March 13, 2018

Is that a way to say that no one was surprised?

"In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson" — Washington Post headline.

38 comments:

tcrosse said...

If Inga knew, why didn't Tillerson ?

CJinPA said...

Now I know how I discovered James Lileks. It must have been through Althouse, since he’s a reader:

In a perfect world, the Easy Pull Tab (which replaced the Strength of a Thousand Bulls tab, something you had to attach to a locomotive with a stout cable) would come right up without taking off the part that proclaims the Ease of Opening. But it took the whole thing right up. “It’s supposed to,” you say. "The entire part that rips off is unnecessary." So why is the top part perforated? Huh? Answer that, smarty pants.

Now, if this was Althouse's blog, I would stop and think about "smarty pants" and see if I had a tag for it, then link to something written four years ago, but since this is mine, I will go on and on at length for no apparent reason.

http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/18/0318/031318.html

Khesanh 0802 said...

One sure way to hasten your departure is to publicly contradict your boss. I think Tillerson is very talented, but he is about as establishment as you can be. I can see why a guy who was successful in the world of large corporations would have a hard time connecting with a guy who is used to moving a whole lot faster. Nothing wrong with either style, but they tend to be incompatible. Pompeo will be easily confirmed. I care even less what the WaPo thinks than I do the NYT.

Bay Area Guy said...

SecState was first a launching pad to become President (Jefferson, Madison), but then often became a soft landing place for a losing Presidential candidate (Hillary, Kerry, William Jennings Bryan).

Tillerson was neither one. No Presidential ambitions, no need for a soft landing place. Just a rich corporate executive.

Hey, he had a good year -- now he can return to Exxon-Mobile.

Nonapod said...

Tillerson made clear that the gulf between the methodical former corporate executive and the mercurial president was as wide as ever.

Odd. If you're aware of a "wide gulf", how could you then be surprised? After all, the position of Secretary of State is not some autonomous fiefdom. You've got a boss you have to answer to.

Humperdink said...

Rex apparently doesn't read the NYTimes.

Chuck does!

Sebastian said...

"I can see why a guy who was successful in the world of large corporations would have a hard time connecting with a guy who is used to moving a whole lot faster."

I can't see why a guy who was successful in the world of large corporations would have a hard time doing what the boss wants him to do, unless said corporate guy is an a** who thinks he knows better than the boss and can screw him with impunity.

Chuck said...

How do you make sense out of this, from Trump (as reported by Business Insider):

Trump told reporters on the White House lawn on Tuesday morning that he did not discuss his decision with Tillerson, but said that the two had "talked about this for a long time."
"I didn't discuss it very much with him," Trump said. "I made that decision by myself."
The president said that while he personally likes Tillerson and got along "quite well" with him, the two disagreed on important policy issues, including the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under President Barack Obama, and had "different mindsets."
"We got along, actually, quite well, but we disagree on a lot of things," Trump said of Tillerson. "When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was terrible. He thought it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something, he felt a little differently."


Uh... so did Trump talk about this with Tillerson for a long time? Or not? Was it a long series of potentially deal-breaking disagreements? Or something recent?

It seems clear enough that the story coming out of the State Department was true; that Trump didn't have a meeting with Tillerson and/or State Department officials about dismissing Tillerson. It was a solo decision by Trump and announced by Trump with nothing going out to anyone beforehand. And for stating that truth, it appears that some people at State are also being fired.

Or is there yet another version? Was Tillerson told last Friday, by General Kelly? Or not? The Atlantic has yet another version on that:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/rex-tillerson-firing-timeline/555464/

Is this a "Shithole Administration"?

Althouse, I don't feel very much hypnotized by the Master Persuader today.

Darrell said...

If your firing comes as a surprise, it was probably deserved.

Howard said...

Blogger Khesanh 0802 said... One sure way to hasten your departure is to publicly contradict your boss. I think Tillerson is very talented, but he is about as establishment as you can be. I can see why a guy who was successful in the world of large corporations would have a hard time connecting with a guy who is used to moving a whole lot faster. Nothing wrong with either style, but they tend to be incompatible.

