So, President Trump went to the United Nations. He delivered his first speech before the General Assembly and met with various Heads of State, garnering the predictable reactions from the media. What really caught my attention was the minor commentary on our current Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley.

I remember being quite impressed with her when, as Governor of South Carolina, she removed the Confederate flag from the State Capitol. She had poise, determination; the “it” factor in spades.

Having endorsed Marco Rubio in the Presidential primaries and having no international or diplomatic experience, I was surprised by her appointment to the ambassador position at the U.N. It was at a time when the Presidents’ actions could still surprise me! But, any doubt that she is a savvy, experienced, charismatic politician has been wiped away.

Somehow she has been able to effectively manage support of the president despite having disagreement with some of the policies and pronouncements he expounds.

Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and in her GOP response to President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address (a slot said to be afforded to only the rising stars of the party), she evoked her heritage often and received bi-partisan praise. The immigration issue is close to her heart. She has stated that she had spoken to the President about her concerns. Another area where she doesn’t seem to see eye-to-eye with the President is on the “Russian investigations,” stating that they are “necessary.”

Anthony Cordesman a national security analysist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies has stated that people know who she is and take her very seriously. He praised Haley, stating, “Haley has emerged as a very articulate spokesman ... she has found a reasonably good way as someone who reinforces the President’s message by finding a diplomatic and probably a more broadly acceptable way of saying these points.”

Haley welcomed the President on Monday to the turf that she has truly made her own, the United Nations. Since her appointment, she has been removed from the nitty-gritty of happenings in the White House which can be attributed to mere geography (she is based in New York City) or innate political aplomb. Either way she seems to always be above the fray.

With our current Secretary of State preferring to stay away from the camera’s glare and keeping a low profile; Haley has become the face of U.S. foreign policy to the world. It has been said that she is the “Shadow Secretary of State.” Her unflappable demeanor, straight-talking, confidence-building rhetoric in interviews has not gone unnoticed by either the public or the White House. Sources say that the President sees Haley as a compatriot and truly respects her talents, even when she is in disagreement with him. They communicate often and intensely.

In spite of their differing views on some issues, there is chemistry between Haley and the President. She said recently, “Donald Trump has a businessman’s eye for seeing potential.”

I think our own eye on potential should be focused on Nikki Haley.

Wendy J. Levenfeld is a published novelist, playwright and columnist. Send comments to Visit Wendy’s website at

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