As is his way, President Trump announced on Twitter Friday evening that he’s made a decision on who will fill the vacancy created by Nikki Haley’s resignation. He’s chosen to nominate the current ambassador to Canada, Kelly Knight Craft, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She has some heavy-hitters in her corner.
The opening came up when former Fox News producer and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert dropped out of consideration due to a personal issue – allegedly her nanny is in the U.S. legally but lacking the proper visa for work. By the way, how is it in 2019 that nominees for top jobs in government are still getting sidetracked because of employment issues with household staff? This allegation conjured up memories of the first purge of nominations due to domestic help issues back in the days of the Clinton administration.
As I said, she has some heavy-hitters in her corner. She even has the backing of Nauert’s boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Craft emerged as the front runner for the post after being backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, officials said.
Nikki Haley tweeted out her approval, too.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 22, 2019
Craft is the current U.S. ambassador to Canada. Pompeo’s statement was brief and to the point.
“Ambassador Craft has been an outstanding advocate for America’s national security and economic interests in Canada and she is extremely well-qualified to do the same at the United Nations,” he continued. “I look forward to her confirmation and continuing to work with her at the United Nations.”
McConnell’s statement included a mention that Craft is a native of Kentucky.
“Kelly Craft is a strong advocate for American interests and will be a powerful representative of our great nation at the U.N.,” his statement read. “She has a long record of service to her state and the nation and I’m confident she will continue to serve with distinction as America’s voice to the world at the United Nations. I was proud to recommend this remarkable Kentuckian to President Trump.”
So, who is she? Let’s go to her bio for a little more information.
A third-generation Kentuckian, Ambassador Craft demonstrates a deep commitment to her home state by serving in several leadership roles with the Salvation Army of Lexington and the Center for Rural Development, a non-profit dedicated to economic development in rural Kentucky. She also served on the Boards of Directors for the Kentucky Arts Council, the Lexington Philharmonic, YMCA of Central Kentucky, and the United Way of The Bluegrass.
With a deep commitment to education, Ambassador Craft has served on the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, and co-founded the Morehead State University Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics which nurtures the academic talents of young Kentuckians.
In the private sector, Ambassador Craft founded a successful marketing and business advisory firm providing leadership advice to businesses in her community and across the country. In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Ambassador Craft as an alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.
She certainly has more experience than the relatively inexperienced Nauert. She’s a former Bushie and she’s been instrumental in putting together the Trump administration’s replacement to NAFTA, now known as USMCA. She will come under fire from the climate change extremists on the left as she takes a reasoned, moderate view of scientific findings in line with most conservatives. She doesn’t sign on to the hysteria that the world will soon end if the U.S. doesn’t agree to cripple our economy with excessive regulations and government overreach. Oh, and her husband is president of a coal producer and a big donor to Republican candidates, including Trump. The horror.
She faced early scrutiny, however, after she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that she believed scientists on “both sides” of the climate change debate.
“I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science,” Knight Craft had said.
According to Open Secrets, a non-profit group tracking political contributions, Knight Craft’s husband, Joe Craft, who is president of coal producer Alliance Resource Partners, donated $1 million to Trump’s 2017 inauguration fund.
He also donated $371,100 to Republican candidates during the 2018 election cycle, according to Open Secrets.
I can hear the snarling and gnashing of teeth now from our environmental betters on the left. Here’s a good example from California Rep. Ted Lieu. His district includes Beverly Hills, you know, the Hollywood celebrities who preach the gospel of climate change yet haven’t given up their private jets and mansions.
Dear @USAmbCanada Kelly Craft: Here are both sides:
Side 1: We have 12 years to significantly reduce greenhouse gases or our children face catastrophic consequences.
Side 2: We have 20 years to significantly reduce greenhouse gases or our children face catastrophic consequences https://t.co/gHgVc5OGvE
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 23, 2019
We’ll see how Craft’s nomination hearing goes. As long as McConnell can keep Senate Republicans together, she should be able to win a floor vote. Maybe she can even get the vote of coal country’s Senator Joe Manchin.