a boss.
- Which brings us to the revelation (to me) that Tillerson never knew Trump before he was asked to be Secretary of State. Tillerson literally had NO idea what he was getting into.. politically (like Trump) but mostly because he had NO idea about the ramifications of working for a boss like Trump.
So what does any of this mean? It means Tillerson is a smart guy who got tossed into a hornets nest of confusion but he’s trying to do a good job in spite of Trump. This does not mean Tillerson’s best is better than anyone else could do. It does show he would have made a better selection for president, but Trump has set that bar so low anyway. I am speculating that Trump made him do that press thing and Tillerson did what his boss told him to do. Tillerson doesn’t have that much interest in the press as it is. Finally, if Tillerson is still lamenting about how foreign he is about Washington politics and the media after nine months, and Trump keeps riding his ass with his chaos… Tillerson will not last long. I think Tillerson is not a quitter… but Trump will tire of him, and “T” will be happy to leave. When? Before the end of the year, and after the first sign of an international snafu, which won’t be T’s fault anyway. As far as his alleged secret pact with Mattis and Kelly to resign if any are fired? That never came up in that press briefing. I believe he denied it in an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN. To be sure it will be exciting to see.. and there’s a good chance one of them will not last much longer given Trump’s record in retaining employees. Personally I think T will be eaten alive by both his inexperience in politics AND an idiot for a boss.
Back To My Buddy McCain –
I’ve always liked the guy, although I didn’t always agree with him. It’s interesting to note that both Arizona senators have issues with Trump. Jeff Flake even wrote a book that bashed Trump. But to me McCain represents that old style conservatism that didn’t mix in a bunch of religion. In fact, he also represented the Republicanism that sided with business growth and less governmental controls, but without the isolationism. As one talking head put it recently, McCain is not a globalist but rather an internationalist. Hence his recent remarks about America’s departure from world leadership and the idea that our power as a nation was because of that world leadership… that our post-WW2 prosperity was built on that world leadership.
I also note that McCain was one of those original outspoken Republicans who during the campaign thought Trump was just an abhorrent candidate, much less a human being. Lindsey Graham, McCain’s good bud, was the same. So was Ryan and McConnell. But those two guys have literally surrendered to Trump. Sad to see Graham being one of Trump’s golf buddies now. Jeff Flake has unfortunately lost wind in his sails since his Trump-bashing book. There’s much more talk in the media that if Congress falls to the Democrats in the midterm election next year then impeachment is definitely on the table.
But for now McCain is the only one with the political Kahunas, to be honest (besides Corker, bless his political soul), likely because, very sadly, he may have not a lot to lose politically to matter anymore… and this is all one last courageous act from a great fighter.
Somebody has to get our country back from this uncontrollable nose-dive. Maybe it’s the fighter pilot, McCain, that can pull up on the stick one more time.