Nikki Haley is many things but most notably she is among the most brazen “diplomats” that any major nation has ever sent to the austere chambers of the United Nations. While the UN has historically been a place where highly serious matters are debated in diplomatic language which at times becomes frank and even impassioned, Nikki Haley’s ability to turn the UN Security Council into a tubthumping horror show filled with all the histrionics and grotesque melodrama befitting of an election in some of the world’s most corrupt nations, broke the mould even when compared to her abrasive predecessor Samantha Power.
But while even the soft spoken Colin Powell once infamously addressed the UN spouting lie upon lie about Saddam Hueesin’s non-existence weapons programme, Haley’s unapologetic attitude regarding her penchant for turning a chamber dedicated to peace into one filled with the howls of havoc and war, made her something of the female neocon version of Donald Trump and one who publicly stated that she has multiple disagreements with her boss.
But while speculation continues to fly regarding whether or not Haley penned the infamous op-ed published by the New York Times where an anonymous high level White House official claimed that he or she was working to undermine Donald Trump from within his own administration and indeed whether or not rumours of a sexual relationship between herself and the US President were true or false, the fact is that Nikki Haley’s joint press conference with Donald Trump left the world with more questions than answers.
Throughout the press conference, Haley appeared to be as in charge as ever and gave no indication that she is sick and tired of her job. In other words, her tone betrayed her rhetoric. While she stated she has no immediate plans for the future, the fact that she said that public officials should resign from their office sooner rather than later, sounded as though it was a direct challenge to Donald Trump. Furthermore, the fact that when Trump had difficultly hearing certain questions from reports, Haley helped clarify what was being said, demonstrated that Haley’s typically bombastic attitude had not been tempered by her resignation.
While Trump heaped praise on Haley, it would seem that irrespective of all speculation into Trump and Haley’s past relationship, that when it comes to the future, Haley is very much going to remain part of the domestic political game in the United States and furthermore while she claims that she will campaign for Trump in the 2020 Presidential election, it is almost certain that in more ways than one, Trump has a new rival in the form of Nikki Haley and one who is no longer constrained by any sense of Cabinet loyalty.
How Haley conducts herself for the remainder of the year during which time she will continue to act as a “lame duck” Ambassador will be indicative of what she might do from outside of the Cabinet in January. As someone who has a tendency to hog the limelight, it is certain that both pro-Trump and anti-Trump American media outlets will be conducting ever more frequent interviews with Haley as time goes on. She may well make millions from media appearances between now and her eventual run for the US presidency.
While Haley has set the stage for a presidential run that will represent a revival of the anti-Trump neocon wing of the Republican party, she is wise enough to know that Trump’s enduring popularity among his conservative/populist base is too strong to be meaningfully challenged by any neocon (or liberal for that matter) in 2020. That being said, come 2024, Nikki Haley may well be a front-runner for the top position in the United States.
What is clear enough is that Haley was happy in her position at the UN. This means that either she was forced out and decided to compromise and “resign” rather than be fired, or otherwise, she has plans in respect of her domestic ambitions that being a UN Ambassador simply did not leave time for.
Either way one looks at it, the picture painted by the bizarre press conference between Trump and Haley makes it all too clear that Nikki Haley’s hawkish presence has not exited the world’s stage, it is merely getting started.