People are talking: Nikki Haley may be gunning for US president.
Whether leading efforts to isolate North Korea or hailing cuts to the United Nations budget, Haley’s ability to channel Trump’s blunt style is prompting fellow UN envoys and foreign policy specialists to wonder whether the 45-year-old former South Carolina governor is laying the groundwork to succeed her boss in the Oval Office.
UN ambassadors from other nations take Haley’s “obvious domestic political ambitions” in stride, said Richard Gowan, a UN expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Most foreign representatives are willing to shrug off her hard-line positions on Israel and UN costs as necessary political posturing.”
The theatre of the UN podium and the Security Council chambers have long favoured officials who can present their cases with flair and a sense of drama: think Colin Powell’s ultimately flawed arguments against Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction or, decades earlier, Fidel Castro’s tirades against colonialism and capitalism before the General Assembly.
Speculation about Haley’s future kicked back into gear after the American ambassador’s speech to the UN General Assembly last month, just before the global body condemned on a 128-9 vote President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. Haley held a defiant thank-you reception for the small group of nations who voted with the U.S., abstained or managed to be no-shows for the vote.
I know it is early days, but I’d even volunteer to be Nikki’s campaign manager, if it was practical for her or me.