Nikki Haley may find that representing the United States at the United Nations is a bit of a letdown.
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Haley as his ambassador to the U.N. has been one of his better-received choices. In her current position as governor of South Carolina, she has made some decisions that pleased liberals, most notably removing the Confederate flag from the state house. U.N. officials who feared that Trump would send a unilateralist firebrand to speak for him in New York hope Haley is someone that they can do business with. There has, however, been a good deal of snooty commentary around U.N. headquarters about the 44-year-old’s lack of foreign policy experience.
This is partially justified: The governor’s international sorties add up to a few trade missions. At the U.N., Haley will have to go toe-to-toe with canny opponents such as Russia’s highly effective representative, Vitaly Churkin, who has been in the post for a decade. But before U.N. insiders become too haughty, it is worth asking whether being an ambassador in New York is really much harder than running a major U.S. state.