Ever since the election John Bolton’s name has been kicked around for some position at the State Department. This would have been even more of a f***-y** than nominated Scott Pruitt to EPA. If you recall, Bolton was vigorously opposed when Bush nominated him to be UN Ambassador because he was accused of being mean to people. I am really not making that up. The Democrats filibustered him and Bush ended up giving him a recess appointment that eventually lapsed due to lack of GOP support in Congress and to losing the control of the Senate in 2006.
He’s been rumored to be in the running for Secretary of State but the costs of wiping exploded heads off the walls in Foggy Bottom would have bankrupted the government. Then Nikki Haley got the nod to be Ambassador to the United Nations. Apparently the same exploding heads problem surfaced there.
The latest rumor was that he was to be the Deputy Secretary. This would have been awesome as it is the deputy who runs day-to-date State activities and controls policy within the agency. He would also be the direct supervisor of Clinton toady, Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy is the guy who repeated foisted on the public the lie, the “fake news” if you will, that the classified information on Clinton’s private email server was classified “after the fact” and that it was all a function of other agencies disagreeing with State’s classification. He has also obstructed all the investigations into Clinton’s email server.
Donald Trump is expected to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, two sources close to the transition process told NBC News on Saturday.
The 64-year-old veteran oil executive has no government or diplomatic experience, although he has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The pick would put to rest weeks-long speculation of who would earn the post as the U.S.’s top diplomat, and would place Tillerson fourth in line to the presidency.
He will also be paired with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as his deputy secretary of state, one of the sources added, with Bolton handling day-to-day management of the department.
Well, maybe not.
I'm reliably told Bolton has not been offered the Deputy Secretary of State job.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 10, 2016
And this is part of the reason
I am a no on John Bolton for ANY position in the State Departement and will work to defeat his nomination to any post.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 11, 2016
In fact, just this morning on “This Week,” Paul had his to say:
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 11, 2016
PAUL: You know, I’m going to reserve judgment on Tillerson. But I’ll ask him the same question I’ve asked the others: do you understand the historic lesson that the Iraq war was a failure, a strategic mistake, that’s what Donald Trump says.
I don’t know about Tillerson, but I do know that John Bolton doesn’t get it. He still believes in regime change. He’s still a big cheerleader for the Iraq war. He’s promoted a nuclear attack by Israel on Iran. He wants to do regime change in Iran. So, I think John Bolton is so far out of it and has such a naive understanding of the world. If he were to be the assistant or the undersecretary for Tillerson, I’m an out automatic no on Bolton. He should get nowhere close to the State Department if anybody with the same world view is in charge.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, automatic no on Bolton as deputy secretary of state. He is also the likely pick on that.
But open mind on Tillerson. What about Mr. Tillerson’s ties to Vladimir Putin?
PAUL: I don’t know that yet. And to me the most important question is are you an advocate for the Iraq War? Do you think that was a good idea? Do you think regime change? Because see these questions keep recurring. You know, Bolton was an advocate for regime change in Libya, so was Hillary Clinton actually. And Donald Trump said it was a mistake. I agree it was a mistake to do regime change in Libya. We became more endangered and actually worse people took over afterwards.
I also think regime change in Syria is a bad idea. And that’s an ongoing question. It’s one of the things I like about Donald Trump, one of the reasons I endorsed him is he thinks regime change is a mistake. But John Bolton thinks completely the opposite. They are diametric opposites.
So I’ll do anything to try to prevent John Bolton from getting any position, because I think his world view is naive. He believes we’re going to spread democracy. We’re going to topple governments everywhere and they’re going to elect Thomas Jefferson. That’s not the way it works in the Middle East.
(Oddly enough, Rand Paul voted to confirm Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State whose bacchanalia of regime change is what set off the Syrian refugee crisis, but what is intellectual consistency when there is a fundraising letter to be sent?)
If this rumor is true, it is really too bad. Rand Paul’s isolationist heebie-jeebies is depriving the incoming secretary of state of one man who could definitely ensure that the staff at State don’t get the chance to sabotage the new administration’s foreign policy.