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Nikki Haley's Tough Approach in UN Sparks Talk of Higher Office

Nikki Haley's Tough Approach in UN Sparks Talk of Higher Office
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 12:04 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A day after United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley announced a $285 million cut in US support for the UN's biennial operating budget, talk of higher office for her already was being heard.

"We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked," declared Haley, her tough-as-nails comments before the UN General Assembly coming a week after she fiercely defended President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

From political scientists to Republican Party operatives, there is growing agreement that the stock within the Trump Administration of Haley, 45, former two-term South Carolina governor, has risen dramatically. Some are suggesting that she could succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state or land a spot on a future Republican presidential ticket.

"I'm very impressed with her service at the UN and the attention she has received for it," Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute, who has worked for four presidents, told Newsmax, "She has a lot going for her if she seeks higher office. Ambassador Haley is a real politician who has won office before and not even my friend Pat Moynihan could say that when he came to the UN." Moynihan did not hold elective office until after his term as UN Ambassador.

Pointing out that Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants, Hess said "she's Miss Diversity and she's a woman, and that certainly won't hurt her."

Longtime conservative activist and North Carolina GOP consultant Marc Rotterman agreed, noting: "Suburban women admire her independence and both men and women appreciate her straight talk. Ambassador Haley has purported herself in a manner that not only endears her to Trump loyalists, but to the Republican establishment as well."

Initially, Trump and Haley were not close. In 2016, she supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the South Carolina presidential primary, which Trump eventually won handily.

According to Palmetto State Republicans, Trump's naming her to the UN post was primarily at the urging of Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, the first statewide official anywhere to endorse the businessman-candidate for president. .

Now, however, Haley and the president are cordial and Trump himself sees her, in Rotterman's words, "as one of the biggest assets to his administration."

"Ever since she was appointed she has sought to be the principle spokesman for American foreign policy, using the U.N. as her platform," Jim Gilmore, former Virginia governor and Republican national chairman, told us.

"One must assume that the comments she makes are in line with the president's views, and that she is not freelancing.," Gilmore continued. "She has articulated an 'America First' agenda which I assume harmonizes with the White House. She clearly has been given a platform that allows her to position for future higher office."

Haley's charisma, appearance, and combative style as ambassador were all cited by Republican activists nationwide as reasons they felt she should be on a national ticket in 2020.

"She has nowhere to go but up," said Kirby Wilbur, former Washington State GOP Chairman and radio talk show host, "An accomplished, attractive young woman, a former governor with foreign policy experience, and someone who defends America within the freak show—what is there not to like?"

"She is smart, articulate and tough in a fight, and very good looking — which used to be OK to say about male candidates," David Norcross, former New Jersey Republican National Committeeman, told us. "I've known [Haley] since before she was governor, and I couldn't be more enthusiastic."

At this point, Haley supporters tend to downplay the talk of her succeeding Tillerson at the State Department and instead hold her out for a vice presidential or presidential spot in the future.

"She was an impressive reform governor of South Carolina and she is now an impressive reform UN ambassador," said former House Speaker and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. I think she wisely will stay where she is for a few more years, but she clearly has the potential to someday be secretary of state, vice president or president."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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A day after United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley announced a $285 million cut in US support for the UN's biennial operating budget, talk of her seeking higher office was being heard. "We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or...
nikki haley, united nations, higher office
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2017-04-27
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 12:04 PM
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