- Alex Wong/Getty Images
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promoted his new Instagram account with the term “#swagger” on Monday.
- Pompeo adopted the description for himself months ago, when he touted his goal to bring “swagger” back to the State Department.
- The term is officially dead (again).
The term “swag” was re-declared dead among political observers online on Monday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo garnished his new Instagram account with an mock-up version of the official State Department seal that featured the term “swagger” in it.
Merriam-Webster describes swagger as “stylish confidence.” Pompeo adopted the description for himself months ago, when he touted his goal to bring “swagger” back to the State Department. He arrived shortly after his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, was unceremoniously fired in a tweet from President Donald Trump.
Tillerson was frequently criticized for the way he handled the agency, and Trump routinely undermined him in public. Pompeo apparently sought to avoid a similar fate as he took over the agency.
In a series of tweets and Instagram posts on Monday, Pompeo promoted his new Instagram account on Twitter: “Just launched my Instagram account with a little #swagger,” Pompeo tweeted.
But Pompeo wasn’t finished.
The State Department chief appealed to the spirits of a dead poet and “Old Blood and Guts” for the demise of the pop-culture reference: “Shakespeare was the first to use ‘swagger.’ [Gen. George S. Patton] had his swagger stick,” Pompeo tweeted. “At @statedept, we’ve got #swagger too.”
“So, I’ve become known for saying that the State Department must ‘get its swagger back,'” Pompeo said to staffers during a town hall meeting in May. “I believe it with all my heart. What do I mean?”
“Swagger is not arrogance, it is not boastfulness, it is not ego,” he added. “No, swagger is confidence, in one’s self, in one’s ideas. In our case, it is America’s essential rightness. And it is aggressiveness born of the righteous knowledge that our cause is just, special, and built upon America’s core principles.”
Rest in peace, #swag.