This has been said by multiple people since the first time Rex Tillerson’s name was announced as President Trump’s pick to run the State Department. Everyone has their reasons: no experience, liberal tendencies, love of the Iran nuclear deal, love of TPP… the list goes on an on. I have a new reason to want him out.
He’s too weak to stand up to President Trump.
Politico posted an article today asking if Tillerson should resign. While much of what they said had its standard leftist tilt, one important note is that Tillerson has been the least effective Secretary of State so far, perhaps ever. Harsh criticism. Nonetheless, it’s quite true. Tillerson has literally nothing notched in the win column. The reason isn’t just his lack of ability. He’s undermined by the President and placed far below the level that most Secretaries of State enjoy. He’s subservient to John Kelly now and Reince Priebus before him. His word holds less weight than people allegedly under him, namely Jared Kushner, Wilbur Ross, James Mattis, and Gary Cohn. Even Steve Bannon, when he was in the White House, had much more pull than Tillerson.
In short, Rex Tillerson isn’t strong enough to lead the foreign affairs wing of the White House.
While not endorsing them, both John Bolton and Nikki Haley would be better choices. Bolton is outspoken enough for the job, which may be why he doesn’t have it. Haley has proven to be aggressive enough, though she may have the same challenges as Tillerson if she’s unwilling to fight her way up Trump’s pecking order. I should mention Mitt Romney, but I won’t. I just don’t like the guy.
If Tillerson stays, it will be because President Trump wants someone in position that he can bully or embarrass with Tweets like these:
Now is not the time for America to have an ineffective Secretary of State. Between China, Russia, the Middle East, North Korea, Venezuela, and turmoil in Europe, we need someone like James Baker. Instead, we have a bored old rich guy whose biggest claim to fame is being recognized by Vladimir Putin as a Friend of Russia.