Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer found a lot of merit in appointing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense — especially his nickname.
Fox News clip via National Review
He made his appraisal as a Fox News “Special Report” panelist Thursday while discussing possible appoints to head the Departments of State and Defense.
“It’s good to have a military man,” he said of a possible Mattis appointment to the Defense Department. “It’s also good to have a military man who is known as ‘Mad Dog.’ Because let’s say you’re trying to send a message to obstreperous Iranians, who have been harassing our boats. I think you want to send a message that says something like, ‘If you don’t stop within 48 hours, I may have to turn the matter over to Mad Dog.’ Translated afterwards into Persian. I think that can be quite useful.”
Krauthammer then told the panel that a similar tool was used decades earlier.
“Nixon used the crazy factor to great effect,” he said. “The Russians were always afraid they could push a button and he would go over the top, as when he went to nuclear alert during the Arab–Israeli War of ‘73. Good to have a mad dog on your side, especially one with his strategic knowledge and range and tactical, operational experience. That’s very rare and would serve extremely useful in the cabinet.”
President-elect Donald Trump confirmed later that evening that he would indeed ask that Mattis serve as defense secretary.
Watch the panel’s full discussion of Mattis, via Fox News Channel.
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Krauthammer recently sang Trump’s praises for picking Tom Price to head Health and Human Services.
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