An even bigger difference causing ego conflict is the business expertise of Trump is Façade while Tillerson trade in global exploration and production of mankind's most vital commodity makes him an old school Alpha. That said, Tillerson wanted to be fired because his wife was too patriotic to let him turn it down. It was a temporary marriage of convenience brokered by GOPe to prevent Gingrich or Bolton horror-show.

Anothernuthingburger

Darrell said...

Chuck is an idiot.
I expect my termination notice any day now.

traditionalguy said...

If onlyG. Washington had Twitter, he could have kept Tom Jefferson in line in Paris. But in 1790s tweets took 3 months either way.

But Tillerson still thought Trump would be easy to control, until Trump’s control over Rex became too much for him.The Saudis surrendered to Trump in late October- early November and Tillerson refused to see the handwriting Trump’s finger wrote on the wall that day.

stever said...

The fact that Trump and Tillerson did not gee-haw is, to me, an indication that things were not working out and change was needed. The fact that HRC and Obama got along so well was clearly a complete political situation. There was no expectation of competence as SOS and the results were consistent with that.

Drago said...

LLR Chuck: "Althouse, I don't feel very much hypnotized by the Master Persuader today."

What if Trump changed his name to Durbin or Blumenthal? That would probably do it.

LOL

readering said...

The guy spent his entire career until retirement at one (admittedly ginormous) company. Folks noted that as a danger sign at the time. Maybe he had received assurances of job security more than once. There was talk of a mutual firing-resignation pact with Secs Def and Treasury. If he can get his also-fired spokesman to ghost-write his memoirs they could be the juiciest cabinet autobio since Regan's on Reagan.

Drago said...

readering: "The guy spent his entire career until retirement at one (admittedly ginormous) company. Folks noted that as a danger sign at the time."

You're right of course.

With that kind of resume, one is likely to make mistakes. Like delivering pallets of cash to muslim supremacist extremists who want to destroy the US and Israel and who use the money to jump start their nuclear program while directly funding terrorist organizations. Or worse, you one might try and "reset" certain key geo-political relationships which go nowhere and end up handing ME openings to those relationships.

One might even overthrow a Middle East leader resulting in tens of thousands of refugees flooding Europe and handing an entire nation over to islamic extremists!!

I suppose it's only a matter of luck and/or happenstance that we avoided that with Tillerson, eh?

Bay Area Guy said...

Nobody gives a flying fuck how or why Tillerson was fired.

Bread and circuses, bread and circuses, bread and circuses..........

CJinPA said...

Uh... so did Trump talk about this with Tillerson for a long time? Or not? Was it a long series of potentially deal-breaking disagreements? Or something recent? It seems clear enough that the story coming out of the State Department was true; that Trump didn't have a meeting with Tillerson and/or State Department officials about dismissing Tillerson. It was a solo decision by Trump and announced by Trump with nothing going out to anyone beforehand. And for stating that truth, it appears that some people at State are also being fired. Or is there yet another version? Was Tillerson told last Friday, by General Kelly? Or not? The Atlantic has yet another version on that:

These are the kind of scintillating questions interested Beltway drones and no one else.

Char Char Binks said...

I wonder if Tillerson knows now. Whenever he found out was soon enough.

readering said...

Who says bipartisan thinking is dead? From news analysis:

"I think he really will go down as one of the worst secretaries of State we've had," Eliot Cohen, counselor to the State Department under President George W. Bush, told Axios’s Jonathan Swan. “He will go down as the worst Secretary of State in history,” tweeted Ilan Goldenberg, an Obama-era State Department official.

Drago said...

readering: "Who says bipartisan thinking is dead?"

There is nothing "bipartisan" about 2 guys from the swamp criticizing an outsider.

Oh sure, one wears a nominal "D" and one wears a nominal "R". But in reality, they are David Gergens all the way down....

Jim at said...

“He will go down as the worst Secretary of State in history,”

Oh, please.

John Kerry. And it's not even close.

Big Mike said...

Calling your boss a "moron" (in such a way that it gets back to him) is not normally conducive to having a good relationship. Having been a CEO, Tillerson may have forgotten that.

Chuck said...

