Appointing Tiller would serve as a serious statement of intent by Trump. Let's hope he can pass the Senate
Let's be realistic. Congressman Rohrabacher and Gabbard were always long shots for Secretary of State. It was always far more likely the position would go to a Trump camp insider/loyalists like Bolton or Giuliani. Which would have been terrible as all the named candidates were pure poison.
So thank god Trump went and found this guy:
My relationship with Vladimir Putin which dates back almost 15 years now, I've known him since 1999. And I have a very close relationship with him. I don't agree with everything he's doing. I don't agree with everything a lot of leaders are doing. But he understands that I'm a businessman.
And I've invested a lot of money, our company has invested a lot of money in Russia very successfully. Our Russian workforce is 98.5 percent Russian national, they're magnificent employees. I admire them greatly in terms of what they're able to do. And he knows that us being there has caused good things to happen for them. That we've been a positive force.
And so we've got the sanctions in place right now and he understands that I'm gonna comply with the sanctions, there's not any conversation otherwise about that. And they recognize that, the first time I went over there to see them after the sanctions were in place I was a little nervous, wasn't sure.
And it was interesting because the first question they asked me was how are you doing, are you okay? And I said, well yea I'm fine why do you ask? And they said well we just wondered whether your government was coming after you because you've been doing business with us. So they were more worried about me than...
So they understood, we understand you can't do certain things now and what I tell them is: you know we're not going anywhere we've been around for 130 years. When the sanctions are over we'll all sit down and get back to work and until then we just have to comply with the law. So most of the leaders I deal with, I just have that kind of open conversation with.
This is great. It's no less than the best candidate we could have gotten from Trump. (I'm sure we would have all liked Ron Paul but it was never going to happen.)
Tillerson is a businessman, somebody who shares similar experiences and thinks in the same way Trump does. Someone who Trump can work with and who won't be sidelined and isolated in a Trump administration.
Moreover as a life-long businessman he has experience talking to all sorts of countries that are in disrepute in Washington. He knows that just because your governments disagree about something you don't stop talking to the other side.
Today when professional US 'diplomats' in State Department are frequently just cheerleaders for war and intervention businessmen are really the best actual diplomats the United States has -- and among them oil men have the broadest international experience.
In fact big oil has always looked upon worsening US-Russian relations with dread -- but found itself helpless to do anything given the outsized influence of defense contractors which couldn't be happier with the deterioration.
Now US might have a Secretary of State that understand how much better it is for America and Russia both to pursue economic cooperation instead of a new Cold War.
Big oil is sometimes blamed for all kinds of transgressions of the American government, most recently the Iraq War, but this is really unfair. That was an ideological neocon project that had very little to do with the oil companies which would have backed any plan to open up Iraq for their business including a push to normalize relations with Saddam.
Heck, in his time at Halliburton even Dick Cheney, the latter architect of Iraq invasion, pushed for the lifting of Iran sanctions!
Of course like Cheney, Tillerson could turn out to be one person as a businessman, another as a government man, but I doubt it. -- Cheney started out in politics and was in business only briefly.
If Trump names Tillerson as his pick it's going to serve as a darn good sign that he's really ready to get along with Moscow.