Nikki Haley positions herself to lead the post-Trump Republican party

The knock on Haley is that she has been too calculating in her recent jobs. Democratic foreign policy officials said Haley delegated too much of the job of UN ambassador to her deputies and that all her speeches were political. In his recent book, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton framed Haley as out of her depth and more focused on using her ambassadorship to raise her profile.

Haley has surrounded herself with operatives who could lead a presidential campaign. The most commonly mentioned Republican strategist is Jon Lerner, who served as a deputy to Haley at the UN. Chapman previously ran the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation giving him strong ties to influential experts and groups within the Republican party.

The option of running for president partially depends on whether Trump wins re-election.

“If the president’s re-elected I think she’ll keep doing what she’s doing for two years and then start running in earnest,” a former Haley aide said. “If Biden wins it’ll actually make it a bit easier because then she can kind of pound away at Biden from the moment he’s inaugurated and then turn that momentum into a presidential campaign.”