Sunday, April 29, 2018

Nikki Haley Ascendant

Much to no one’s surprise, the most popular politician in America today is… U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Considering that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed overwhelmed by his job, Haley became the de facto spokesperson for Trump administration foreign policy.

She handled herself admirably. She spoke clearly and directly. She took stands and laid down markers. She sat tall and proud, a wonderful representative of the United States.

CNN has the story:

American voters of different partisan stripes don't agree on much nowadays, but they can agree on this: most of them approve of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

A broad 63% of American voters approve of her job performance vs. only 17% who say they disapprove in a new Quinnipiac University poll. Twenty percent had no opinion. Her approval spans party lines: 75% of Republicans, 63% of independents and even 55% of Democrats say they approve of how she's handling her job.

Her boss, President Trump, has a 39% approval rating. Perhaps he should ask her how she does it.

Consider Haley’s communications skills. A couple of weeks ago she went out on the Sunday talk shows to announce that the administration, through Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, would be introducing new sanctions on Russia. Clearly, she had been instructed to say this. And then, someone in the crack White House policy team, changed his mind. The sanctions did not happen. Clearly, it was a major policy failure at the highest level of government. Such confusion does not provoke confidence. You cannot make policy by following the call of your gut.

Anyway, White House sources suggested that Haley had been confused… thus hanging her out to dry. Her response was exceptional. You recall it. She said:

“With all due respect, I don't get confused.”

The White House, in the person of Larry Kudlow, was forced to back down. But, note what Haley did. She did not complain about sexism. She did not whine about the injustice of it all. She certainly did not back down. She stated her position clearly and forthrightly. She did not explicitly accuse anyone of anything. She gave them a chance to take back what they had said.

As a communications strategy, it was brilliant. For those who believe that the only correct response to being treated unfairly is to denounce someone’s sexism, the Haley reply should serve as an excellent instance of how to do it.

It is especially important for women, given that the first woman presidential candidate, that would be Hillary Clinton, has been on an extended whinathon, showing poor sportsmanship and a sour disposition. Where Hillary blames everyone but herself for her appalling performance, Haley showed how a woman can exercise leadership and command respect.


Anonymous said...

Haley has demonstrated that there are women who are quite capable of doing the job without playing the blame game. Too bad the vast majority of jackanapes that populate the DC swamp could not learn from her.

Ares Olympus said...

Standing up for yourself without attacking others who are obviously wrong is an admirable skills. We can find older versions of this skill as well:
@realDonaldTrump The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley! 2:33 PM - Mar 1, 2016
@nikkihaley @realDonaldTrump, Bless your heart. 2:55 PM - Mar 1, 2016

Her primary mistake I can see is working under Donald Trump.

Deana said...

Nikki Haley did not get where she is with such broad approval by making big mistakes.

Sam L. said...

So, AO, it's not HER; it's HIM.

Gringo said...

I am reminded of Hillary's trip to India, where she discussed the attitudes of the "deplorable" people that didn't vote for her:You don’t want to see that Indian American succeeding more than you are.

There have been two governors of Indian (Asian) descent, in Louisiana and in South Carolina. Both were Republicans. One of them being Nikki Haley, who has very high approval ratings in her current position as UN Ambassador. Odds are that those who do not approve of her performance in the UN are not "deplorable" Republicans, but Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Nikki is amazing. Born a Sikh. The religion/culture produces vigorous, intelligent high achievers in various fields. Apostates are v v rare.

Nikki left to marry a Methodist. Other reasons too perhaps.

Governor of South Carolina!!?? Where the Civil War began!!?? Amazing. -- Rich Lara