Gina Haspel may not be a household name, but she has something important in common with many American conservatives.
The hardworking intelligence analyst is positioned to become the first female director of the CIA, at least if she can make it past her Senate confirmation.
That in-depth screening process gave many in the country a chance to learn about Haspel for the first time this week — and the way she described herself in front of a panel of skeptical senators suggests that she’s not part of the elitist “swamp” that Donald Trump was largely elected to replace.
Many people might have tried to impress the Senate chamber by boasting about accomplishments or A-list qualifications. Make no mistake, Gina Haspel has them, but she chose to introduce herself in a very humble and down-home manner instead.
“I think you’ll find me to be a typical middle-class American,” the nominee stated as she faced a bipartisan lineup of senators.
That description of herself might not seem like a big deal, but it’s worth remembering that “middle-class Americans” are looked down on by many entitled politicians.
Haspel may not be average, but she does seem to come from a surprisingly middle-class background.
“She is a native of Ashland, Kentucky, the oldest of five children, and the daughter of an airman who raised her all around the world as he served at various bases,” reported The Wall Street Journal. Sure enough, it doesn’t get more middle class than growing up in an enlisted military family.
Haspel, clearly smart as a whip, could probably have gone to an Ivy League school and rubbed elbows with the nation’s fortunate sons. Instead, she went to a state college in the south.
“She graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a degree in languages and journalism,” continued the newspaper, which also noted that she’s an avid fan of Johnny Cash.
If you think you’ve had a rough first day on the job, imagine Haspel’s. The nominee’s introduction to the CIA’s counterterrorism section was one she’ll never forget. “Her first day on the job was Sept. 11, 2001,” reported WSJ.
Much is still not known about the Trump nominee, who is unmarried and made her job with the CIA her life’s work since 1985. Senators still have many questions, and her confirmation is certainly not guaranteed.
What we do know is that she seems somewhat removed from the elitism and blind ambitions that often dominate Washington.
Indeed, the fact that Haspel kept her nose to the grindstone and has not sought public attention or political appointments may be a welcome sign for conservatives.
If the current scandals and brinkmanship within the FBI have taught us anything, it’s that we need officials who put America first, people who serve the president and United States citizens, not their own rogue agendas.
Gina Haspel may be just that person … and it’s no wonder many establishment “swamp-dwellers” are trying so hard to put a glass ceiling above her head.
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