US President-elect Donald Trump has named two-time Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley as his choice for Ambassador to the United Nations. The 44-year-old Haley is of Indian origin and the first non-white woman invited to join the Trump administration, which has been under fire for containing infamous older, white men like Steve Bannon – the former executive chair of alt-right-mouthpiece Breitbart, anti-Islam conspirator Mike Flynn and Klan supporter Jeff Sessions.
Trump also named Betsy DeVos, a former Michigan Republican Party chairperson, as the Secretary of Education. She notably comes from a small prosperous circle of billionaires who has always donated to the Republican Party. This is the latest pre-Thanksgiving development – a push towards a little diversity – in the Trump cabinet, which is in process of being populated with a characteristic Reality TV flourish of the Commander-in-Chief to be.
Both these Republican women originally had been prominent, vocal critics of Donald Trump in his campaign days, with Haley in particular drawing his supporters’ wrath when she called him out for failing to unequivocally condemn the white supremacist groups supporting him. Interestingly, upon Haley’s step down as the Governor of South Carolina, she will be replaced by Henry McMaster, an early and vocal Trump supporter.
Haley and DeVos would be joining amidst mixed reactions about their capability and intentions towards their role. Although a rising star within the Republican party, unlike all her predecessors, Haley’s experience in foreign policy is nondescript for the role she would be shouldering as one of US’1s top diplomats. In a recent speech, Haley said her parents told her and her siblings to be grateful to God everyday for being in America.
Because, of course, India is such a sorry place to be in?
The internationalist sensibility she will bring to her top job — while working for an isolationist President – is anybody’s guess.
DeVos is expected to preside over defunding the traditional American public education in favour of private charter schools. Her nomination has drawn sharp criticism of Trump administration from the National Education Association, the largest teacher association in the US – of being “out of touch” with “what works best what works best for students, parents, educators and communities’’.
It is actually hard to picture of the Trumpian cabinet from these motley bunch of nominations which contains both Klan supporters and Klan denouncers. On Wednesday, GOP Presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson, who is African American, shared on social media that he might consider working in the Trump administration – a reversal from his earlier stance.
Oh and who will be the Secretary of State – the toxic Rudy Giuliani or a moderate Mitt Romney? Meanwhile, Former Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal is still one of the names being floated in the leads for the Department of Health and Human Services. If chosen, would this Indian-heritage-repressing brown senator be another feather in diversity’s cap? It’s hard to say.
The audience has no option but to wait for the next tweet burst about the “finalists” from the King.