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    New US Amb. to UN Kelly Craft Unlikely to 'Publicly Disagree' With Trump – Prof.

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    On 23 February, President Donald Trump has stated that US Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft has been chosen to replace Nikki Haley as Washington’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Sputnik discussed with Richard Vatz, a distinguished professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Towson University, why she has been nominated.

    Sputnik: In your view, why has Kelly Knight Craft been nominated by the US President?

    Richard Vatz: Kelly Knight Craft, as the current U.N. Ambassador to Canada, is no stranger to the diplomacy needed in dealing with friendly nations whose politics and leaders are at times inconsistent with the goals and predilections of President Trump.

    Heather Nauert, the original nominee, had employed a nanny who was not eligible to work in the United States.  "Nannygate" is a salient term in the United States for the not infrequent political problem of nominees, such as Zoë Baird in the Clinton Administration, who hire illegal aliens to work for them.  Ms. Craft seems to have no such disqualifying qualities.

    Ms. Craft is a wealthy Republican donor and, perhaps more important, a major donor to President Trump, which did not hurt her attractiveness for the position.  She also served as an alternate delegate to the U.N. under President Bush.  She was recommended as U.N. Ambassador by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, an increasingly influential presidential ally in the border wall fight.

    Sputnik: How much will the US rhetoric change with Ms Craft in office as compared to the US rhetoric during Nikki Haley's tenure?

    Richard Vatz: Nikki Haley was uniquely appropriate for the position of U.N. Ambassador, and it is unlikely but not impossible that Ambassador Craft could be her equal.  Haley was Governor of South Carolina, and independent Republican, and so highly revered that she could periodically take political positions in the United States contrary to President Trump with impunity.  She was resolute in her persuasion with United Nations' members to whom she would imply that she was easier to deal with than the tougher President Trump.  In the United States this is called a "good cop-bad cop" strategy.

    READ MORE: Trump Taps Kelly Craft for US Ambassador to UN

    Haley was initially a Marco Rubio supporter, as was Craft, but the latter in particular became a strong Trump advocate, meeting the president's well known criterion for his loyalty test.

    Ms. Craft relatively quietly transformed fractious relationships between the United States and  Canada in trade and personalities, and that somewhat surprising accomplishment seemed to be a positive trait recommending her to President Trump.

    Sputnik: Some reports have noted that Craft is unlikely to hold the same high level rank that Haley had and is unlikely to attend as many White House meetings. In your view, how much influence can Craft have on the current administration?

    Richard Vatz: Nikki Haley, a political powerhouse with her own following in the U.S. and as a former governor, demanded a Cabinet level position which Craft cannot.  Craft has no history that would lead anyone to believe that she will selectively publicly disagree with the president, as Haley did, however respectfully. Moreover, as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, no one will be wondering if Ms. Craft will contradict Mr. Trump pursuant to a surprisingly tough presidential stand.

    Sputnik: Prior, Craft said that she believes in both sides of the climate change debate. With the topic being a major issue within the UN, what changes can we expect to see here?

    Richard Vatz: There has been misunderstanding regarding the public debate on climate change in the United States.  There is little or no dispute that the earth has undergone a warming period;  the serious debate concerns whether human activity has significantly exacerbated the warming and whether human action can ameliorate it. Ms. Craft, wife of a coal magnate, supports President Trump's pulling the U.S. from the Paris climate accords, but she claims she is not unaware of the significance of climate change.  Practically speaking, she will certainly not be a force for the United States' prioritizing possibly man-made solutions to global warming.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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