Pompeo: “I’m flattered when people say Mike will be a good United States senator representing Kansas.”

 

Secretary Pompeo returned to Kansas last week to deliver the 190th Landon Lecture in the McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He also did at least seven local interviews; all asked him about a potential senate run.  See his response below, particularly the part about what flattered him, and spending “every waking moment” … “to try and achieve good diplomatic outcomes for the  people of Kansas.”
He said that he’s been “unambiguous” about the senate run but that he “continue to get asked.”
Especially as he kept going back to Kansas.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Steve, that’s why I always love coming on your show.  Look, I’m focused on my mission.  I’m serving America and working on President Trump’s team to deliver America’s foreign policy.  That’s what I’m focused on.  I do see the noise.  I’m flattered when people say Mike will be a good United States senator representing Kansas.  Susan and I love this place.  We miss our Shockers.  We miss our church there in Wichita and all our family and friends.  But I’m doing something that I consider an incredible privilege, an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the State Department, and I’m focused on doing that each and every day.

Via:  SECRETARY POMPEO:  Oh, goodness.  I’m so focused on what I’m doing.  We just ripped through half a dozen topics.  There’s another 20 we could’ve gone through.  I spend every waking moment working to try and achieve good diplomatic outcomes for the people of Kansas.  That’s my mission set; it’s what I’m focused onAs for what happens tomorrow, a week from now, or two years from now, goodness only knows.

Via:  SECRETARY POMPEO:  Every day I am focused on my mission as the Secretary of State, America’s most senior diplomat.  It’s what I think about.  It’s what I’m focused on.  I kind of miss following Kansas politics as closely as it sounds like you are, but I have a very clear mission from President Trump and from the American people to deliver on his America First foreign policy, and me and the team that I have the privilege to lead here for a little bit are going to continue to do that.

Via:    SECRETARY POMPEO:  I have no Earthly idea.  I’m so focused on what I’m doing each and every day and so proud to represent the great people at the State Department every day.  I haven’t spent a heck of a lot of time thinking about my future.  I think there’s a lot of other people thinking about my future an awful lot more than Susan and I think about it.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.  I’m very focused on what I’m doing.  You just heard me recount half a dozen opportunities for America around the world.  I get the privilege to serve as President Trump’s Secretary of State, and I’m focused on that every day and plan to continue that.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, Pete, I always want to come back to Kansas.  Susan and I love it here.  We miss it.  When I flew in last night, it certainly feels like home.  But I’ve seen the speculation. I’ve been unambiguous, but I continue to get asked.  I’m focused on what I’m doing every day.  I want to be the Secretary of State as long as President Trump wants me to continue to do this.  That’s my focus.  What comes next, goodness knows.  But every day my sole focus is ensuring that I’m doing my best to deliver American diplomacy, and leading my team to successfully protect American people all around the world.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  I’m still focused on what I’m doing, Lily.  I see the noise, I hear it, but my mission set every day is very clear.  I intend to stay in this current role just as long as President Trump says, “I want you to be my most senior diplomat.”  That’s the mission set. I came back to Kansas for this incredible privilege to give a lecture at K-State as part of the Landon Lecture Series where amazing people – presidents and all kinds of great leaders – have had the opportunity to come.  Mikhail Gorbachev – he had this opportunity to speak to K-Staters and people of this community.  And I’m really looking forward to it.

 

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@StateDept Releases Statement on Rudy’s Ukraine Project

 

Mike Pompeo’s Kansas Run: He’s Running, He’s Not …He’s Running, He’s … He’s …

 

We don’t usually post about politics but since it’s about Secretary Pompeo, we’ll make an exception. Bloomberg is reporting that “Republican political donors have been told to hold off contributing to the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Kansas in the expectation that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo may decide to run, according to two people familiar with the matter.” 
The Kansas run was reportedly ruled out in late winter, but by mid-summer, it appeared to have been re-opened.
Bloomberg adds that “While Pompeo has been equivocal about a possible run, his actions and speeches have only fueled speculation that he’s laying the groundwork for a Senate bid — and possibly a presidential run in 2024.”

