Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision to take an appointment in President-elect Trump’s administration is leading to speculation that she could seek higher-profile national posts down the road.
University of South Carolina political science professor Bob Oldendick told South Carolina Radio Network that Haley being ambassador to the United Nations could be a launching pad for larger national political roles.
“The opportunity is there to use that as a springboard for future positions,” Oldendick said. “People will be seeing how she performs in a very high-profile position,” said Oldendick said.
Oldendick said that, despite her six years as governor, Haley is still a rising star in the GOP. “It’s one of those things where she is relatively young. She’s got executive experience as a one-and-a-half term governor,” he said.
Haley’s rise to national prominence has been sudden. A dozen years ago, the future governor was an accountant working in her parents’ Lexington boutique shop. She won a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives at age 32, defeating an incumbent who had held the seat nearly as long as she had been alive. She channeled that into a longshot gubernatorial bid in 2010, upsetting three more experienced candidates in the GOP primary, then edging out a close win in the general election.
Oldendick did say Haley’s overseas diplomatic experience is not very evident, but he believes she could be a quick study. “(Her) experience in foreign affairs is maybe questionable, but I don’t think we should jump on that too quickly,” he said.