Indian American Governor of South Carolina first to be officially picked for administration.
Putting an end to speculation surrounding the role of Nikki Haley in the Trump administration, the president-elect has picked the Indian American governor of South Carolina as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Haley, born to Indian parents, was earlier rumored as being considered for the powerful post of Secretary of State, this after Donald Trump met her last week along with a number of other Republicans he is currently vetting to be part of the administration.
During the initial phase of the presidential election, Haley was hailed as a potential vice presidential candidate. Initially a vociferous critic of the New York billionaire within the Republican party, she gave her support to Trump after he became the official face of the Republicans after the primaries.
The elevation of Haley as the US Ambassador to the UN was announced by the transition team on Wednesday. The announcement has given hope to minority groups that Trump, who had made many contemptuous statements about them during the campaign, will moderate.
Haley, 44, is the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina. In a statement released on Wednesday, she said the US “faces enormous challenges” both at home and internationally. She cited a “sense of duty” in accepting Trump’s offer.
“When the President believes, you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed,” Haley said. “The second is a satisfaction with all that we have achieved in our state in the last six years and the knowledge that we are on a very strong footing.”
With Haley’s role in the Trump administration confirmed, some other potential Republicans, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are still waiting for their positions in the next administration.
During the election primaries, Haley had endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz and had attacked Trump for his comments on Muslims and immigration.
Recap of some of the earlier rhetoric of Trump and Nikki Haley
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. “We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country,” Haley said, never mentioning Trump by name.
Haley: “That is not who we are as Republicans. And we are seeing a division that is dangerous.”
Haley: “We have someone running for president who instead of bringing [people] back together like we did in South Carolina, he’s telling his supporters to punch a guy in the face! He’s telling them if they don’t do the right thing to carry him out on a stretcher. He’s telling them to say, do it again. He’s not denouncing the KKK when this is exactly the same group that protested on my statehouse grounds. We can’t have Donald Trump as president! We can’t.”
Haley: “As a member of a military family, and the governor of a proud military state that has been recognized as the most patriotic, my heart and my unending thanks go out to the Khan family for their enormous sacrifice for our country,” Haley said in a statement. “As far as I’m concerned, they have the standing to say whatever they want in the political process and should not face criticism for it.”
Trump: The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!
Trump: “But she’s weak on illegal immigration, and she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions, ‘cause over the years she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions. So, you know, it’s sort of interesting to hear,” he said on “Fox and Friends.” “Perhaps, if I weren’t running she’d be in my office asking for money. But now that I’m running, she wants to take a weak side on immigration. I feel very strongly about illegal immigration. She doesn’t, and I think the people in her great state, I love her state, I’m there a lot, and by the way I have a massive lead in South Carolina. We have a massive lead. They’re incredible people, and they feel like I do. Believe me. Because they don’t like what’s happening in our country.”