Nikki Haley's dead end

So Haley’s presence in the Trump Cabinet was less disruptive than her admirers fantasized it might be. And her departure is probably not a sign of either a break with the administration or a radical change to come. Rather, it likely reflects a realization on Haley’s part that her job had become a professional dead end.

With Mike Pompeo and John Bolton replacing Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster as heads of the State Department and National Security Council respectively, Trump now had two foreign policy advisors whose instincts he trusted. Haley’s role inevitably grew more circumscribed, and the prospects of moving up within the foreign policy hierarchy were now extremely limited. It makes all the sense, under those circumstances, for her to look for an opportunity to exit on good terms. She certainly said everything she could in her remarks with Trump yesterday to keep those terms positive.

So why leave now? The optics of announcing her departure before the midterms are peculiar, but there are any number of possible explanations. Perhaps she wanted to leave before the investigation into her travels by private jet became a news story. Perhaps making the announcement before the midterms makes it clearer that she’s leaving of her own accord, whereas making the announcement after the midterms would make it look like the president waited until then to clear her out. P

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