Nikki Haley resigned but only after preparing her base for a 2024 launch
Washington, Oct 10: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned on Tuesday, October 9, and it was a sudden development which apparently left many stunned. The 46-year-old diplomat, who was born to an Indian-American Sikh family in the US, addressed a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump where both praised each other and Haley categorically mentioned that she is not going to run for the top office in 2020 and be a private citizen at the moment.
Haley is perhaps the only member of the Trump Administration who is leaving it without any sour taste in mouth. Most or all officials who have 'perished' in the less-than-two-years of the current administration did not have a smooth exit but Haley is one who is departing with having a good relation with the president.
The script has gone to Haley's favour
Her sudden exit though suggests that not everything was fine and because of which she quit but Haley certainly is the winner in the political game she was part of in the last two years. Whether or not the US has made a progress in its foreign affairs conduct, Nikki Haley has certainly made a launching pad for herself for the top job.
Haley made use of the foreign affairs platform
Even though she was often criticised for her role in the UN - especially when it came to condemning Iran and giving a free hand to Israel - two policies that the Trump Administration closely pursued - Haley ensured that she used the foreign affairs domain a good platform for her to launch herself as the future presidential candidate. In the past, Hillary Clinton had also made a ground for herself as the secretary of state in the Barack Obama administration although she was quite a polarising figure in America's domestic politics.
For Haley, running for the 2020 election makes little sense because Trump still has a support which even his critics in the Republican Party will find tough to beat. It is a better plan to wait for the 2024 contest when the Trump phenomenon will be all but over and the neo-con branch of the Republican Party can aspire to return to prominence. Haley, who kind of built her world image in the last two years, will be better placed than many others to lead the GOP then.
Haley made a smooth departure which is also an exception in Trump administration
Again, for Haley, to be able to make a retreat without igniting a single controversy is in itself a big feat. It is said that her clout had diminished over the last few months with the arrival of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton as the secretary of state and national security adviser. In April, Haley had found herself in an embarrassing position after she announced that the US would impose fresh sanctions on Russia in the coming months only to be betrayed by the White House. It was also said that she could have been "momentarily confused" to which Haley had strongly objected.
Haley had a good relation with Trump despite anti-Russian rhetorics
But Haley survived these irritants and what is even more fantastic is that she managed to end up in Trump's good books despite taking a stand against Russia consistently which is not in alignment with the president's stand on the Kremlin. But Haley balanced it remarkably well by blasting Russia and at the same time, defending Trump's leadership vis-à-vis Moscow. Though some of Trump's far right supporters did not appreciate Haley's Russia remarks but what meant more was Haley's maintaining a rapport with the president and pitching the rhetoric in the right way.
Nikki Haley has prepared her base perfectly over the last two years and will now work on a perfect launch.