Within minutes of being left speechless Tuesday morning by Nikki Haley’s surprise resignation as UN ambassador, Haley-watchers and foreign policy experts began the time-honored Washington D.C. game of “who succeeds her?”
White House sources quickly signaled that the president would like a figure who — like the telegenic Haley — would speak forcefully for the U.S. at the General Assembly.
One name fitting that criteria is that of State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, whose performance at daily press briefings has earned high marks in Washington including from President Trump.
No sooner had Haley announced her resignation than sources close to the State Department immediately began an “insider’s campaign” to promote Kevin Moley, assistant secretary of state for International Organizations, for Haley’s position.
A decorated former U.S. Marine, Moley held several high positions in the Bush Administration and was head of a private nonprofit group to feed the hungry known as Project Concern, International.
The low-key Moley, supporters say, would be a better “fit” with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a high-profile figure given to public pronouncements, His personality would not clash with Pompeo’s, as Haley’s occasionally did.
Still others close to the Administration are urging the president to follow the tradition of rescuing a defeated politician’s career with the UN “plumb position.”
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R.-N.H., who lost a tight re-election in 2016, could easily fit that category. Ayotte reportedly earned admiration from Trump for her work guiding the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
President Eisenhower tapped Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts for the job after he was defeated for re-election in 1952 and President Nixon gave it to George H.W. Bush in 1970 after he lost a U.S. Senate race in Texas. Both went on to be on national GOP tickets.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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