Nikki Haley was asked to help save the country. She refused.

Nikki book

Having been out of town travelling, the first thing I read about Nikki Haley’s most-newsworthy revelation in her book took a sort of second-day, second-guessing approach.

Aaron Blake wrote that yes, the assertion that Rex Tillerson and John Kelly asked her to help them save the country from Trump and she refused was important, but “The bigger story, though, is that two even-higher-ranking officials took such an extraordinary step that allowed for Haley’s refusal.”

No. Sorry. It’s not really news that Tillerson and Kelly knew their boss was a dangerous idiot. Hadn’t we assumed that?

The simple version IS the news here: Nikki did NOT fully see what a loose cannon Trump is, and refused to help them.

I suppose I’d need to read the whole book to know, but the few quotes I’ve seen seem to hint that when the two men told her, “The president didn’t know what he was doing,” she didn’t immediately agree with them.

And this is important because, against all reason, people keep saying that Nikki is “widely viewed by Republicans as a top potential presidential candidate in 2024,” even “the Republican Party’s brightest rising star.”

Only in a world in which Donald Trump can get elected president of the United States — a radically different universe from the one we all lived in before 2016 — could she look like presidential timber.

For that matter, only in a world like that could she — a charming person with ZERO training or experience in international affairs — have been considered a candidate for ambassador to the United Nations. But she got that job (because the priority was to make Henry governor), and managed to look very good in it, given the background — which is to say, given the train wreck that is Trumpian foreign policy.

Don’t get me wrong here: Nikki looks great compared to Lindsey Graham’s abject degradation.

Also, I’ll acknowledge that it makes me a tad nervous to have political appointees presuming to work around an elected president, even when that president is Trump. But I don’t get the impression that these guys were talking coup. (They weren’t even proposing the nearly-impossible task of putting the 25th amendment into play, although they should have been.) I could be wrong — and y’all tell me if I am — but it seemed more like a couple of guys in unenviable positions trying to guide the administration in a sane direction, and hoping for a little help.

Which she refused to give. And that’s what we should remember, whenever anyone mentions what a hot prospect she is to become POTUS.

14 thoughts on “Nikki Haley was asked to help save the country. She refused.

  1. Bob Amundson

    Former Chief of Staff General John Kelly’s response (as reported by CBS News): “If by resistance and stalling she means putting a staff process in place…to ensure the [President] knew all the pros and cons of what policy decision he might be contemplating so he could make an informed decision, then guilty as charged,”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I saw that. I’m pretty confident about Kelly’s good and proper intentions. If I were to doubt either of them, it would be Tillerson. I don’t have as clear a picture of him.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Oh, and get a load of this, with Nikki doing her oh-so-smarmy, I’m-so-sweet-but-so-tough routine:

    Remember when she did this in 2010, the year of the Tea Party? Here’s a sample of what I was saying about that kind of anti-intellectual, populist nonsense.

    I guess this is going to be her default mode going forward: Look at my “grit and grace”…

    1. Mr. Smith

      She wants to make herself the heroine in every story she tells.

      Plus, in her Today Show interview it sounded like she believes we need to look into possible wrongdoing by Biden in Ukraine.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Maybe she does. Believe it, I mean.

        With Lindsey Graham, you know he knows better and is pandering, stooping to conquer.

        With Nikki, you can’t be sure. She might believe it…

  3. Mr. Smith

    Haley is an empty vessel. I have never detected much there there.

    She can be considered a leading candidate for any office only in a context where appearance and personality trumps substance.

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    Of course, the passage everybody is quoting could be followed by a paragraph that would make me say, “Oh, that’s all right, then.”

    Something like this:

    “Of course they were right in their assessment of the president. I knew as well as most people in the country that this was a seriously unhinged man — ignorant, vindictive, narcissistic, with frightening volatility from moment to moment, someone with zero interest in the good of the country if it conflicted with anything HE happened to want at a given moment, before being distracted by the next shiny object. I had certainly been personally creeped out often enough in face-to-face interactions with him. But what business did these men have deliberately undermining him? Did it not occur to them that they (as I) had been CHOSEN by such a man for their current lofty positions? Did that not give them pause in presuming that they, personally, were the possessors of greater wisdom? It certainly did me…”

    And so forth…

    If I had any indications that the book contained any reflections such as those, I’d rush to be the first to buy it…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Speaking of things that would make me feel better (and I know that all of you are on the edges of your seats, waiting to hear what you, personally, can do to make me, Brad Warthen, feel better… and bless you for it)…

      I wouldn’t so mind that “Defending America with Grit and Grace” bit if this was a book by someone else ABOUT Nikki.

      But when she is ostensibly the author? That’s pretty obnoxious…

  5. Harry Harris

    As I posted on another thread, it’s all about the money. Look at her record and behavior from grubbing money from a health-care company when she was a state rep to the first book, to the signing with speaking agents and to the Boeing Board (over $315k for a part-time job). Another book now. It adds up.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “It adds up.” You just made me smile because you reminded me of my favorite quote from “Rocky.” It’s when he’s trying to be philosophical about losing his locker at the gym:

      I must have had twenty bucks taken out of there in the past six years, ya know. Don’t sound like much, but it adds up, ya know.


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