Nikki Haley has received mostly positive reviews of her performance as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. But at least some in the White House reportedly have considered an unusual replacement for the former S.C. governor.
The New York Times reported Saturday that Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, briefly was considered as a replacement for Haley if the ambassador was promoted to become secretary of state.
The Times reported Ivanka Trump and her husband, presidential adviser Jared Kushner, were “at times so discouraged by their brief White House careers – and their shrinking social circle – that they would leap at a chance to gracefully return to New York.”
Aides to the president said the discussion never reached President Trump himself.
Foreign policy experts reacted to the story, saying that replacing Haley would not be a good idea at this point.
A year ago, “U.N. insiders were grousing heartily about Trump’s selection of Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador,” Richard Gowan, an international studies professor at Columbia University, wrote in Politico. “The South Carolina governor had no real foreign policy experience and had never said anything notable about U.N. affairs.”
But “Haley quickly proved perfectly capable of navigating the U.N.,” Gowan said. “(S)he soon got to grips with the Russians over Syria, and scored significant diplomatic wins by securing two serious packages of U.N. sanctions against North Korea this summer.”
Others think the White House has decided the best bet would be to leave Haley in place.
“I think you need to have a degree of political acumen, which is something Nikki Haley certainly possesses,” Mark Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch, told Newsweek. “She showed you can make up in political acumen what you lack in foreign policy experience. She is an effective interlocutor between Washington and the U.N. Ivanka hasn’t had a position that requires those skills.”
Haley also has received high marks from her fellow diplomats. Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said Haley has “changed the atmosphere” at the U.N. by more firmly supporting Israel on controversial matters.
“Even on issues where it is clear that the Arabs have a majority against us, the United States insists on the moral majority,” Danon said.
Kushner and wife Ivanka have had some foreign policy experience since coming to Washington. The president put Kushner in charge of Mideast peace negotiations, and Ivanka Trump sat in for her father in a G20 meeting in July.
Haley said that appearance on the first daughter’s part shouldn’t strike anyone as unusual.
“She sees herself as part of a public servant family, and she doesn’t want to waste this time by not putting forward some effort to try and help the world,” Haley told CBS News.