United Nations, New York. US President Donald Trump selected a former enemy, and a rising star in the Republican Party, to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations. Nikki Haley (real name Nimrata Randhawa), was elected South Carolina’s governor in 2010 and served in the position until Trump strangely appointed her to replace Samantha Power-Cass Sunstein’s wife, as US ambassador to the United Nations.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, she was the first non-white nominee to Mr Trump’s cabinet and is one of the best known female Republican officials. Her popularity dwindled in her first term amid an ethics scandal and other troubles, but she made powerful allies nationally, including Mitt Romney, who she endorsed for the Republican nomination in 2012.
An improving economy helped her bounce back and she was re-elected by a wide margin in 2014. Already gaining attention on a national level, she was widely praised by liberal leftist and media partners for leading efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina state Capitol in 2015.
Haley was selected to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January of 2016, an indication of the high regard party leaders have for her. Her response took the form of a thinly-veiled threat to Trump, who was then leading the primary election polls.
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation,” she stated.Haley ended up endorsing Marco Rubio the following month, and campaigned at his side, criticising Mr Trump in particular for his reluctance to repudiate the Ku Klux Klan.
Her history of animosity with the president-elect was not the only reason Mrs Haley’s selection for UN ambassador raised eyebrows.She has no foreign policy track record to speak of, let alone diplomatic experience. Given her previous anti Trump activity, it is indeed a surprise to many political observers that Trump would place an enemy in a position of such power. They point to this appointment as evidence that Trump is truly not in control of the his own administration, but a ringman as the US circus rolls on.