Donald Trump has begun to diversify his ranks, so to speak, in terms of cabinet level appointments. On Tuesday evening, he offered Ben Carson the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development position. And now he’s offered the UN ambassador spot to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who has accepted the position. Haley’s home-state Post and Courier originally reported the news, and as the New York Times notes, her acceptance of the position may quell criticism that the entire Trump administration was looking like a “homogeneous bloc of older, white men.”
Indeed, Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants. She’s a rising star in the Republican party and carries foreign policy experience based upon her work as governor with international companies who develop in South Carolina. She has also headed seven overseas trade missions. However, her selection does come as a surprise, for Haley has been a vocal critic of Trump throughout election season, even while stating (in October) that she’d begrudgingly vote for him. At the time, Haley said she was still “not a fan” of real estate mogul. She previously endorsed Marco Rubio, who also remained a Trump detractor even while supporting the GOP nominee. Then she went with Ted Cruz. Clearly, she wasn’t pleased with the eventual GOP nominee.
It bears mentioning that Haley slammed Trump during her State of the Union rebuttal earlier this year. She called him one of the “the angriest voices” and urged people not to follow his “siren call.” The NY Times also issues a reminder of Haley’s frequent vocal criticism of what she felt Trump represented:
Ms. Haley drew on South Carolina’s experience last year with the murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church, saying that was exactly the kind of hate that Mr. Trump refused to repudiate. “The K.K.K. came to South Carolina from out of state to protest on our Statehouse grounds,” she said at a rally in Georgia. “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the K.K.K. That is not a part of our party. That is not who we are.”
Supporters of Mr. Trump were angered that Ms. Haley called him out, and many took to Twitter and mocked her Indian heritage, making fun of her Indian given name. Some of that sentiment reappeared on social media once word began circulating that Ms. Haley was likely to be chosen to be part of the Trump administration.
Haley continued to call out Trump’s immigration stance and anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout his campaign. The Washington Post also makes note of Haley’s continued refusal to condone Trump’s rhetoric and states that she “represents the addition of a rival” to the Trump administration. Still, one can assume that the Trump transition team realized this and has a strategy of their own with Haley’s inclusion. She’ll certainly keep him on his toes.