And Nikki had been doing so WELL lately…


First, Nikki Haley was doing pretty well as a backbench S.C. House member, to the extent that we endorsed her twice. She had a lot to learn, but she seemed fairly bright and we felt her intentions were good.

Then, she ran for governor, for which she was shockingly unprepared. All I could say at the time was, “Don’t do it, Nikki!” But she did it. And for much of the past four years, she demonstrated how unprepared she was.

But toward the end, she showed some signs of growing in office. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. One of her own political appointees put it to me in just those words. I didn’t report that at the time because the next thing he said was, “And if you write that I’ll come to your house and kill you.” It didn’t seem worth it.

Then she got re-elected, and then in 2015 she did probably the finest thing she will do in her life, and I praised her to the skies and urged others to do so. Finally, I thought, she is a governor.

And then, owing Henry McMaster a major favor, you-know-who named her U.S. ambassador to the U.N. This was shocking, of course, because she had no known experience or understanding of geopolitics, either in a real-world or academic sense. So I braced myself.

But she has done surprisingly well. Not perfectly well, but amazingly so for someone entirely lacking in credentials.

I attribute this to one of her most remarkable innate attributes: She makes a good impression. Not just a good first impression, or a good second one — the effect continues through the 10th, the 20th and so on. Sometime after that, you might have creeping doubts, if you’re inclined that way. But it takes awhile.

And a talent like that can go a long, long way in diplomatic circles. Consequently, people started talking of her as a replacement for Rex Tillerson, who has no discernible diplomatic talents, and has been dismantling the State Department. She even gets mentioned as a possible future successor to you-know-who, but let’s not get into that.

The point is, she’s been doing well.

But sometimes old habits rise up, as in this Tweet:

Hey, at least she didn’t say that other thing people say they’re going to do in tandem with taking names.

You know what that reminds me of? When she presumed to “grade” legislators according to whether they had done her bidding. This was in 2011, long before she started showing signs of growing into the office of governor.

And this is disappointing. Here’s hoping Diplomatic Nikki makes a return, and soon…

Meanwhile, the bluster didn’t work:

United Nations Rebukes U.S. Over Jerusalem in 128-to-9 Vote

How fast can she write? That’s a lot of names to take in a short period of time…

6 thoughts on “And Nikki had been doing so WELL lately…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Unfortunately, her reaction to the vote was as petulant as the Tweet:

    The American ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, called the vote “null and void,”
    declaring that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference” on the
    United States’ plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, which she
    called “the right thing to do.”

    “We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world’s
    largest contribution to the United Nations,” she said of the vote. “And we will
    remember when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay
    even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”…

    Yeah, Nikki, it’s pretty irritating. But it’s also par for the course. Don’t take it personally. The UN has this thing about Israel. (Trump should take some of it personally, because one of the lesser things this was was a referendum on what the world thinks of him. Actually, no, he shouldn’t. He’ll react childishly. But it wasn’t you.)

  2. Scout

    Yea, and she said this, ““The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,”

    And Trump threatened to withhold aid from countries that vote no.

    And she said the US would still move the embassy no matter the vote, “But this vote will make a difference in how Americans look at the U.N. and how we look at countries that disrespect us at the U.N. And this vote will be remembered.”

    I think she’s wrong. I think it more changes the way the world looks at Americans. It makes me embarrassed. Trump has made us a bully and Haley has made us a whiner.

    We can exercise our right as a sovereign nation and so can other nations – by voting what they think. Surely she understands that, as Doug likes to point out, actions have consequences. If we are going to do the act, we ought to be able to take the consequences without whining about it or making threats.

  3. Mr. Smith

    There’s a mentality that connects her “grading” of legislators with the recent “taking names” comment (the latter makes it sound like she’s going to send the malefactors to detention class): She seems to see herself in the role of schoolmarm and everybody else as her pupils, in need of instruction and disciplining. Her method does not leave a good impression. She comes across like someone with an inferiority complex who tries to gain authority by being blustery and heavy-handed.

    And there’s another comment she made recently along these same lines (in an appearance on Face the Nation): namely, that Jerusalem is now “off the table.” Well, it’s not. Saying it is is just more heavy-handedness on her – and our – part, because it’s not something the US can unilaterally decide. Or Israel either, for that matter.

        1. Scout

          I think I am close to the same age as Nikki. I watched a lot of reruns of Beaver in the late 70s and early 80s. She might know.

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