‘Mr Swagger’ on Day 30 of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL October 24, 2019

Mike Pompeo is still at the US State Department and is still His Master’s Voice. Just about. That’s despite his growing role in the Ukraine controversy and the sense that he serves Donald Trump as enabler and lackey rather than as a foreign policy professional.

Why should we expect it to be any different?

Mr Pompeo had almost no foreign policy credentials before he got the job of secretary of state. He also barely had an international profile. Now, he has both but with an important caveat: all of this new experience has been gathered while serving in the Trump administration.

And how he has served.

Garrett Graff writes in WIRED, the former Congressman from Kansas “effectively is the last man standing, having outlasted and vanquished all rivals for [President] Trump’s ear on foreign policy”.

To what purpose?

As the WIRED piece notes, Mr Pompeo has taken up the role of “political pugilist” when the job “is normally reserved for thoughtful diplomacy”.

We see the results every day. No amount of “swagger” (Mr Pompeo’s rather odd choice of word for American diplomacy) can disguise the stumbling performance of this secretary of state and his principal. (For more on Mr Swagger’s time at the State Department, click here and here.)