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Nikki Haley: Making History

February 28, 2018
| The Augusta Chronicle by Editorial Staff

She’s strong. She’s forceful. She’s articulate. And she won’t put up with any claptrap from men who are used to dishing it out.

If only Nikki Haley were a Democrat. She’d be hailed as a demigod by the media.

Here’s a caution to Wonder Woman: if the comic book champion ever comes out as a Republican, she’ll no doubt be downgraded from superhero.

We’ll admit wondering what the former South Carolina governor was doing, accepting the post of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. For someone with legitimate presidential promise, it seemed to us akin to Siberia.

How wrong we were.

Between President Trump’s tough-as-nails approach, Haley’s gutsy messaging – and the pathetic state of world leadership – she has emerged as a tour-de-force on the international scene.

Not even her status as a prominent Indian-American has won her the acclaim of a media so obsessed with race. But Haley’s recent bold exchange with a possibly misogynistic Palestinian spokesman should rightfully be enough to impress the doubters.

After Haley criticized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for flatly rejecting a U.S.-brokered Middle East peace, Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Liberation Organization secretary general, called her “impudent” – as one would a child.

Or perhaps an outspoken woman.

“Nikki Haley needs to shut up,” Erekat said.

Sorry if she doesn’t jump on the Erekat Express. Women from these parts don’t take kindly to personal insults, especially daintily sexist ones.

Besides, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich spoke for many Americans and Westerners when she wrote that “well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Not that Haley isn’t being well-behaved. It’s just that some on the world stage have a hard time accepting hard-nosed, plucky women who don’t immediately shrink at the first whiff of a blustery man’s puffery.

In response to the Palestinian’s affront Haley was – typically we now know – sturdy, unyielding, yet infinitely more gracious than her foil.

“I’m sorry that he declined to stay in the chamber to hear remarks of others,” Haley said. “We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today.

“But I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”

We don’t know who coined this particular term, but it, too, is apt in this case.

You go, girl.

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