U.S. Secretary of State MIchael R. Pompeo and Mrs. Susan Pompeo wave as they depart, Brasila, Brazil, January 2, 2019. Secretary Pompeo is on travel to Brasilia, Brazil, and Cartagena, Colombia, from December 31, 2018, to January 2, 2019. [State Department photo by Ron Pryzsucha/ Public Domain]

Ballotpedia says that voters in Kansas will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 3, 2020.  The election will fill the Class II Senate seat held by Pat Roberts (R). Roberts was first elected in 1996.  Apparently, some folks in the GOP are concerned that former Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius will run — and win — if Kobach is the GOP Senate nominee.” Yeah, that guy.
Senator Roberts was reelected in 2014 with 53.1% of the votes.  Senator Jerry Moran, the junior senator from Kansas was re-elected in 2016 with 62.2% of the votes.  Roberts has held his seat for 22 years, Moran for 8 years. So.
Basically Mr. Pompeo has two glaring choices: stay and face the possibility of firing by a tweet, by a volatile, thin-skinned president, or run for an almost sure seat with a 6-year term extending from January 3, 2021 until January 3, 2027.  If elected to the U.S. Senate, could he run for president in 2024?  Well, he could. We don’t know if he’d win but sixteen senators went on to become presidents. Four of them served just three years in the U.S. Senate before running for president: Obama, Barack (2005-2008); Nixon, Richard M. (1950-1953); Harrison, William Henry 1825-1828; and Jackson, Andrew  1797-1798; 1823-1825. Senate.gov says that G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.
On the other hand, only six secretaries of state went on to become presidents (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Van Buren, Buchanan).  The last one elected president was sooo long ago, the 17th Secretary of State  James Buchanan. He served at the State Department from 1845–1849 and eight years later became the 15th President of the United States and served one term from 1857 – 1861. So.
The candidate filing deadline is June 1, 2020 with the primary election scheduled for August 4, 2020. Let us know when he’s make up his mind, will ya?

U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV Resigns to Run For U.S. Senate

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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On July 16, the US Embassy in Tokyo issues a statement concerning the expected resignation of Ambassador William F. Hagerty IV:
U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV is in the process of resigning as Ambassador. He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Japan on July 27, 2017 and will have served approximately two years.
Ambassador Hagerty is honored to have represented the President and the American people in his work to advance the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Pacific.
Upon Ambassador Hagerty’s departure, Joseph M. Young will assume duties as the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
Ambassador Hagerty reportedly departed post on July 22, 2019.
According to Embassy Tokyo, CDA Young became Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on July 20, 2019. Below is his brief bio:
CDA Joseph M. Young began his tenure as Deputy Chief of Mission on August 17, 2017. Mr. Young, a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, previously served as Director for Japanese Affairs at the Department of State from August 2014. From 2012 to 2014, he was Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor for the U.S. Pacific Command. Mr. Young served as Political-Military Unit Chief at U.S. Embassy Tokyo from 2009 to 2012.
Mr. Young’s other assignments include: Political-Economic Section Chief, U.S. Embassy Dublin (2004-2007); Aviation Negotiations Officer in the State Department’s Economics Bureau (2002-2004); Economics Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Beijing (1999-2002); Economics Research at the Foreign Service Institute (1996-1997); Political Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Nairobi (1994-1996); and Consular Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Singapore (1991-1993).
Mr. Young holds a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Classics from Borromeo College. He speaks Japanese and Chinese. Mr. Young is married and has three daughters.

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2019-2021 AFSA Governing Board Election Results

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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On June 17, AFSA announced the results of the 2019-2021 AFSA Governing Board elections and Bylaw Amendments. A total of 3,291 valid ballots were received (2,420 online and 871 paper). According to AFSA, this represents 20% of the eligible voting membership.  The new Governing Board will take office on Monday, July 15, 2019.

The following AFSA members have been elected (winning candidates are in bold):

President

Secretary

Treasurer

State Vice President

USAID Vice President

  • Jason Singer (27 votes/write-in candidate)

FCS Vice President

  • Jay Carreiro (52 votes)

FAS Vice President

  • To be determined when all write-in votes are processed.

Retiree Vice President

  • John K. Naland (862 votes)
  • Hon. John O’Keefe * (502 votes)

State Representative (6 positions)

  • Kristin Roberts * (1,285 votes)
  • Lillian Wahl-Tuco * (1,246 votes)
  • Holly Kirking Loomis * (1,196 votes)
  • Tamir Waser * (1,168 votes)
  • Joshua C. Archibald * (1,123 votes)
  • Matthew Dolbow (869 votes)
  • Don Jacobson * (764 votes)

USAID Representative

  • To be determined when all write-in votes are processed.

Alternate FCS Representative

  • To be determined when all write-in votes are processed.

Alternate FAS Representative

  • To be determined when all write-in votes are processed.

APHIS Representative

  • To be determined when all write-in votes are processed.

