Back when Republican rising star Nikki Haley resigned as Governor of South Carolina to take the UN Ambassador job in the Donald Trump administration, Palmer Report wondered aloud what she thought she was doing. Sure, we all know that she has aspirations of being President someday, and she needed national experience. But attaching herself to Trump at the hip seemed like a bad idea, and sure enough, now she’s paying the price for having done Trump’s bidding.
Nikki Haley resigned today, just one day after respected legal watchdog CREW exposed that she’d accepted several free luxury flights in violation of basic ethics rules. That can’t be a coincidence. Regardless of whatever else might be going on here behind the scenes, she’s clearly trying to prevent this scandal from becoming headline news, by giving the media an entirely different storyline to chew on (and thus far it largely seems to be working). But look where this has left her.
As of now, Nikki Haley is facing the unemployment line, she’s saddled with an ethics scandal that’ll become a hot topic the minute she tries to seek future political office, and her reputation will always be tied to that of Donald Trump. Right around the time she thinks she’ll be running for President someday, that’s roughly the time that Trump will be famously rotting away in a New York state prison. This was her plan? Can anyone make the argument that she’s better off now than if she had simply remained Governor and avoided this freak show?
Of course Nikki Haley is far from the first to pay the price for thinking that doing Donald Trump’s bidding would somehow work out well in the end. Half his former advisers are now unhireable by any respectable employer, and the other half are now convicted felons. If anything, Haley may have gotten off easy. But this is just the latest reminder that no one ever benefits in the long run by aligning themselves with Trump. It’s not a shortcut for getting ahead; it’s a shortcut to ruin.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report