Sputnik: In your view, does Nikki Haley's resignation signal good news for the US presence at the United Nations? Why?
Richard Vatz: No, it is hard to imagine a more effective UN ambassador than she, but if Haley is permitted to vet replacement possibilities, it may be a minor problem finding an effective new ambassador.
Sputnik: How big of a surprise was this for US President Donald Trump and the White House?
Richard Vatz: It was a shock to most political observers other than President Trump, as there was no overt or apparent dissension between Ambassador Haley and him. This may be the rare case wherein an administration principal leaves a position for the reason claimed: fatigue and the need to rejuvenate. Haley stayed longer than most have in her position.
Richard Vatz: Ambassador Haley has been a tough, but accommodating envoy, rejecting UN Hostility toward Israel, supporting the US move of its embassy to Jerusalem and rejecting the UN blame-America-first attitude, first decried by the late UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. At the same time, Haley has steadfastly pursued United States' interests against adversaries, such as [North] Korea and Iran.
Sputnik: How much was her policy in line with the White House?
Richard Vatz: Her reputation is that she was a loyal practitioner and lieutenant for the president's policies, but where she diverged, such as her tougher-than-trump disposition toward Russia and her more sympathetic-than-Trump disposition toward Blasey-Ford, she never tried to embarrass the White House.
Richard Vatz: I think it is far more likely than a run in 2020, assuming Trump's health holds out and his policy successes remain stable. It would be interesting and ironic indeed if a strong conservative woman like Haley, who does not yield to political winds and who is supportive but not obsequious to President Trump, would be the first female president or vice president of the United States.
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