Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley left the door open to running for the White House in 2024 after vowing to stump across the country to help re-elect President Trump next year. Haley, who also served as the Republican governor of South Carolina, made it clear that she has Trump’s back in 2020.
Haley, who discussed her book “With All Due Respect” at the 92nd Street Y Tuesday night, sought to deflect the question when asked by Fox News’ Dana Perino about a 2024 candidacy. “A year is a lifetime in politics,” Haley said. “It would be a waste of time to think about 2024 at this point.” But Haley then added, “Instead I want to do everything I do really well now and just see if doors open.”
In a well-thought out, strategic attempt to raise her profile even more nationally, coinciding with the release of her book on Nov. 12, Haley has engaged in a flurry of television interviews with networks and cable news anchors. She sought to endear herself further to Trump’s base by strongly defending her rationale for remaining loyal to the President against the apparent machinations of President Trump’s most senior aides — former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and erstwhile White House chief of staff John F. Kelly — who allegedly sought to recruit her to work around and subvert Trump. It is a clear attempt to make sure Trump’s cult-like support base will be in her corner in 2024 when she’s most likely to go toe to toe with Vice President Mike Pence in the GOP primary.
When Haley resigned in December last year, unlike the departure of other administration officials, either by firing or of their own volition, Haley’s departure was announced by Trump at an Oval Office meeting with them seated side by side with the White House press pool invited for what could only be described as a veritable love-fest between the President and Haley, where each lavished effusive praise on each other.
Both in her book and in all of her media interviews, Haley also burnished her foreign and security policy credentials, particularly her strong pro-Israel stand, claiming that she was the point person when it came to moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and tearing up the Iran nuclear deal — a major priority for the Israeli government and a campaign promise made by Trump — even as Tillerson and Kelly sought to undermine these efforts.
All of this, including her taking the lead in cutting U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority for its “hostile rhetoric and even more hostile actions toward the United States,” as she states in her book, could only enhance her support and love she enjoys from the powerful AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and major GOP donors like billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose support was always conditioned on the moving of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and is said to be an avid fan of Haley.
Although, Haley continues to decline to predict her political future or her White House ambitions, she told The Washington Post, “I’m not even thinking that way. I’m thinking more of, we need to do all we can to get the president reelected. And then from there, deciding how I will use the power of my voice,” Haley said, adding, “I know I’m too young to stop fighting, I know that. And I know that I need and want to be involved in some way that’s helpful.”
In her book, Haley wrote, “I realize there are many who will think this book is motivation for something in the future. I can’t help that. I can only say that facts are remembered and emotions fade, but it is the emotions that dictate the lessons we learn. I wanted all of you to know what I felt as I went through these times in my life. I don’t know what’s next, but I’ve learned some things along the way that will help me find it,” she said.
Talking about her UN tenure, she said, “My time at the UN certainly made me wiser about the world and sadder about parts of it. But it also made me more grateful about our country.”
“At the UN, I worked alongside the ambassadors of dictators and strongmen. I traveled to places most Americans will never go, and I saw things most Americans will never see.What I saw cut through the loud and polarizing voices in our country. I saw what sets America apart — what we must protect and preserve.”
Haley said, “People from all over the world are drawn to the United States by our exceptionalism — our freedom, our opportunity, and our belief in human dignity. My parents were among them.They came from India to rural South Carolina in the 1960s.My mother wore a sari. My father wore a turban. He still does today. We were different. We stood out. And my family felt the pain of being judged by our difference.”
Haley said, “Immigration is a source of American strength when it is conducted in accordance with our principles. But it must be a two-way street.We welcome immigrants who come to America in accordance with the rule of law.And we must call upon those immigrants to embrace our values and respect our laws in order to become Americans.”