Nikki Halley, a two-time governor of South Carolina and now the US ambassador to the United Nations (UN), may be casting an eye on the presidency of the world’s most powerful nation.
In the first seven months at the helm of the US mission to the United Nations (UN), Haley’s differences have gone far beyond optics, reports Vox.
“Trump campaigned on a foreign policy platform of “America first” — the idea that the US should avoid getting involved in unnecessary conflicts overseas and focus narrowly on national security interests over promotion of democracy and human rights abroad. But Haley has pursued the opposite course. From her stern criticism of Moscow to her championing of human rights to her calls for Syrian regime change, she’s routinely diverged from, or outright contradicted, Trump’s stance on the biggest foreign policy issues of the day,” the magazine said in a report entitled ‘Nikki Haley’s path to the presidency runs right past Trump。’
Haley, 44, was born Nimrata Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina – she was called “Nikki” as a child and took the family name of husband Michael when they married in Sikh and Methodist ceremonies in 1996. Haley came only once to India as a four-year-old child, doesn’t speak Punjabi and has converted to Christianity, according to a separate Reuters report.
Her father Ajit Singh Randhwa, is from Amritsar district. He is an agriculture science professor. Her mother is Raj Kaur Randhwa. They moved to Amritsar – home to the Golden Temple that is the most holy place of the Sikh religion – before emigrating to North America in the early 1960s.
Some extract from the Vox report:
A popular twice-elected governor of South Carolina, she’s an experienced GOP politician in an administration packed with outsiders. As the daughter of Indian immigrants, she stands out in an administration run chiefly by white men. Telegenic and poised, she has a knack for the limelight, the report added.
Haley’s stances may reflect more than just policy differences. Many in the GOP worry that Trump may not survive four years and that those who’ve served in his administration may be tainted by association if he resigns or is impeached. Haley appears to be one of the few administration officials with the potential to survive the Trump years — and could be positioning herself for a presidential campaign of her own.
When Trump first nominated Haley as his pick for UN ambassador, it appeared that she could be doomed to irrelevance. Trump had spent his entire campaign railing against the idea of international cooperation and contributing to the advancement of human rights or democratic ideals — the very issues that an ambassador to the UN is tasked with handling. It seemed he was giving Haley a fluffy throwaway job and perhaps even using it as an opportunity to add some diversity to his heavily white and heavily male team.
But Haley has been far from a marginal voice in the administration’s foreign policy team.
The most striking feature of Haley’s appointment was that Trump decided to keep the UN ambassador post as a Cabinet-level position, as it was under President Obama.
This wasn’t simply Trump being magnanimous; Haley successfully negotiated for the Cabinet-level rank for her position. Being a member of the president’s Cabinet gives her more authority at the UN and more sway over the president during Cabinet-level deliberations.
Haley is also a member of the National Security Council’s top decision-making body, the Principals Committee. That means she’s a regular contributor to the president’s most important forum for considering and making decisions about the country’s pressing national security and foreign policy matters, along with the rest of his senior national security advisers and Cabinet officials on the committee.
Haley has denied any presidential ambitions, saying in April that she “can’t imagine running for the White House.” But her conspicuous maneuvering in the foreign policy world has fueled suspicions that she’s interested in the possibility.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Trump appoints Indian American attorney Uttam Dhillon as special assistant (Asia Samachar, 27 Jan 2017)
Harmeet Dhillon: Performed model ardas when Republicans nominated Trump (Asia Samachar, 21 Jan 2017)
Harjit Singh Sajjan meets President Obama (Asia Samachar, 11 March 2016)