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Don't overlook Donald Trump's big win on Mike Pompeo

Donald Trump won.That's the only possible analysis of the past 24 hours when it comes to the ...

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 2:37 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 2:37 PM

Donald Trump won.

That's the only possible analysis of the past 24 hours when it comes to the confirmation of Mike Pompeo for secretary of state.

On Monday morning, the storyline went like this: Pompeo, the current CIA director, was very likely to be unfavorably reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, joining a united front of Democrats to vote against him. In the full Senate, just one Democrat -- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp -- had said she would vote for Pompeo, raising questions of whether he could weather another GOP defection.

By Monday night, Paul had flip-flopped to vote for Pompeo in committee and two more Democrats -- Indiana's Joe Donnelly and West Virginia's Joe Manchin -- had pledged to back his nomination on the Senate floor, making it a virtual certainty that the one-time Kansas congressman would be the next top US diplomat.

That's quite a turnaround! And, it's a rare recent tale of success for Trump when it comes to his Cabinet, which, from EPA's Scott Pruitt to Veterans Affairs nominee Ronny Jackson, has been mired in controversy after controversy.

Trump deserves considerable credit for making this all happen.

First, after months of rumors, he jettisoned Rex Tillerson as secretary of state last month. No matter whose side you take in that debate, it was clear to everyone involved that the relationship between the two men has disintegrated badly. Because of that very public split, Tillerson wasn't seen as having Trump's confidence -- making it very, very difficult for Tillerson to do his job.

Then Trump chose Pompeo, a close ally who had already been confirmed by the Senate as CIA director last year.

And, rather than simply attack Paul when the Kentucky Republican voiced his concerns about the hawkishness of Pompeo on national security and foreign policy matters, Trump praised Paul publicly and worked to convince him privately.

"I will say this about Rand Paul: He's never let me down," Trump said last week at Mar-a-Lago. "Rand Paul is a very special guy as far as I'm concerned. He's never let me down."

Trump also pushed Paul to meet with Pompeo to talk through his concerns. While that meeting didn't seem to change things, Trump kept at it with Paul -- understanding, rightly, that an unfavorable report out of the Foreign Relations committee could endanger Pompeo's chances at confirmation by the full Senate.

And, then, on the verge of what looked like a mini-disaster in committee, Paul flipped.

"I just finished speaking to @realDonaldTrump, after speaking to him several times today," he tweeted. "I also met with and spoke to Director Pompeo. After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump's belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation the Director Pompeo agrees with @realDonaldTrump."

With that -- and the announcements earlier Tuesday by Manchin and Donnelly -- the storyline pivoted. It went from "Potential disaster looms for Pompeo, Trump" to "Pompeo confirmation appears to be on a glide path."

By the end of the week, Pompeo will almost certainly be confirmed as secretary of state. Based on how this week began, that's a massive win for Trump. And a badly needed one.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 129863

Reported Deaths: 2367
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin33310981
Ramsey13782357
Dakota9541137
Anoka8414150
Stearns566541
Washington546970
Scott329334
Olmsted318330
St. Louis285065
Wright236714
Nobles221916
Clay221443
Blue Earth20207
Carver17437
Kandiyohi16505
Sherburne163421
Rice16059
Mower150315
Winona123618
Crow Wing98021
Lyon9516
Chisago9502
Waseca9229
Benton9107
Beltrami8717
Otter Tail8187
Todd7695
Steele7413
Nicollet71417
Itasca70617
Morrison6948
Freeborn6594
Douglas6473
Le Sueur6145
Martin60616
Polk5964
McLeod5804
Watonwan5764
Goodhue55811
Becker5383
Pine5230
Isanti5195
Chippewa4243
Carlton4111
Mille Lacs38714
Dodge3860
Hubbard3692
Wabasha3590
Cass3575
Pipestone34217
Meeker3223
Brown3163
Rock3154
Yellow Medicine2755
Cottonwood2720
Murray2723
Redwood26911
Fillmore2500
Renville24311
Sibley2433
Roseau2280
Faribault2210
Wadena2153
Unassigned21153
Jackson2071
Houston1951
Kanabec19510
Swift1941
Stevens1771
Lincoln1760
Pennington1741
Aitkin1652
Koochiching1654
Pope1540
Big Stone1320
Lac qui Parle1313
Wilkin1294
Lake1150
Norman1080
Mahnomen1062
Marshall1031
Clearwater1010
Grant924
Red Lake692
Traverse540
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson380
Cook120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112754

Reported Deaths: 1615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18617286
Woodbury704194
Johnson576330
Black Hawk544098
Linn5342129
Dubuque501657
Scott433738
Story394418
Dallas339744
Pottawattamie314844
Sioux236416
Buena Vista224112
Marshall198336
Webster180715
Plymouth161927
Wapello150562
Clinton143026
Muscatine140758
Crawford134414
Des Moines133610
Cerro Gordo131425
Warren12037
Carroll109912
Jasper107034
Henry10325
Marion96310
Lee93110
Tama92737
Delaware74212
Dickinson7217
Wright7101
Boone7039
Mahaska67024
Bremer6559
Harrison63711
Washington63411
Jackson5763
Benton5532
Lyon5337
Clay5144
Louisa51215
Winnebago46619
Hamilton4624
Hardin4606
Winneshiek4609
Kossuth4510
Poweshiek44711
Cedar4375
Buchanan4314
Jones4284
Floyd42511
Emmet42017
Clayton3933
Iowa3918
Cherokee3882
Page3860
Sac3854
Guthrie38015
Franklin37818
Cass3712
Mills3711
Shelby3621
Fayette3604
Butler3592
Madison3533
Allamakee3518
Chickasaw3411
Clarke3393
Humboldt3163
Palo Alto3082
Hancock3064
Grundy2925
Calhoun2904
Osceola2660
Howard2629
Monroe25811
Mitchell2430
Monona2361
Jefferson2311
Taylor2312
Union2234
Appanoose2203
Pocahontas2192
Lucas1986
Fremont1941
Ida1872
Greene1830
Van Buren1672
Davis1654
Montgomery1647
Keokuk1561
Adair1521
Decatur1480
Audubon1411
Worth1370
Wayne1163
Ringgold882
Adams740
Unassigned80
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