Hello there, Mike Pompeo. It’s time for us to talk again, because once again it seems like you can’t keep your private political ambitions separate from your public duties as Secretary of State.
We talked to you about this back in May. That was when we heard mutterings about your possible use of government employees to do personal chores, and about the exclusive dinner parties you threw with your wife. Apparently you hired a harpist, Mike. Remember?
But now you’ve gone and done something even more problematic. On Tuesday, you gave a speech at the Republican National Convention. That’s a partisan political event, you know, and your job as secretary of state is to represent the entire United States of America — not just the Grand Old Party.
Politico put it this way (we expect you’ve seen the article, but we’ll repeat part of it here): "Pompeo’s pre-recorded appearance at the partly virtual convention is a break with decades of norms in which the chief U.S. diplomat has avoided participating in explicitly partisan events. The argument for avoiding such gatherings has been that the United States needs to speak with one voice overseas, and that the Secretary of State needs to be seen as representing the country, not a political party."
Yet, get this, Mike. Your own State Department issued guidance earlier this year saying that "Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event."
Does that mean there’s one set of rules for you and another set of rules for everyone else?
Yes, yes, we know. Your aides have told the news media that you’re appearing as an individual, not in your official capacity. And the fact you delivered your remarks from Israel? We guess that was just a lucky coincidence, then.
Let’s get down to brass tacks, Mike. We’ve known you here in Kansas for quite a few years now. Folks here elected you as a congressman, and you always struck us as a straightforward kind of guy. But you’re really disappointing us these days. The harpist was bad enough, but trading on your office for the president’s re-election campaign? You can do better.
Think of it this way. How would you have reacted if Hillary Clinton appeared at the Democratic National Convention hailing Barack Obama when she was serving as Secretary of State? But guess what? She didn’t do it.
Shouldn’t you at least try to match the ethical example of Hillary Clinton?