If Nikki Haley Ever Runs for the WH, Remember She Supported the Worst President in History

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Nikki Haley (Gage Skidmore)

So United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is the latest person to exit the Trump trainwreck. There have been several rumors about the reasons why she quit. She is about $1 million in debt and facing an ethics investigation. Some rumors have suggested she finally got tired of President Donald Trump’s misogyny. But either way, Haley leaves the Trump administration with a cloud over her head.

And to compound things, she still spouts mindless Trump rhetoric. She called Jared Kushner, who had to use his dad’s money to get into Harvard, a “hidden genius.” Kushner also has zero foreign policy experience but was appointed to form a Middle East peace plan. And she exposed herself as a champion bootlicker by saying, “Now, the United States is respected. Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do.”

This, after the United Nations laughed in the face of President Donald Trump, a serial liar who spews conspiracy theories. Maybe Haley is trying to stay in Trump’s good graces or maybe she thinks the rest of the country is as easily snowed as Cult 45, but this is simply not true. A Pew Research study showed that America’s reputation has plummeted under Trump.

“In the closing years of the Obama presidency, a median of 64 percent had a positive view of the U.S. Today, just 49 percent are favorably inclined toward America,” said Pew.

ThinkProgress called Haley’s comments “pure gaslighting.

I’ve always had issues with Haley, the child of Indian immigrants who’s made her home in a party of white nationalists. I don’t like the term “acting white,” but it fits Haley perfectly. She has sublimated her ethnicity for political gain.

Haley’s parents are Sikh, and her birth name is Nimrata Randhawa. But because of her complexion and married name, a lot of people don’t know she’s not white. I guess that’s what she needed to do to get elected governor in South Carolina and prosper in the Republican Party.

As UN ambassador, she backed Trump’s isolationist policies and defended the administration’s Muslim ban and internment camps.

“It was a surprise because she put such a nice face, an articulate face on a policy that is horrific in many respects, vis-à-vis Palestine, vis-à-vis Iran, on so many fronts,” said Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, on Democracy Now. “What she was putting forward, while perhaps red meat to the president’s base, is probably abhorrent to most Americans and has, contrary to what she said, made the United States much more isolated internationally.”

During her departure ceremony, Trump, who chooses cabinet members as if he’s casting a TV show, remarked Haley had added “glamor” to the role.

I’ve heard rumors that Haley is trying to position herself as a future presidential candidate, a point she denied during her exit press conference. But I doubt if the child of Indian immigrants could win the presidency in a party that has embraced white nationalism. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign went nowhere. Jindal has tried to play down his Indian heritage, much to his own community’s annoyance.

“They (the Indian American community) felt that he was inauthentic, that he was trying to run away from his identity and he was embarrassed about being Indian,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a public policy professor at the University of California, Riverside, in an NPR interview.

When Haley was running for governor of South Carolina, a fellow Republican described her as a “turban topper.” If she runs for president, she can expect much worse. Good luck trying to win over alt-right fan boys such as Richard Spencer and Tucker Carlson.

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Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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