Perhaps, by breaking with a half-century of past practice and flying off without the regular State Department correspondents on board, Mr. Tillerson was hoping to continue to operate in a style that worked well for him as chief executive of Exxon Mobil. In that job, he could negotiate complex oil and gas deals behind closed doors and then inform his board of directors and shareholders afterward.
A reminder of the man who occupied that office just previous:
Tam told Kerry the Viet Cong could hear the Swift boats coming from 3,000 feet away, and he gently suggested the lumbering Americans never stood a chance.
“We were guerrillas,” he said. “We were never where you were shooting.”
“I’m glad we’re both alive,” Kerry told him as they shook hands, each putting two hands into the gesture.