In saying he will nominate Mr. Tillerson, the president-elect is dismissing bipartisan concerns the globe-trotting leader of an energy giant has a too-cozy relationship with Vladimir V. Putin, the president of Russia.What was chaotic? That's a word they've been trying to stick on the transition from the beginning. A search in the NYT archive for trump transition chaos got 43 hits!
A statement from Mr. Trump’s transition office early Tuesday brought to an end his public and chaotic deliberations over the nation’s top diplomat — a process that at times veered from rewarding Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his most loyal supporters, to musing about whether Mitt Romney, one of his most vicious critics, might be forgiven.
The Times forefronts this statement from John McCain:
“Vladimir Putin is a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying,” Mr. McCain said on Fox News.Is that the language of diplomacy? If Trump had said "Vladimir Putin is a thug, bully and a murderer," he'd have been regarded as a lout who doesn't have any idea how to talk like a President. But here's McCain saying that anyone who doesn't use that kind of crude, brutal language is a "liar." You're a liar if you don't baldly insult the world leaders you're trying to deal with? Yet somehow Trump is portrayed as the off-the-rails hothead and McCain is the wise, elder statesman.
I'm just teasing, saying "somehow." I know how, and you do too. McCain got defeated in his bid for President. If he, a Republican, were running for President or had been elected President, his words would be presented as evidence — part of a swell of evidence — of his unfitness. Safely defeated, McCain is the quotable statesman — quotable because he usefully disparages the Republican who did get elected.
Now, I'm at the end of the article, and I see what I suppose is meant to support the assertion that the search for a secretary of state has been "chaotic." Trump looked first to Rudy Giuliani and then moved to Mitt Romney, and then Kellyanne Conway spoke openly about Trump supporters who opposed Romney. Thereafter:
Mr. Tillerson emerged as a contender on the strong recommendations of James A. Baker III, the secretary of state under President George Bush, and Robert M. Gates, the former defense secretary, according to a person briefed on the process.Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon argued for Tillerson, then Trump met with him for 2+ hours on Saturday and made the decision. Is that "chaotic"? I can't help feeling that if Hillary Clinton were picking a Secretary of State through a process like that it would have been presented as methodical, careful, and beautifully indicative of a brilliantly competent presidency to come.