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“Nikki Haley has accomplished something no other Republican has managed in the Trump era: She’s departing a high-profile job in better shape politically than when she came in. The 46-year-old U.N. ambassador leaves her post on December 31 with a reputation enhanced and a star on the rise. She has the second-highest approval rating among Trump Cabinet members, behind only James Mattis. Trump Republicans respect her. Anti-Trump Republicans see a savior in her. The mainstream media treat her as an object of fascination rather than an enemy.
In her time in the Cabinet, she’s had no scandals—unlike many other departed Trump officials—nor any public spats with her boss. She’s no lame-duck member of Congress trudging back home after humiliating losses to Trump’s Grand New Party. Nor is she any sort of Trump sycophant, having publicly disagreed with him at times. She asserted in a September op-ed in the Washington Post that when their opinions differ, “I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.” Haley has carved out an independent profile while remaining loyal to the president.
The political world is seemingly her oyster, which is why it’s hard to believe her answer about what’s next. “I don’t know,” she tells me. “I have some ideas.” A book, maybe, she says, or a job at a think tank. She’s talking with the casualness of a college kid considering how to spend the summer break. But she quickly resumes the political position. “I think that I will always have a voice when it comes to defending America and when it comes to fighting for our values or fighting for human rights,” she says. “It’s such a part of me, so I will look for an opportunity to do that.””
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"