On paper, there is simply no question: Mike Pompeo is qualified to be secretary of State.
He was a member of Congress for a half-dozen years and has run the CIA for well over a year without any significant missteps.
In fact, 14 Senate Democrats—including Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein—voted to confirm the Kansas lawmaker as the nation’s top spymaster.
So the fact that his nomination as secretary of State is even in doubt pretty much boils down to politics. And that’s why the Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved the Pompeo nomination the Pompeo nomination yesterday on a party-line vote, made possible only because Rand Paul bowed to pressure from President Trump.
The Democrats don’t really have a case against Pompeo, especially those who thought he’d be just fine as CIA director. It’s their way of sticking it to Trump.
Does Pompeo have particularly extreme views? Has he shown he can’t run a large organization? No. It’s a way of striking a symbolic blow against the Trump foreign policy. This is nothing more than a proxy battle.
In fact, Pompeo appears to have deftly handled the secret assignment that most mirrors his potential promotion at Foggy Bottom: meeting with Kim Jong Un and laying the groundwork for a presidential summit on nuclear weapons.
Now I hasten to add that both sides on the Hill play plenty of politics with nominations. Merrick Garland was qualified for the Supreme Court, and Senate Republicans wouldn’t even…