Feb 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen in Washington on Feb. 12.

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.

What's new: Pompeo is lending his name to fundraising efforts on behalf of House Republicans looking to retake the lower chamber next year.

  • "It's Mike Pompeo," read fundraising texts sent this month by the National Republican Congressional Committee. "The Democrats won't stand up to China. Will you, Friend? 5X match give to restore a USA First agenda."
  • Spam-blocking service RoboKiller estimates the NRCC has sent nearly 3 million of those texts during the past three weeks.
  • Pompeo's name also emblazoned an NRCC email fundraising appeal this week warning of ostensible Democratic appeasement toward China.

Between the lines: China is a popular target among conservative Republicans. Pompeo's instrumental role in the Trump administration's aggressive China posture is a unique political asset for him.

  • It was the theme of Pompeo's Tuesday column in the Wall Street Journal, which criticized Beijing's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Shifts in U.S. policy toward China and other nations such as Iran provide easy ways for Pompeo and allies to draw contrasts with the Biden administration — and remind conservatives of his role in crafting Trump administration policy.

China and Iran both came up during Pompeo's interview this week with Jay Sekulow, the former Trump attorney who leads the nonprofit American Center for Law and Justice.

  • Pompeo joined ACLJ this week as senior counsel for global affairs.
  • He also took a position with the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, in January.

Pompeo is addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend.

  • His speech is titled, "How the Bill of Rights Inspires Us at Home and Across the World," according to the CPAC schedule.
  • He also addressed members of the Republican Study Committee, an influential bloc of House Republicans, late last year.

As he keeps up a high profile publicly, Pompeo has also quietly formed a new company.

  • In early February, he incorporated "Kansas CNQ LLC" in Virginia, according to corporate records in the state.
  • CNQ stands for "Courage Never Quits," a reference to the coat of arms for Pompeo's 1986 class at West Point.
  • A Pompeo spokesperson would not discuss the company on the record.
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