USAGM Representative

  • Steven L. Herman (1 vote)

Retiree Representative (2 positions)

  • Mary Daly * (916 votes)
  • Philip A. Shull * (827 votes)
  • Hilary Olsin-Windecker (508 votes)

 

AFSA Announces 2019-2021 Governing Board Candidates and Proposed Bylaw Amendments

Posted: 12:02 am EDT

 

Via AFSA:  The AFSA Committee on Elections has approved the following candidates for positions on the ballot for the AFSA Governing Board for the 2019-2021 term. All regular voting members of AFSA who are in good standing as of March 28, 2019 will receive, by email or mail, a ballot, the candidates’ campaign statements, the text of the proposed AFSA Bylaw Amendments, their rationale, and any opposition to the proposals, on or about April 29, 2019. Members can also view the proposed bylaw amendments online here.

Completed ballots must be received by 8:00 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2019, in order to be counted. The new AFSA Governing Board will take office on July 15, 2019.

All AFSA positions are uncontested except the State Department Representatives where there are eight candidates running for six slots, Retiree VP where there are two candidates, and Retired Member Representatives where there are three candidates for two slots. AFSA notes that no eligible candidates came forward for the positions of USAID Vice President, FAS Vice President, FCS Alternate Representative, FAS Alternate Representative and APHIS Representative.

Current State VP Kenneth Kero-Mentz is running as AFSA secretary, current Retiree VP John K. Naland is running for reelection, current State Representatives Don Jacobson and Lillian Wahl-Tuco are also running for reelections.

2019 Governing Board Candidates

Nominee Position
Eric Rubin * President
Kenneth Kero-Mentz Secretary
Virginia L. Bennett * Treasurer
Thomas Yazdgerdi * State VP
John K. Naland Retiree VP
John O’Keefe* Retiree VP
Jay Carreiro FCS VP
Joshua Archibald* State Rep
Matthew Dolbow State Rep
Don Jacobson * State Rep
Holly Kirking Loomis * State Rep
Kristin Roberts * State Rep
Katheryne ‘Kate’ Schilling State Rep
Lillian Wahl-Tuco * State Rep
Tamir Waser * State Rep
Abinet Belachew USAID Rep
Steven L. Herman USAGM Rep
Mary Daly * Retiree Rep
Hilary Olsin-Windecker Retiree Rep
Phillip A. Shull* Retiree Rep

* Member of the Strong Diplomacy slate

A Town Hall meeting has been set for Tuesday, April 2, at 12:00 p.m. in the first floor conference room at the AFSA HQ building, 2101 E Street, NW Washington DC 20037. This event will be taped and available on the AFSA YouTube channel. The candidates’ statements will be posted on the AFSA website on April 1, 2019. Visit the elections webpage to view.

If you have not already done so, please ensure AFSA has your current email and mailing addresses on record. To update your address information, send an email to member@afsa.org.

 

Overseas Voters: Absentee Ballot Still Missing? Use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

Per Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), if you requested your absentee ballot and haven’t received it from your State at least 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot but can only be use to vote for federal offices.  This backup ballot can be completed using the FWAB online assistant, by filling out the PDF or picking up a hard copy version from your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The online assistant will guide you through the process of completing the form. More info here via FVAP.

FVAP notes that they will be around on election day and if you have any questions about voting absentee, you may call their toll-free helpline at 1-800-438-VOTE or email them at vote@fvap.gov. On Nov. 6 FVAP will be available for extended hours, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, to assist voters wherever they are.

Your blogger voted for reason and decency. Please vote.

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Read: ODNI’s Declassified Intel Report on Russian Involvement in Recent U.S. Elections

Posted: 1:02 pm PT
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ODNI made available online the declassified intel report on Russian involvement in the recent U.S. elections.  It says that on December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.   ODNI also says that “The Intelligence Community did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election, and DHS assesses that the types of systems the Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”

The original report is posted here.  Or you may read the report embedded below:

Note: Click on Cloudup’s lower right hand arrow to maximize the document.

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DHS/FBI Issues Joint Analysis Report: GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity (Read Report)

Posted: 1:32 pm PT
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Related to the declaration of 35 Russian officials persona non grata for malicious cyber activity and harassment (see USG Declares 35 Russian Officials Persona Non Grata, Imposes New Sanctions), DHS and FBI also released a Joint Analysis Report (JAR) which provide details of the tools and infrastructure used by Russian intelligence services to compromise and exploit networks and infrastructure associated with the recent U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. government, political and private sector entities. Below via us-cert.gov: from the JAR: GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity. Click on image below to read the full Joint Analysis Report from DHS/FBI: JAR_16-20296. Original document is posted here.

