Thursday, May 17, 2018

Town Hall Message: "Carry That Diplomatic Swagger to the Ends of the Earth"

Mick shows us how to swagger like a pro

So yesterday we had the first town hall meeting with the new SecState, and he spent a bit of it teaching the troops about swagger. See the AP account here: Pompeo extols ‘America’s essential rightness’ at State Dept.
“Swagger is not arrogance; it is not boastfulness, it is not ego,” Pompeo said, according to the [town hall transcript] excerpts. “No, swagger is confidence; in one’s self, in one’s ideas. In our case, it is America’s essential rightness. And it is aggressiveness born of the righteous knowledge that our cause is just, special, and built upon America’s core principles.”

“Our task is to preserve our civilization of human dignity, individual liberty, democracy, national sovereignty, and the rule of law, and to challenge anyone seeking to take it down,” he said. “We should be proud and confident in America and her values — we should carry that diplomatic swagger to the ends of the earth; humbly, nobly and with the skill and courage I know you all possess.”

Left unsaid is the essential implication of all this swaggerin' talk to the State Department workforce - i.e., the idea that the new SecState will somehow, perhaps through the sheer force of his personality, reverse the Trump administration's announced plans for budget cuts and staff reductions. Count me as essentially distrustful of that.


On a different matter, does it bother anyone else that AP's diplomatic correspondent, Matthew Lee, is one of Hillary's AP "friendlies," that is, one of the "overly docile press" who were happy to do the HRC campaign's bidding during the 2016 election? You can read the e-mail chains here. I think he should have to wear a Team Hilllary tee shirt or something to announce his affiliation when he sits in on press briefings all santimonious-like.

And then there’s the overly docile press, who were so eager to help Clinton get elected. In one email chain discussing the upcoming release of exchanges between Clinton and writer Sidney Blumenthal, insiders noted that the Associated Press appeared to be willing to allow the Clinton campaign to plant favorable stories. “[T]hey are considering placing a story with a friendly at the AP (Matt Lee or Bradley Klapper), that would lay this out before the majority on the committee has a chance to realize what they have and distort it,” wrote Nick Merrill, the Clinton campaign’s traveling press secretary.

Matt Lee published the planted story the next day. Friends like that are good to have.

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