Exxon chief looks like the favorite for Secretary of State

Houston Chronicle:
ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson has emerged as the top candidate for secretary of state, according to two people familiar with the deliberations.

Tillerson and former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney were two of the finalists, along with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani withdrew his name from contention Friday.

Tillerson is viewed as an unconventional pick who would bring dealmaking skills to the job. Both Tillerson and Romney are business executives with international experience in the for-profit world. But Tillerson would come into the job with a clean slate politically, while Romney's candidacy had come under fire from some Trump aides who think the former governor went too far in his opposition to Trump during the campaign.

Tillerson also has extensive business dealings and ties to Russia, which could pose a potential problem for his nomination. Top Republicans in the Senate and President Barack Obama are pushing for increased scrutiny of Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Exxon is a well-run company that the anti-energy left hats with a hot passion.  While Tillerson has experience in negotiating deals with Russia, those who oppose his nomination will probably claim that his dealings with Russia will create a conflict of interests because of his investment in Exxon and his ties to the company.  While Romney has some baggage, I expect the opponents of Tillerson to create some for him too.

Tillerson does fit the mold of a senior statesman that suggest he would be good at the job.


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