Pompeo's Disgraceful Convention Stunt

The Secretary of State was already doing an abysmal job representing the United States abroad, and now he will act as nothing more than the spokesman of one party while on foreign soil.

The Republicans released the speaker schedule for their party convention this week. The list of speakers wasn’t terribly interesting, but there was one name on it that stood out as unusually inappropriate: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It has been customary for the currently serving Secretary of State to refrain from participating in overtly partisan events. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a sitting Secretary of State that spoke at a national party convention in an election campaign. If there has ever been one, it must have been a long time ago. It is unprecedented in the modern convention era.

Pompeo has already been the most partisan Secretary of State in living memory, and he has also made a habit of blurring the lines between his official State Department role and his political ambitions in the GOP. He has made a number of domestic trips whose real purpose seems to have been to promote his own political prospects and build up a network of supporters. That has already prompted complaints that he has misused government resources for political purposes, and members of Congress have called for investigations into whether he has violated the Hatch Act. He has also held dinners on State Department grounds where he has buttered up pundits, Fox News hosts, and other potential political allies and donors at taxpayer expense. Pompeo’s participation in a party political convention is in keeping with his partisan and sketchy conduct while in office.

To make matters worse, Pompeo will reportedly deliver his message remotely while he is traveling on official business to the Middle East. Axios reports that he will deliver his remarks from Jerusalem. Given Pompeo’s tendency to dress up his poor diplomacy with religious rhetoric, we can expect that Pompeo’s speech will be heavy on “pro-Israel” and Biblical themes. It will also likely be a litany of the many lies that Pompeo has told over the years to cover up for the Trump administration’s many foreign policy failures. The Secretary of State was already doing an abysmal job representing the United States abroad, and now he will act as nothing more than the spokesman of one party while on foreign soil. Pompeo’s appearance at the RNC this week is a disgrace, and we have to hope that it brings further discredit on the man who has distinguished himself as the worst Secretary of State in at least the last hundred years.