Part of me doubts that Trump fired Tillerson over the alleged "moron" comment. Why? Because Trump said that the story was "fake news." And, because Trump joked about it. If anybody couldn't laugh about it, they need to get a sense of humor. So said Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

(CNN)In a Forbes magazine interview published Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump was asked about reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called him a "moron" over the summer.
"I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests," Trump responded. "And I can tell you who is going to win."
That comment, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, was a joke.
"He wasn't questioning the secretary of state's intelligence," she said during the daily press briefing Tuesday. "He made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime. He simply made a joke."

https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/10/politics/trump-joking/index.html

n.n said...

White House fires top Tillerson aide
- CNN

Goldstein said Tillerson was officially notified he'd been fired from a tweet from President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning, and in a statement, said Tillerson had "every intention of remaining."

A senior administration official said Trump asked Tillerson to step aside on Friday and a senior White House official later clarified that chief of staff John Kelly told Tillerson that he would be replaced, but did not specify the timing.


No one was more surprised than WaPo.

walter said...

Well..you of all people know Trump lies constantly. So don't believe that a comment like that, along with all the other differences, didn't matter.

Have to say, Tillerson's speech was unsettling..in that I wasn't sure he was going to hold his shit together.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Best answer so far policy differences !

The Godfather said...

Did Tillerson really say that the "Iran deal" was OK, or did he say that, by the time Trump took office, it would be preferable to keep the deal rather than cancel it? By that time, we had paid Iran the money, that was a sunk cost, so the question was whether maintaining whatever limitations the deal imposed on Iran was better than turning them loose completely. I could see a corporate type thinking that way.

But Trump ran and was elected on condemning the deal as a sell-out. And the President hires and fires cabinet secretaries.

Drago said...

The Godfather: "By that time, we had paid Iran the money, that was a sunk cost, so the question was whether maintaining whatever limitations the deal imposed on Iran was better than turning them loose completely."

Unfortunately for us, LLR Chuck's "magnificent" obama and kerry made sure that its the Iranians themselves that get to do the compliance analyses/inspections.

Thanks obama.

Or will ARM actually argue that it's really Bush's fault that obama let the Iranians inspect themselves?

rcocean said...

Tillerson is an impressive guy.

So Trump hired him.

Except Tillerson thought he was smarter than the boss. Its hard to be a subordinate, when you've been CEO of Exxon.

So it ended the way you'd expect.

rcocean said...

I can feel for Tillerson.

I got fired from a job, not because I was wrong, but because I was right too often.

The Boss thought EVENTUALLY his way was going to be the right way.

Which EVENTUALLY proved wrong.

But did me no good.

Michael K said...

If you're aware of a "wide gulf", how could you then be surprised?

Yes and I agree with a couple of people above who suggested that Tillerson had a hard time not being the boss.

That may be one problem that Trump will have in hiring CEO types. They are unaware of the traditions of such offices.

The worst ever Sec State was Buchanan who opposed Polk all the time.

Kerry and HRC tie for second worst.

Unknown said...

I got fired from a job, not because I was wrong, but because I was right too often.

http://dilbert.com/strip/1999-03-20

Bonus:

http://dilbert.com/strip/1997-03-16

Francisco D said...

"If Inga knew, why didn't Tillerson ?"

No more need be said.

Francisco D said...

BTW,

Blogger really sucks.

Mark said...

From the Washington Post political-porn site --

"The secretary of state had a rocky first year, frequently undercut by the president he disagreed with on key foreign policy issues"

To repeat - "frequently undercut by the president." This is why he had to go. Because this statement gets it totally backwards. Tillerson was not the boss. No cabinet secretary is. The chief executive, the president who embodies the whole of the executive branch, is the boss of the executive departments. And it was Trump who was frequently undercut by Tillerson who was obliged to defer to the president on key foreign policy issues.

Mark said...

And then there is this offering from the Washington Post to give its anti-Trump readers something to fondle themselves with --

Did Trump fire Tillerson because he was too anti-Russia?

Proof of collusion!! Obstruction of justice into the collusion investigation!!
Finally Mueller has something to get an indictment of Trump!

gilbar said...

...officially notified he'd been fired ... Tillerson had "every intention of remaining."

The EXACT SAME THING happened to me once, but they told me that Their intention was different from mine