Nikki Haley’s shock resignation prompts various theories
Journalists and pundits have reacted with shock to the unexpected resignation of US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley — and speculation abounds as to the reason for the abrupt departure.
US President Donald Trump accepted Haley’s resignation as UN ambassador during an oval office meeting on Tuesday morning, with Haley having reportedly discussed stepping down with Trump last week.
Nikki Haley’s news caught everyone off guard—from Chief of Staff John Kelly to Vice President Pence, I’m told.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 9, 2018
The Nikki Haley news really breaks up the monotony of the news cycle. It’s been awhile since there’s been a surprising headline.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) October 9, 2018
If you had Nikki Haley unexpectedly resigning on your Bingo sheet, come on down and accept your prize!— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) October 9, 2018
Immediately after she resigned, Twitter lit up with theories and opinions about the reason, with many suggesting Haley could be the Trump administration official behind a highly critical anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times last month.
So I guess Nikki Haley wrote the letter to the NYT.— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 9, 2018
Interesting speculation I’ve heard about Nikki Haley: She wrote the Times op-ed and was fired. Purely speculation, but entertaining palace intrigue— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) October 9, 2018
NYT op-ed???? Scoop: Trump has accepted Nikki Haley's resignation https://t.co/8b1BzMSdMY— Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) October 9, 2018
U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, one of Trump's sternest defenders on the international stage, has resigned... Anything to do with the anonymous op-ed in the NYT?— Luke Baker (@BakerLuke) October 9, 2018
Others pundits and Twitter politicos saw the sudden resignation as a sign that the former Governor of South Carolina was planning to run against Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Nikki Haley? 2020? A deal? Trump quits and she steps in? Crazy tweets? I'm so lost.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) October 9, 2018
She is SO running https://t.co/VXj2OLAuKY— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) October 9, 2018
But the seemingly cordial departure hinted that this may not be the case — and Haley herself soon poured cold water on the idea, saying she would not run in 2020 and would campaign for Trump instead.
That, in turn, prompted speculation that maybe Haley was angling after the vice president job instead.
my hot take is that he'll drop Pence as VP and put in Haley— Michael Whitney (@michaelwhitney) October 9, 2018
Nikki Haley will run as Trump’s VP in 2020 setting up a scenario that could put a female republican in the WH in 2024— Andrewok (@Pilarcik) October 9, 2018
I think Nikki Haley has eyes on VP in 2020. She knows Trump is going to struggle with women and she thinks she’ll be able to help him win them over. Then she can run for POTUS later with an even better resume. She’s young.— Courtney Hulse (@theincrdblhulse) October 9, 2018
Twitter also reacted to a New York Times article on Haley’s resignation which described her as a “moderate” Republican, with many of her critics astounded that the paper would choose to label her that way, given her apparent loyalty to Trump and conservatives.
Only to the insane New York Times is Nikki Haley a "moderate Republican voice"... pic.twitter.com/QaGGWIWX9O— Daniel McAdams (@DanielLMcAdams) October 9, 2018
It is really dangerous for the @nytimes to be calling Haley "moderate."Not just because it whitewashes her far-right record, but because it helps Trump loyalists redefine "moderate <-> conservative" as a spectrum of loyalty to Trump, rather than actual ideological principles. https://t.co/p4hzNagbzZ— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) October 9, 2018
Stop calling Nikki Haley a moderate Republican. A moderate would not work for the Trump administration or accept his endorsement.— Robbie Sherwood (@RobbieSherwood) October 9, 2018
MODERATE? Haley spent every minute of her time at the UN threatening innocent nations w/ war, terror and literally bullying and trying to blackmail (and miserably failing) the entire 🌎 into supporting her agenda dictated by the military industrial complex.This is the @nytimes. https://t.co/8YsEkyxAZA— Amir (@AmirAminiMD) October 9, 2018
Others, however, were sad to see Haley go.
Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned. She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency.— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 9, 2018
Stunned to see Nikki Haley resignation. Easily one of the most capable and successful appointees in the Administration.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 9, 2018
There was also plenty of speculation about who would replace Haley in the UN ambassador role, with Kanye West well out ahead of any other potential celebrity competitors.
Haley leaving. Next meeting: Kanye. Draw your own conclusions.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 9, 2018
Some also speculated about whether Trump would hand the role over to his daughter Ivanka, with conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeting that it would be a good idea.
Trump should replace Nikki Haley with Ivanka.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 9, 2018
Based on the speculation I've seen on TV, Trump will fire Jeff Sessions, who will be replaced by Lindsey Graham, who will be replaced by Nikki Haley, who will be replaced by Ivanka Trump.— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 9, 2018
He's going to make Ivanka UN Ambassador. Then he'll run her as VP in 2020. Then she'll be president, life will finally catch up to House of Cards, and then we can cancel Netflix. What I'm saying is, in the long run, Nikki Haley quitting could save us 8 bucks a month.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) October 9, 2018
On a more serious note, it was suggested that controversial US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell or Dina Powell, former deputy national security adviser could be in the running.
One name being floated as a Haley replacement— Dina Powell, who worked with @ivankatrump on women’s economic empowerment issues and later became deputy national security adviser before leaving early this year. Here’s my profile on Powell from January 2017: https://t.co/jcArWj4qnI— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) October 9, 2018
.@RichardGrenell is undoubtedly the best choice to replace Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations. He's got the right experience, is loyal to @POTUS & there's no one who would be a stronger advocate for American interests at the UN than Ric.https://t.co/RHx7Rx8Z59— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) October 9, 2018
@RichardGrenell would be great replacement for Nikki Haley— David Caplan (@DavidCaplanNYC) October 9, 2018
Potential successors floating for Haley:1-Dina Powell2-Kelly Ayotte3-Richard Grenell4-Ivanka Trump5-Bob Corker (Trump said he will decide in 2 to 3 weeks) https://t.co/e5u3mkkRP2— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) October 9, 2018