The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rex Tillerson Is an Experiment that Failed

Rex Tillerson is an impressive man with formidable record in the business world who turns out to have been fundamentally miscast as secretary of state. He has loomed small in the job. Trump has no confidence in him (and he apparently has no confidence in Trump), and foreign capitals know Tillerson doesn’t speak for anyone besides himself. His tenure was going to end after a decent interval; it was just a question of how that would be defined. According to the New York Times, it could be a matter of weeks, with CIA director Mike Pompeo taking over at State. It seems that Pompeo has capably managed both his building and his relationship with Trump, as well as having experience handling Capitol Hill and the media as a former congressman, so there’s a good chance he would be an upgrade. Perhaps he could rescue State from the pointless hollowing out that has taken place over the last year and make it — as it should be — a tool of Trump’s policy rather than beleaguered bystander to events.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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