Nikki Haley’s departure and destination: Darcy cartoon

If I was placing Las Vegas odds on who would be the first woman President of The United States, they would favor Nikki Haley, not Ivanka or Chelsea.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced in The Oval Office that she is resigning…and that Jared Kushner is really a “hidden genius.”

Haley’s resignation, effective at the end of the year, immediately sparked speculation over the reason for her departure, the timing of it and her future political plans.

Trump rolled out red carpet for Haley exit.

The fact that Trump rolled out the red carpet for Haley, sitting alongside her in The Oval Office in making the announcement, would indicate Haley wasn’t being pushed out, but leaving on her own accord.   

While Haley was given a graceful goodbye that Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster were not, Trump and his UN Ambassador were not always on the same page during her tenure.

Haley in the past had spoken out strongly against Russia.   When the New York Times Op-Ed by Anonymous was published her name was one of those mentioned as the possible writer.   Haley was one of the first administration members to deny being Anonymous and denounced whoever was in lengthy statement. 

Haley resignation well-timed.

Both Haley and Trump said she had told the president of her desire to step away from her position some time ago. 

The explanation that the announcement was delayed because of the Kavanaugh controversy makes sense.  

It also makes sense that Trump may have chosen the positive optic of his popular female UN Ambassador sitting next to him in The White House in response to outrage from women over the Kavanaugh confirmation.

If Haley knew she wanted to leave, it’s politically astute to do it before the midterms, where Democrats are likely to win the House, and before Special Counsel Robert Mueller issues more indictments and his final report.

On top of the midterms outcome, odds were Haley would find herself in increasing conflict with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, neither of whom held those positions when Haley was named UN Ambassador.

President Haley or Senator Haley?

Sitting next to President Trump as her resignation was announced, Haley said she would not be a candidate for president, or any public office, in 2020.  Instead, Haley said she would be helping Trump’s re-election.

Haley has long been talked and hyped as a future presidential contender, reportedly to Trump’s annoyance.  There’s also new speculation she could replace Senator Lindsey Graham.

Graham has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General if he is fired.   Graham has said he has no intention to leave his Senate seat.  But Graham has fed the speculation himself by signing off on Trump firing Sessions after the midterms and suddenly becoming one of Trump’s most vocal advocates.

In the past, I’ve written that I don’t think Trump will run in 2020.  And I’m still not convinced he will, despite his talking and raising money like he has been.

Trump has gone on the record already saying he doesn’t like his job and misses his private sector life.   More Mueller indictments and reports will make life in The White House even more unappealing to Trump.   

Because he doesn’t like his job and to be seen as losing.  Instead of running for re-election, it would fit Trump’s m.o. to announce that his work is done, that he successfully did what he came to do and can do no more because of a Democrat controlled House.    Now 72, Trump would ideally like to go back to New York and cash in on his presidency, like no other former president has done, while he still can.  

So, despite denying she’ll run for president in 2020, I can see a scenario, where Haley does run in 2020, and wins, and if not in two years, then in 2024.

Haley was already a strong presidential contender before she was U.N Ambassador.  Her stint in the UN has just raised her profile and given her foreign policy credentials potential opponents like Governor John Kasich lack.

I’m not surprised Haley has a 63% approval rating.  She’s a rare conservative who appeals to not only conservatives but also moderates, independents, Republicans and right-leaning Democrats.   

Haley would be a nightmare candidate for the Democratic Party because I think she could beat any of the Democrats currently being mentioned as potential candidates.

If I was placing Las Vegas odds  on who would be the first woman President of The United States, they would favor Nikki Haley, not Ivanka, Chelsea, Elizabeth or Kamala.

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