This week, Savannah Guthrie of NBC News interviewed Nikki Haley (original name is Nimrata Randhawa) about her forthcoming book, "With All Due Respect." Concerning possible impeachment of President Trump, Nikki disagrees with this and thinks people should decide as the election is less than one year away. She also said she's made up her mind that the President asking the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden is not an impeachable offense. She also stated that impeachment is a serious offense (I'm thinking most casual observers of DC politics are well aware of the seriousness of an impeachment inquiry or impeachment). Guthrie pressed Haley on whether aid being held up by the White House to the Ukrainians until they investigate one of Trump's rivals was OK and Haley implied those dealings were OK as the aid was eventually released (although the aid had been delayed for months).
Guthrie went on to ask Haley if the President is a truthful person and her reply was he was always truthful in my dealings with him. So Trump regularly speaks untruths to those he's serving but always speaks the truth to Nikki. My, what a special relationship!
During the latter part of the interview, Haley did suggest as Governor that she required her cabinet members in South Carolina to serve the people although one may argue that she didn't serve the people completely as she left her position as Governor two years before her term expired to become the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
A few days later, she was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer of CNN who asked her about all of Trump's lies or misleading information, especially over the last 6 months or so. I'll paraphrase her comments by saying she thinks all public officials slip up from time to time and may get things wrong. But she thinks overall, everyone tries to be truthful and do the right thing. My only response, is she being truthful and genuine in her response about Trump and other public officials?
Going back to the 2016 presidential campaign, Nikki Haley was a Trump critic. It's funny how people change when they are offered a powerful position as she then accepted the role of the United Nations ambassador for the first two years of Trump's presidency. The question, why did she accept the position after being a Trump critic? Two, if she was so enamored with Trump, why did she quit the UN ambassadorship after less than two years?
A little background about her professional and political career. She graduated from Clemson University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. According to Wikipedia, her first political experience occurred in 2004, where she was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at 32. She was elected 3 times to that position and while serving in the House of Representatives, she was elected Governor of the state of South Carolina at age 38. She served as Governor for 6 years and resigned on January 24, 2017, to serve in the Trump administration as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. South Carolina appeared to appreciate her leadership and elected her to a second term but before finishing, she appeared to accept a more publicly oriented position. Does this sound like public service or engaging in self-service masked as public service?
Her given name was Nimrata Randhawa and became Nimrata Haley after her marriage. She changed it to Nikki Haley once she entered politics. A few other questions, did she change her foreign-sounding name to sound more American? And, was that politically motivated to help her rise quickly to powerful positions in South Carolina and elsewhere?
As a Republican in South Carolina, Haley's platform was anti-tax and fiscally conservative. Based on the latest fiscal budget deficit of $1 trillion in the Trump administration and Haley being fiscally conservative, I'm wondering if she addressed her concern about the large deficit with Trump while in his administration and also in her new book.
In 2012, the Republican nominee was Mitt Romney and rumors spread that he would choose Haley as his vice-presidential running mate. However, Haley said that she would decline any position he might offer her. During an AP interview in April 2012, Haley was quoted as saying "The people of South Carolina gave me a chance and I have a job to do and I'm not going to leave my job for anything." Again, it's funny how things changed in 2017 when she left her job as Governor to serve in Trump's cabinet.
Late in 2017, Haley defended President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, referring to it as the "will of the American people" and something that would "fastball the peace process going forward." I ask, did she believe this? In other words, Trump claimed to be the master of the deal and allowed Israel to move its capital to Jerusalem without getting anything in return to benefit the U.S. Did she not feel that to help the peace process, Israel would need to give something up to initiate a new start to the peace process?
As the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., did she serve the country for altruistic reasons or did she just ditch the people of South Carolina to gain experience in national and international matters, an experience that would help her sell books and keep her name in the public eye?
In terms of some news reports stating that Nikki Haley was interested in replacing Mike Pence as the VP in 2020, on Fox News this week, Nikki Haley denied that she was seeking the vice presidency and said Pence and Trump would make a "solid" ticket. Time will tell if that's the case.
Again, is Nikki Haley phony? Said a little differently, is she not genuine or authentic? I don't know for sure but it appears her actions show a thirst for power which sometimes may supersede her political beliefs and policy positions.
As some wise people say, to learn more about one's character or moral compass, watch what they do and not what they say. In my mind, I'm interested in what role Nikki Haley plays in U.S. politics in the next 10 years.