So far, Donald Trump’s appointments are going a long way to reassure observers like me, who worried that the GOP had nominated a candidate who was not a conservative. Let’s just say that anyone who puts Jeff Sessions in charge of the Department of Justice is no liberal.
A less high-profile but equally stellar appointment is Trump’s selection of Congressman Mike Pompeo, from Kansas, to head the CIA. Pompeo is a brilliant guy who was valedictorian of his class at West Point, spent five years as an Army officer, went to Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, made money in business and then ran for Congress. He is an expert on military affairs and intelligence, having served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Subcommittee on the CIA, and the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. He has been a strong critic of the Obama administration’s feckless intelligence and security policies, and an ally of Senator Tom Cotton in opposing the inept Iran deal.
Pompeo is young (52) and energetic. Like Jeff Sessions, he is a solid conservative whose nomination should reassure those who have wondered whether Trump is serious about national security.
During the primary season, Trump repeatedly said that as president he would appoint the best people and they would do great things. I rolled my eyes at that: it seemed a mere evasion by a candidate who wasn’t prepared to talk intelligently about the issues. But maybe Trump’s mantra wasn’t so dumb. If he keeps up the current quality of his appointments, he will have staffed a first-rate administration.