United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens to a speaker during a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018..
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON)
WASHINGTON – Nikki Haley left her UN ambassadorship to fanfare this week, being celebrated on Twitter for her robust defense of Israel in New York. Her response hinted at ambitious political aspirations, despite a personal commitment against running for higher office any time soon.
Haley expressed frustration with State Department policy that she would have to restart her Twitter account essentially from scratch, forced to remove popular posts and roughly 1.6 million followers – a move she must suffer after using her personal account for government business.
Her final tweet as ambassador was a parting shot at UNESCO, an organization she called a “corrupt cesspool” for its bias against Israel – precisely the sort of rhetoric that has earned her celebrity on the political Right. The US withdrew from the UN body on New Year’s Eve.
Despite her anger over the Twitter reboot, Haley won back tens of thousands of followers in mere hours. And the former South Carolina governor quickly made known her intention to maintain her public following.
“My first official act as a private citizen after eight years in public service... downloaded @Uber!,” she wrote on Wednesday.
Haley may be the only departing member of the Trump administration who received a thoroughly graceful exit. In November, she sat beside US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office and basked in his praise after she resigned on her own terms, and for reasons ostensibly unrelated to his conduct of the presidency.
There, she committed to him in front of cameras that she would not run for the White House while Trump remained president – and that she would, in fact, campaign for him.
But Haley also said she would continue to share her concerns about the president’s actions from time to time, positioning herself as a powerful, independent and popular voice of dissent within Republican ranks.
“I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to rep the country I love so much,” she wrote on Twitter at the end of the year. “Thank you Mr. President for the honor of a lifetime. Tks to all who supported us these past 2 yrs. We are all blessed to live in the best country on earth.”
Trump seeks to replace Haley with Heather Nauert, a former Fox News personality and State Department spokesman, pending Senate confirmation.
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