The Clock Is Already Ticking on Mike Pompeo
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The new secretary of state corrects for his predecessor's weaknesses — but will soon face the same problems.
Rex Tillerson’s humiliating end is hardly surprising. He’s been on life support for months: last summer, Washington buzzed with rumors of “Rexit,” and last December the White House leaked the very plan it executed today. With his departure, Tillerson shatters Al Haig’s longstanding record for being fired so soon. Few in the State Department are sad to see him go – he never seemed to like the job, and despite his good intentions, future secretaries of state will study his short tenure for lessons in what not to do.
Tillerson is an honorable and decent person, but one strains to think of anything he got right, minus perhaps his final statement, on Monday, condemning Russia for the nerve agent attack in the UK. History will not be kind to him. His efforts to reform the State Department weakened its diplomatic corps and diminished America’s diplomatic heft, It is hard to think of any policy area where he had a noticeable or lasting positive impact.