Sputnik: What were the main reasons that led to Nikki Haley’s sudden resignation?
Daniel P. Franklin: There is some question as to whether this resignation was all that sudden. The President says that they had discussed her resignation earlier in the year, but that they had waited until now to announce it (after the President's visit to the UN earlier this month).
The average high-level administration appointee serves for about two and a half years. Haley, when she leaves, will have served two years since her appointment. Therefore, her tenure is not all that much out of the norm.
Having said that, there is a combination of reasons that probably led to Haley's resignation. It is pretty clear that Haley and the President had a difficult relationship. Furthermore, in appointing John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, an avowed skeptic of the United Nations, the President had made it clear that he was not a supporter of the UN mission. Therefore, Haley was serving in a role that had no support from the Administration. That is a difficult position for an appointee to be in. If the President had been supportive, she would have probably stayed longer.
Also, let us not forget that Haley is leaving the Administration altogether. It is often the case that a successful UN Ambassador will move up in the Administration into some higher post such as Secretary of State. The UN is in New York, so it is by definition remote from the centers of power. If Haley were in favor, she would have had a shot at National Security Advisor, Secretary of State or CIA Director.
Finally, as a practical matter, Haley may be having money problems. In relative terms, relative to the free market, high-level public officials do not make a lot of money. Leaving office gives Haley an opportunity to earn a much higher level of income. This is important to her, as her husband is not a big earner and she has a child heading off to college. College is self-financed in the United States and can get very expensive.
Just an aside, look for the President to try to send Haley off to an ambassadorship to India later on, especially if Haley becomes a vocal critic of the Administration or a competitor to the President. India is a long ways away, and it would be a tempting post for Haley who is of Indian descent.
Daniel P. Franklin: More than anything else, Haley served as a buffer between the President and an Organization, the mission of which he clearly opposes. "Internationalism" is a dirty word in today's Republican Party, so it is hard to imagine that Haley's replacement will be any less hostile to the UN than the President is, the exception being if the President appoints his daughter Ivanka or son-in-law to the post. As family members, they have the cachet to be able to stand up to the president and, more importantly, Mr. Bolton.
Sputnik: Could Haley’s resignation be linked to internal conflicts with other foreign policy heavyweights, like Bolton and Pompeo?
Daniel P. Franklin: Yes, as noted above, that is certainly part of it.
Sputnik: It’s been reported that one of the main favorites to replace Haley is Dina Powell. What can you say about this candidate? What about possible alternatives?
Daniel P. Franklin: Powell would be a strong candidate for the job and would make a lot of sense. She is of Egyptian descent and speaks Arabic. She has held a number of positions in preceding Republican Administrations. I don't think she will be appointed because 1. in this Administration, The UN Ambassadorship is a dead end, 2. She will be opposed by John Bolton because she is too much of an internationalist, 3. She is not a Trump loyalist and will quite possibly be a threat to Trump because of her obvious competence and seriousness.
To be frank, in this administration, the UN Ambassadorship is what as known as a "Turkey Farm" or a position of no consequence. I predict that Trump will appoint someone who is out of favor or is a "clown". How about Donald Trump Junior?
Daniel P. Franklin: No, Bolton who is the only person in the Administration who has foreign policy experience is firmly in control.
Sputnik: Do you think that Nikki Haley managed to create her own foreign policy vision and credentials? Could it affect her chances in a potential 2024 presidential run?
Daniel P. Franklin: Her vision was subsumed by her association with the Trump Administration. However, her stature was not damaged by the association, so I fully expect that we will see Haley as a presidential candidate in the future.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.