Rex Tillerson? Huh? Where did he come from?


Eyes had turned to Mitt Romney, then to David Petraeus, then to Rudy Giuliani, then back to Mitt.

Then the president-elect shakes it all up and appears now set to name Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state.

Rex the Texan. He’s the man Donald J. Trump is about to pick as the nation’s top diplomat.

Wow! Who knew?

Tillerson is president and CEO of Exxon Mobil. He’s another gazillionaire headed for Trump’s Cabinet.

You may ask: What does this fellow bring to the world of international statecraft? Man, I am officially baffled in the extreme.

But here’s what many folks do know about Tillerson: His oil interests reach into Russia, where he reportedly has a good relationship with the Russian strongman, President Vladimir Putin. Oh, boy. Here come the questions.

Will the business interests get in the way of hard-nosed diplomacy? Does Tillerson’s friendship with Putin spell curtains for NATO, the Ukraine, Georgia and other nations affected by Russia’s sword-rattling? Does the apparent nominee’s lack of diplomatic experience hinder his knowledge of world affairs and the nuance required to deal effectively with foreign governments?

The Trumpkins aren’t yet confirming anything. Tillerson, though, appears headed for the State Department. For now. Unless the president-elect changes his mind. Again.

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