According to Politico today, Pompeo gives U.S. diplomats 'dose of reality' after early high hopes.
They say that like it's a bad thing. But why would you not want a dose of reality?
Many employees at the department feel hoodwinked by Pompeo’s claim that he lifted a hiring freeze. Staffers are alarmed about reports that a political appointee is vetting career staffers for loyalty to President Donald Trump. And many fear that Pompeo won’t be able to fill vacant leadership slots quickly enough, or with the right people.
Pompeo’s foot soldiers haven’t given up on him — not yet. Current and former State Department officials say he’s an improvement over Tillerson. They admit, however, that that’s a low bar.
“People are still hopeful about Pompeo. But they’re getting a dose of reality,” said Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Politco is saying nothing new; the same story ran more than two weeks ago here. Moreover, it was never news that the hiring freeze was lifted only within current funding levels. In other words, Trump is still President and OPM still expects its eight percent budget cut the same as they did when Tillerson was in office, SecState Pompeo's more extroverted personality notwithstanding.
The former CIA director-turned chief U.S. diplomat has sounded reassuring notes since taking the reins at Foggy Bottom. He’s told his beleaguered workforce that he wants to help them get their “swagger” back — even hashtagging that word on Twitter. Unlike the introverted Tillerson, Pompeo seems to genuinely enjoy mingling with staffers.
-- snip --
In the weeks since [the budget announcement], staffers have been told that many of the jobs cut under Tillerson will not be filled — at least not anytime soon. When POLITICO asked whether Pompeo’s hiring plans include achieving pre-Tillerson jobs numbers, a State Department spokesman said, “Not at this time.” Pompeo has to balance congressional directives, Trump’s desire to shrink the federal workforce and some Tillerson-era hiring decisions. But some staffers feel as though he misled them with his overly optimistic email; one called his announcement “a farce."
The sooner some staffers take the red pill of reality, the better off they'll be.