Nikki Haley’s service to our country has been an exemplary record of accomplishment and success. Best known for her commanding performances as United States Ambassador to the UN, she is also the proud representative of immigrant and minority success. She is the proverbial “… only in America” story.
Ambassador Haley was born, “Nimrata Randhawa” in Bamberg, South Carolina, to an Indian-American Sikh mother and father. Her parents emigrated from Punjab, India to Canada, where her father had received a scholarship offer from the University of British Columbia. When her father received his Ph.D. degree in 1969, the family moved to South Carolina, where he became a professor at the historically black Voorhees College. Her mother, Raj Randhawa, earned a master’s degree in education and taught for seven years in the Bamberg public schools before starting a clothing company, Exotica International, in 1976.
Haley, a Clemson graduate and a Republican, ran her first race for the South Carolina State House in 2004, winning a run-off 55-45 over Larry Koons. She was the first Indian-American to ever serve in a legislative seat in South Carolina. She won the Governorship in 2010, and re-election in 2014 by a 55-41 margin. Her voting record was that of a moderate conservative, and she remained popular throughout her tenure as the Governor of South Carolina.
The Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney in 2012 considered her on the short list of Vice-Presidential candidates, but Haley asked for her name to be removed so that she could finish her first term as governor. When Trump came calling in 2016, UN Ambassador was a prestigious and important role that kept her far away from domestic politics. Haley accepted, and was a stellar representative of US interests for the last two years.
Lots of speculation has swirled in DC as to the timing and meaning of her departure…. the Trump team is rightfully concerned about Haley as a political rival in 2020, and that she would consider challenging Trump for the Republican nomination. Putting aside the DC gossip, there is no question that our nation was served very well at the UN by the leadership and moral persuasion of Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Here are Nikki Haley’s Top 3 Moments at the UN:
3. “The American Response to the Syrian Chemical weapons attack”: When dealing with the Syrian dictator Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Haley outlined the horrific attacks on their own people by the Syrian regime, and the Russian’s complicit support in the attacks. Haley did what her Obama administration predecessor did not: she showed the world the immorality of what Putin and Assad are doing in Syria. This effort has prevented Russia from setting the narrative on the Syrian civil war, and it served as one of many actions taken by the administration to combat Russian adventurism.
2. “The US-North Korean Nuclear Standoff”: At the height of Trump’s taunting of North Korean Kim Jong Un, referring to him as “Rocket Man”, and threatening North Korea with “fire and fury” for failing to accede to American demands to dismantle their nuclear program, Ambassador Haley was the calm during the storm. Evidencing a steely resolve while enunciating US demands and expectations, it was clear that the US was standing strong on our de-nuclearization expectations. Haley was quoted as saying at the Security Council: “If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.” That different response, as we know, would be a US military strike. Seldom have we seen such clarity from US Ambassadors under such tension-filled circumstances.
1. “From Russia with Love”: Perhaps the greatest standoff and quote in history of global diplomacy occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when US Adlai Stevenson confronted Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin at the UN with this famous line:
“…Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium- and intermediate-range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no — don’t wait for the translation — yes or no?”
The great Russian-American standoffs at the UN has a new favorite line, however, and it comes from Russia’s boss – Nikki Haley:
“…. I’m in awe, Vasily, of how you say what you say with a straight face.”
Any proud patriotic American would laugh from joy and beam with pride at such strong moral leadership from our UN Ambassador. The occasion was the on-going debates regarding the Syrian Civil War. The Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya blamed the United States for the current situation and the plight of the Syrian people. Ambassador Haley put him in his place.
From the moments listed above, to the movement of our embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, to the elimination of US funding for the Palestinians (UNRWA) – and much more … Nikki Haley has been at the forefront of some of the more pivotal moments in UN history for the 21st century. She has represented herself, and her country, in spectacular fashion.
From a grateful nation, thank you Nikki Haley – for a job well done.