What Does the Impending Resignation of Nikki Haley Mean for the US?
In a presidential administration that has seen the departure of so many people, as of Tuesday, October 9, 2018, we can add another name to that list. That name is Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations. She announced Tuesday that she would resign at the end of the year.
I first heard about this story on the political website known as The Palmer Report. I am baffled and shocked in a way that there have been so many resignations in this administration. What follows is a reading response to and analysis of this story using multiple sources. There will also be an explanation as to what Haley’s resignation might mean for the United States.
Bill Palmer Offers His Perspective on the Story
Bill Palmer, writer and owner of the political newsletter The Palmer Report writes that the Citizens for Ethics (CREW) political watchdog group publicly came out against Haley and accused her of having “accepted seven free flights for herself and her husband on luxury private aircraft from three South Carolina businessmen,” (Palmer, 2018). What does this mean for the United States going forward? It means that President Trump will have to select a person to replace her as UN Ambassador, and who that person will be is anyone’s guess.
The New York Times reports that possible successors for Haley include Dina Powell and Richard A. Grenell. Palmer also suggests that “Nikki Haley’s once potential-laden political career ended the day she took a job in the radioactive Trump regime,” (Palmer, 2018). I wouldn’t say that Haley’s political career is over because that kind of assertion is just an educated guess by Palmer. He also says that the ethics scandal currently facing Haley will catch up with her if she tries to enter politics again. Really?
Is Nikki Haley's Political Career Over? Not Necessarily
It seems to me that in the American political landscape of today, anything is a possibility given how corrupt the US Congress has become, especially due to the rise of corporate power and special interest groups and the fact that Americans are so attention-obsessed that anyone that is caught up in a scandal grabs their attention.
At the moment, federal ethics rules and regulations do not allow employees to accept gifts because of their position. Since this is the case, if these accusations are true, Mrs. Haley may be in a whole lot of trouble later on. There is speculation by those who know her that she is likely to run for President in 2024. I would say that there is a better chance of Paul Ryan running for President than Nikki Haley, given the power and influence that he has had in the US government.
Nikki Haley Speaks Up About Her Decision to Resign
Haley spoke about her decision to resign, saying that “It was a blessing to go into the U.N. with body armor every day and defend America. I’ll never truly step aside from fighting for our country. But I will tell you that I think it’s time,” (Haberman, 2018). Even though Haley announced that she has no plans of running for President in 2020, she may make a run for the White House in 2024.
My bets are still on Paul Ryan running in 2024, though. If history has been any indication, we should never take at face value anyone that says publicly that they will never run for President. That’s what Donald Trump told Larry King back in 1987, and look what happened in 2016.
Speculation Has Arisen Since Haley is from South Carolina
There is also word from many people on social media that if Donald Trump fires Jeff Sessions and replaces him with Lindsey Graham as Attorney General, then that move leaves his Senate seat open. Remember that Haley herself is from South Carolina.
There may be more going on here. Haley will depart from the Donald Trump White House after being involved in government for nearly eight years, six of those spent as Governor of South Carolina and almost two years in the White House. But all is not good news for Haley going forward as “her 2018 financial disclosure report shows Ms. Haley has at least $1.5 million in debts, including more than $1 million for her mortgage,” (Haberman, 2018).
Haley is already massively mired in debt in addition to the possible ethics scandal that she is facing now. A future presidential run for Haley if she decides to do it would cost her lots of money. She would have to have the financial capital to make that run in addition to accepting money from lobbyists and corporations.
The New York Times Article About Nikki Haley
The New York Times article also mentions that Haley is a supporter of free markets and international trade. When she was governor, she spoke out against the Confederate flag after the 2015 incident at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Haley really was critical of Donald Trump’s demeanor, warning us what it might mean for American diplomacy.
Anyone that has seen what has been happening in the United States the last two years knows that Donald Trump is not diplomatically gifted and he lacks the eloquence and oratorical ability of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Haley also had enough sense to realize that Trump’s lashing out at whoever criticizes him could lead to a world war, a possibility too scary to even think about.
I congratulate Mrs. Haley for even having some sense to realize Trump’s flaws. This New York Times article is very well analyzed and written because it points out some of Haley’s most notable accomplishments when she was governor. The article also shows that she was not always in agreement with the Administration’s policies which is a welcome relief to those of us on the left. At least she is not mentally unhinged like Senator Lindsey Graham, who is now a big supporter of President Donald Trump.
What Should the Trump Administration Do?
It is now the responsibility for the administration to make plans to choose Haley’s successor and someone that actually is qualified and capable to do this job. This statement is not made to downplay Haley's qualifications, but the administration must be smart about this. Will Trump select a qualified and capable person for UN Ambassador? That is anyone’s guess. The United States will lose an experienced politician in Haley, who seems to be one of the more moderate and reasonable voices in the Republican Party.
- Haberman, M. (2018, October 9). Nikki Haley to Resign as Trump’s Ambassador to the U.N. The New York Times.
- Palmer, B. (2018, October 9). Palmer Report. Retrieved from https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/reason-nikki-haley-resigned-un-trump/13320/
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© 2018 Ara Vahanian