Swamp Watch – 10 December 2016


Apparently it’s now settled that ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson will be Donald Trump’s Secretary of State. It’s hard to know what to make of this. My main takeaway is that Trump had a really hard time finding someone who checked all his boxes. I don’t want to go too far overboard on Tillerson’s friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin—it’s hardly damning that his company submitted bids for drilling rights in the Arctic—but it’s very hard to figure out what Trump didn’t like about the dozens of far more plausible candidates available to him. The best I can come up with is that pretty much everyone on the Republican side of the aisle is a Russia hawk, and that’s the one thing that disqualified them all.

Then again, Tillerson is a wealthy fossil-fuel CEO, and Trump likes rich people, fossil fuels, and CEOs. Maybe that’s all it is.

NOTE: I wouldn’t normally mark Tillerson as a member of the swamp, but I’m making an exception due to his apparent chumminess with the swamp. Details here.