In spring 2016, APT28 compromised the same political party, again via targeted spearphishing. This time, the spearphishing email tricked recipients into changing their passwords through a fake webmail domain hosted on APT28 operational infrastructure. Using the harvested credentials, APT28 was able to gain access and steal content, likely leading to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members. The U.S. Government assesses that information was leaked to the press and publicly disclosed.  

jar

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Transition Team Requests Staffing and Program Info: How Did This Turn Into “Rounding Up Names”

Posted: 4:06 am ET
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The Trump Transition team at the State Department apparently sent a memo to employees requesting information on staffing and funding of gender-related programs. Some emails we got made references to news reports asking for names. Some in social media talks about the “demand” for a list of State Dept staffers working on “gender-related” issues and “women’s equality.”  Both NYT and WaPo carried the same story of the transition request.  Somebody provided a copy of the request to the NYT.

The one-page memo, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times, asks for a summary “outlining existing programs and activities to promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”

It also asks for information on positions dedicated to those activities, as well as how much funding was directed to these programs in 2016. The responses were due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the same day the questionnaire was circulated within the department.

WaPo reported that the request is “stroking fears of another witch hunt.” The New York Times reports that the request has “rattled” the State Department. One publication says that “Trump’s transition team is rounding up names of US State Department staffers working on gender-equality issues.” Oh, hey, the “State Dept” is now trending on Twitter.

We suspect that those “freaking out” have not been through a number of presidential transitions.  The Trump Transition was asking for positions and program funding, it does not look like it was asking for names. We think the request is reasonable as the new administration assumes office. The new administration will have new program priorities and it may cut funding and staffing on some programs more than others.  Will it cut programs focused on gender equality? It’s possible, but that is its prerogative, as it was when the Obama Administration assume power eight years ago.  Employees may disagree with those priorities, and policies, but their commitment to the Service is to serve the administration of the day whether they personally agree with those policies or not (see On the Prospect of Mass Resignations: A Veteran FSO Cautions Against Rash Decisions).

Poor Mr. Kirby had to explain this at the podium:

The incoming administration will make their own policy decisions based on the foreign policy agenda that President-elect Trump lays out. That’s their job. That’s why we have elections in this country. And the professionals here at the State Department – and they’re all professionals – will carry out that foreign policy agenda and they will support that foreign policy agenda.
[…]
As I said yesterday, it is normal, it is usual, it is typical, it is expected that as a new team comes in – and I saw this for myself eight years ago when I was in the Pentagon for the transition between President Bush and President – then-President-elect Obama – for a transition team to want to have a sense of organization, of resourcing, and of staffing for the organization and the sub-units of those – of that organization that they’re about to lead.
[…]
The people that work here, now that I’ve had two years to see it, they are true professionals. Whether they’re political appointees or career Foreign Service or civil servants, they are professionals. And while I can’t discount that some of them might have some anxiety, I can assure you and I can assure the American people that they will face change squarely on, that they will respond appropriately, that they will remain professionals, and that whatever the foreign policy agenda that is being pursued by the incoming administration, they will support it, they will implement it, they will inform it, and they will help guide it, because that’s what they do. 

Please don’t disappoint Mr. Kirby.

We should add that FSOs (Generalist) and FS Specialists have an average of 12 years and 11 years, respectively, in the Department. Civil Service employees have about the same average number of years in the Department at 11 years.

Which means that the average employee came in during the Rice tenure under President Bush, and has served through two of President Obama’s terms under the Clinton and Kerry tenures at the State Department. The last time there was a huge policy shift during their employment was in 2008 when the White House transitioned from Republican to Democratic leadership.

No doubt there will be issues and policies in the future that some folks at the State Department may consider their red lines. But today is not that day.  The “panic” or freak out” at today’s, or rather yesterday’s reported request may have been driven by higher anxiety or trepidation but folks need to recognize the need for bureaucratic discernment, particularly during this transition, but also when the new administration is in place.

No one likes change but there it is every four or eight years.  The political appointees will leave to make way for new political appointees.  There will be new priorities and low priorities. Some old programs may be cancelled, and some new programs and initiatives will certainly be prioritized but the career services go on.  The State Department needs its best people now more than ever.  As Ambassador Bill Burns said recently, the ability of American diplomats to help interpret and navigate a complicated world matters more than ever.  We’re counting on our career folks not to get “rattled” whether dealing with this complicated world, or anything else.

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