Nikki Haley, the two-term South Carolina governor, is Donald Trump’s pick as United Nations ambassador, a Cabinet-level position requiring Senate confirmation. She has accepted the offer.
Haley was generally part of the #NeverTrump GOP cohort for a good part of the recent presidential campaign but apparently mended fences with the president-elect after meeting with him last week at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
“Relations between Haley and Trump have been far from cordial, with both vaulting verbal jabs at each other during the race for the White House,” CNN noted.
The nomination is seen in part as Trump’s way to reach out to all segments of the GOP coalition.
During the presidential contest, she initially endorsed Marco Rubio and then Ted Cruz after Rubio, who subsequently ran and won reelection as U.S. Senator from Florida, dropped out. She did wind up voting for Trump in the general election, however.
A Tea Party favorite, Nikki Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and is the first woman to serve as her state’s chief executive. It’s early yet, but she is also Trump’s first female Cabinet nominee.
The Post and Courier was apparently the first news outlet to report on Haley’s nomination and provided some background.
“The 44-year-old’s chief foreign work centers on negotiating with international companies seeking economic development deals in the state and leading seven overseas trade missions as governor. Her husband, Michael, was deployed for nearly a year in Afghanistan with the S.C. National Guard in 2013…The Trump administration is likely banking on Haley’s strong communication and problem-solving skills in being the U.S. representative at the 193-member United Nations in New York.”
The appointment is expected to increase Haley’s national profile should she seek higher office in the future. She was identified as a possible VP pick in the 2016 campaign.
Haley made national headlines when she orchestrated the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia after the mass church shooting in Charleston.
Haley opposed the Iran nuclear deal and resisted efforts by the federal government to resettle unvetted Syrian refugees in her state.
Upon Haley’s Senate confirmation, Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Trump ally, would become the Palmetto State’s governor.
“Haley’s limited foreign policy experience is likely to draw scrutiny during her Senate confirmation hearings,” NBC News observed.
In a statement, Haley explained that while she intended to finish out her term, “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed.”
In announcing the nomination today, President-elect Trump said that “Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country.”
Politico outlined the challenges that await Ambassador-designate Nikki Haley at the U.N.
“At the United Nations, Haley will have to deal with the heavy responsibilities involved in America’s role as a permanent, veto-wielding member of the Security Council, a role that has in recent years put the United States in frequent opposition to Russia, which holds similar rank…But Trump has indicated he wants to find common ground with Russia on Syria and other fronts, and it’s possible such clashes may subside during his presidency…[Haley’s] political background means she’ll be well suited for much of the retail diplomacy that comes with this posting. But when it comes to machinations with the Security Council’s permanent members — and Russia in particular — her lack of experience may be a disadvantage.”
[Featured Image by Sean Rayford/AP Images]