Pompeo Says No to Senate Run

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will not run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas.

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore Flickr

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) he declines to run for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Kansas, as reported by Fox News. Pompeo was getting some pressure to run for Senate from members of the Kansas GOP.

The seat is open because Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is retiring. Pompeo, who was first in his class at West Point, is a former congressman who served for 6 years between 2011-2017 before President Trump elevated him to lead the CIA and then to head the State Department.

Related: Mike Pompeo on Dems’ Latest Impeachment Push: ‘Very Unfortunate’ They’ve Chosen This Week for New Hearings

Pompeo told Fox News, “It’s my intention to stay and continue to serve as President Trump’s Secretary of State. I’ve said that consistently. … I’ve watched my life take turns that one would never have expected. But it’s not something I want to do.”

He is seen as a stabilizing influence in the State Department and often clarifies the statements of his shoot-from-the-hip boss. It is an arrangement that has worked well in the past for other administrations.

During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger often, by faking drunk calls by Nixon to the North Vietnamese, convinced the Hanoi leadership that Nixon was unhinged. After the call, Kissinger would call them back and plead for them to give on a point or an issue, lest Nixon become too angry and unleash the entire U.S. arsenal on North Vietnam. The communist leadership of the North caved many times to the U.S. because of this ploy.

If Pompeo returns to the Senate, should Nikki Haley get State?

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The Kansas senate race is problematic for the GOP right now, as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach leads in the polls for the nomination. However, Kobach lost a race for governor in 2018 and is not an expert practitioner of message discipline. Given his popularity in the Sunflower State, Pompeo would likely be the front runner the minute he entered the race.

The state and national GOP are suspicious of Kobach because the 2017 loss in deep red Alabama of an easy senate seat still rings in their ears. In that race, firebrand GOP nominee Roy Moore lost to Dem Doug Jones.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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