Over the past several months, there have been a number of articles in the national press, including The New York Times and Newsweek, speculating whether former South Carolina Governor and the current US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley might consider a presidential run in 2020. Some say her efforts and clear leadership as governor and ambassador to the United Nations have put her in a strong position to possibly become this nation’s first female president.
“Nikki Haley may end up as our first female president,” Fox News’ strategic analyst Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters recently commended current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Haley is definitely solidifying her foreign-policy resume and is earning a reputation as a tough ambassador. Newsweek even pointed out that Haley has had a higher profile than even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, especially earlier in the administration.
Also, the recently-released book penned by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which was released on January 5th, claims that Nikki Haley is considering a presidential run. The Indian American aspiring leader and ambassador had no response publicly to the book.
Haley, in her time since taking over her new post, to which she was appointed by Trump, has emerged as a close confident of Trump and has been strongly pushing for Trump’s foreign policy agenda at the United Nations, attracting frequent praise from Trump himself.
However, the book portrays Haley in somewhat of a negative light saying that she has presidential ambitions and does not have a good view of Trump. “By October, however, many on the president’s staff took particular notice of one of the few remaining Trump opportunists: Nikki Haley, the U.N. ambassador,” the book said.
“I work with the president and speak with him multiple times a week; this is a man, he didn’t become the president by accident,” Haley was quoted to have said. “We need to be realistic at the fact that every person, regardless of race, religion, or party, who loves the country, should support this president. It’s that important.”
Entering American politics in 2004, Ambassador Haley assumed office as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from the 87th district and was elected chair of freshman caucus and majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly. She was successfully re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
Being a Republican, Ambassador Haley holds on to the fiscally conservative viewpoint on taxation, which advocates for lower taxes and deregulation of the economy. Being a daughter of Sikh immigrants, she believes immigration laws should be enforced thereby ensuring that immigrants follow legal procedures, which led her to support legislative reforms to address issues of illegal immigration. As a pro-life advocate, she voted for the Penalties for Harming an Unborn Child/Fetus law in 2006 and supported the Pre-Abortion Ultrasound law in 2007.
Ambassador Haley was elected governor of South Carolina in 2010; her election made her the second Indian-American, the first woman and youngest person in U.S. history to serve as governor in the United States. Haley said, “it was a shock to the people of South Carolina. One, I was the first minority [elected in South Carolina]. Two, I was the youngest governor in the country. And three, oh my God she’s a girl.”
In June 2015 her empathetic response to the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina states grounds after the Charleston Massacre, garnered her praise during her governorship. “What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain,” said Haley.
Though her governorship of South Carolina is surely commendable, she has flourished in her new role as U.S. Ambassador to the UN, despite criticisms of her lack of experience in foreign relations and diplomacy. In November 2016, president-elect Donald Trump recommended the former governor as a “proven dealmaker,” adding that “we look forward to making plenty of deals and she will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
Even though Ambassador Haley supports President Trump today, she still holds true to her own beliefs. For example, by encouraging women everywhere to come forward with their traumatic, sexual harassment experiences. “I know he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them.”
A popular twice-elected governor of South Carolina, she’s an experienced GOP politician in an administration packed with outsiders. As the daughter of Indian immigrants, she stands out in an administration run chiefly by white men. Telegenic and poised, she has a knack for the limelight that stands in sharp contrast to the administration’s tendencies toward the rumpled (former press secretary Sean Spicer) or reclusive (Tillerson).
But in her first seven months at the helm of the US mission to the UN, Haley’s differences have gone far beyond optics. Trump campaigned on a foreign policy platform of “America first” — the idea that the US should avoid getting involved in unnecessary conflicts overseas and focus narrowly on national security interests over promotion of democracy and human rights abroad.
But Haley has pursued the opposite course. From her stern criticism of Moscow to her championing of human rights to her calls for Syrian regime change, she’s routinely diverged from, or outright contradicted, Trump’s stance on the biggest foreign policy issues of the day.
As Politico first reported, the Democratic National Committee is already digging into the pasts of Haley, Vice President Mike Pence, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse – Republicans at the center of Washington speculation as presidential contenders if Trump isn’t on the ballot for some reason in 2020.
Haley told CNN’s Jamie Gangel, she “can’t imagine running for the White House.” During our interview, she deflected questions about her future in or out of the Trump administration and said she’s concentrating on “making the American people proud” in her current job.