Well, this is certainly unexpected (at least by me): Trump Picks Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be Ambassador to China. Excerpt:
President-elect Donald Trump offered the post of U.S. ambassador to China to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a longtime friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to three people close to the matter.
Branstad, a Republican, has accepted the offer, said the three people, who asked for anonymity.
The decision comes at a time of heightened tensions with China after Trump abandoned almost four decades of diplomatic protocol on Dec. 2 by speaking directly with the leader of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rogue province. Trump has been critical of China’s currency policies and military build-up. He hasn’t named his choice for secretary of state, the top U.S. diplomatic post.
An hour after Branstad went up the elevator to Trump’s office, he re-emerged in the lobby, where he told reporters he wouldn’t comment on whether he was offered a post.
“I’m really excited about the quality of people that he’s attracting to the cabinet,” Branstad said. “I’m very proud to have supported Donald Trump for president.”
Still, we should expect the unexpected from a President-elect who named a retired Marine nicknamed “Mad Dog” to head up the Department of Defense.
Branstad is, also interestingly, the nation’s longest-serving Governor, not just now but ever. He was Governor when I lived in Iowa, and I wandered out of my old home state in 1986. He’s pretty popular in tall-corn country and is reported to be good friends with the Chinese President Xi Jinping; it doesn’t hurt that China is the #1 export market for Iowa’s corn-ucopia (ha!) of agricultural products.
The best way to stay on good terms with people is to do business with them. The Donald seems to be announcing that America is open for business again. There are plenty of worse messages he could send.