Let’s stipulate that Rex Tillerson is qualified to be secretary of state. ExxonMobil is one of the ten most valuable public corporations in the world, with annual revenues of more than $230 billion and a market capitalization of $363 billion. It depends on access to oil resources in nations across the globe and thus essentially has its own foreign policy, and Tillerson has been its CEO for more than a decade. By experience and knowledge alone, he isn’t just “qualified”; he’s one of the most qualified Americans alive.
But his qualifications aren’t at issue; his philosophy is.
Unlike multiple other Trump picks, we simply don’t know what Tillerson truly believes. And that makes him a sharp departure from Trump’s other cabinet picks. As a businessman who never served in the military, the president-elect eased doubts about his ability to run the Pentagon by choosing James Mattis as secretary of defense. He signaled his commitment to a tough and uncompromising homeland-security policy by picking John Kelly to run DHS. Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, and Rick Perry, too, had well-developed worldviews and lengthy track records in politics.