In the same speech, she took pains to say that, to many South Carolinians, the flag was “a symbol of respect, integrity and duty” and “a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state” — and that there was no need for the state to decide who was right: the people who saw it that way or those who saw it as “a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”
When she said the same thing in 2019, there was a much fiercer backlash to her assertion that the flag was not inherently racist, a sign of a political and social shift that she denounced in an opinion essay.
The U.N. ambassadorship
After President Donald J. Trump chose her as his ambassador to the United Nations, Ms. Haley was confirmed overwhelmingly by the Senate, 96 to 4. She would serve in that role for about two years before resigning at the end of 2018.
At the United Nations, Ms. Haley was a face of the Trump administration’s policies on Israel, North Korea, Russia and Syria.
She accused the U.N. of “bullying” Israel for its treatment of Palestinians and called for the United States to move its Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She supported sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear program and pushed hard for the decertification of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
But she was not always aligned with the president she served under.
In one tense episode, Ms. Haley announced that the Trump administration would impose sanctions on Russia over its support for a Syrian government that was using chemical weapons against civilians — only for the White House to announce that it would not do so after all, suggesting that Ms. Haley had been confused about the policy.
“I don’t get confused,” she responded tersely.
Despite the internal conflicts, Ms. Haley maintained a high public approval rating throughout her time as ambassador, as she had during her governorship. In April 2018, when Mr. Trump’s approval rating was in the high 30s and low 40s, Ms. Haley’s was over 60 percent. (Such strength over Mr. Trump is not apparent in early polls of the 2024 race.)