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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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 27900

Reported Deaths: 1082
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds215239
DeSoto137316
Madison122234
Jones106949
Neshoba96069
Lauderdale88278
Rankin84112
Forrest81442
Scott75015
Harrison7448
Copiah56615
Leake54819
Jackson53316
Holmes52741
Wayne52112
Washington4969
Lee49316
Oktibbeha48624
Yazoo4736
Leflore47249
Lowndes45311
Warren44317
Lincoln43534
Lamar4197
Grenada3805
Monroe36729
Pike36712
Attala35223
Lafayette3524
Newton3289
Sunflower3066
Covington3025
Bolivar27713
Panola2706
Adams26718
Chickasaw25918
Tate2577
Jasper2506
Marion24811
Pontotoc2476
Noxubee2458
Pearl River24432
Winston2435
Clay24210
Claiborne23610
Simpson2303
Smith20611
Clarke20124
Marshall2013
Coahoma1866
Kemper17614
Union1759
Walthall1724
Yalobusha1617
Carroll16011
Lawrence1591
Itawamba1278
Calhoun1244
Humphreys1239
Tippah12311
Webster12310
Montgomery1222
Hancock12013
Jefferson Davis1064
Tallahatchie1043
Prentiss983
Greene927
Jefferson923
Wilkinson919
Tunica893
Amite822
George743
Choctaw714
Quitman680
Tishomingo681
Perry614
Alcorn561
Stone521
Franklin382
Benton270
Sharkey240
Issaquena71
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4387142
Montgomery383999
Mobile3697134
Tuscaloosa204938
Marshall153710
Lee118937
Shelby108223
Madison10577
Morgan9813
Walker86723
Franklin85213
Dallas8198
Elmore81314
Baldwin6869
Etowah62513
Butler60427
DeKalb6025
Chambers58127
Tallapoosa56369
Autauga54511
Unassigned52025
Russell4840
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4446
Houston4344
Limestone4090
Cullman4003
Pike3995
Colbert3685
Bullock3629
Coffee3532
Barbour3231
Covington3087
St. Clair3042
Hale29321
Marengo28611
Wilcox2808
Sumter27612
Calhoun2705
Talladega2677
Clarke2665
Escambia2636
Dale2440
Jackson2382
Winston2333
Blount2141
Chilton2112
Pickens2116
Marion20312
Monroe1972
Choctaw19212
Conecuh1804
Bibb1711
Macon1708
Randolph1709
Greene1667
Perry1451
Henry1303
Crenshaw1233
Lawrence1010
Washington1007
Cherokee747
Lamar711
Fayette671
Geneva670
Clay582
Coosa551
Cleburne291
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