Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was confirmed Tuesday to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Despite some Democrats’ fears of having another Republican rising to a position of influence, Haley is a great choice for the job.
Yes, Haley has no diplomatic experience, but she is no stranger to succeeding in a role many felt she was unqualified for.
Haley was both the first woman and first person of color to be elected as governor of South Carolina.
She’s also not afraid of stepping outside of party norms. In fact, when asked why she ran for office, she didn’t hesitate to point to a woman who exemplifies the Democratic party.
“The reason I actually ran for office is because of Hillary Clinton,” Haley said. “[Clinton] said that when it comes to women running for office, there will be everybody that tells you why you shouldn’t but that’s all the reasons why we need you to do it, and I walked out of there thinking ‘That’s it. I’m running for office.’”
Haley became a household name in June 2015 when she responded to the church shooting in Charleston by advocating for the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.
“On matters of race, South Carolina has had a tough history,” Haley said. “We all know that. Many of us have seen it in our lives, in the lives of our parents and grandparents. We don’t need reminders.”
And she won. In South Carolina, one of the most conservative states in the U.S.
Haley is by no means a liberal. She began to rise in her political career when she became a Tea Party reformer. She represented the voice of the Republican party when she responded to then-President Barack Obama’s 2016 State of Union Address.
She listed all the ways Republicans would work to better America if they held the presidency and reflected on the lessons learned from the Charleston shooting and on refusing to allow hate to win.
She applauded Obama for making history and inspiring millions, but then reprimanded him for failing to live up to his “soaring words.”
Yet when the Senate cast a vote on her confirmation Tuesday, it voted her in with an overwhelming majority, 96-to-4.
Haley resigned as governor Tuesday to take the position and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster was sworn in as her replacement.
She is the first woman to be confirmed to Trump’s cabinet. Despite her lack of experience, Haley expertly handled questions about Russia and how she prepared to stand up to Trump about issues like the U.N. and the NATO military alliance.
“Russia is trying to show their muscle right now,” Haley said. “It’s what they do. I don’t think we can trust them. We have to continue to be very strong back, and show them what this new administration is going to be.”
She stood up for minorities by vowing to not support the creation of a registry of Muslims in the U.S. and assured the Senate the administration had altered its stance on the issue as well.
Haley is exactly what this nation needs. Someone who has strong convictions, but who is capable of seeing past a political agenda. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for tenfold in passion and intelligence.
Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.