Nikki Haley, the former Republican Governor of South Carolina, has said that she will resign from her post at the end of 2018.
Despite this announcement, Mrs Haley has given no indication as to why she is resigning, leading to speculation that she is preparing a bid to run for the Republican nomination for the 2020 election. This cannot be ruled out: Mrs Haley was previously critical of President Trump during the 2016 Primaries and supported Marco Rubio over the current President. She is also said to have been critical of Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban.’
Mrs Haley was the first female Governor of South Carolina, and only the second Indian-American person to ever hold a Governorship. As one of the few female members of Trump’s cabinet, she is allegedly a good friend of Ivanka Trump – the daughter of President Trump. Interestingly enough, Ivanka was reportedly in the frame to replace the Ambassador but has since announced that she would not be taking the role if it were offered to her.
Former deputy security council adviser Dina Powell is also said to be in the frame. Considered a specialist on Middle Eastern policy, she would certainly offer a firm stance towards Syria and Iran, but she was also the architect of the current Administration’s warming of relations with Saudi Arabia, a move that has not gone down entirely well across the political spectrum.
This resignation continues the revolving door in the Trump administration; and will potentially damage the United States’ standing on the world stage. While Mrs Haley has attacked the UN for a perceived ‘anti-Israel bias’ and has repeatedly warned against compiling a list of countries that were not backing the United States. many in the UN saw the Ambassador as a valuable ally in controlling Trump’s more unreliable side, and will eagerly await news of her successor.
The resignation is even more significant given the fact that the midterm congressional elections are on the horizon.
With the ruling Republican Party facing a real fight to retain hold of the Senate and the House of Representatives, it is entirely possible that Trump will struggle to confirm a new candidate should he pick someone unpalatable to the Democrats.
With rumours circulating of a possible Presidential bid in 2020 or 2024, the midterms just around the corner and a variety of foreign policy issues that need to be dealt with, it is easy to see why this resignation has come at a bad time for the Trump administration, but whether it will have any impact in November remains to be seen.