World leaders are descending on the United Nations this week, and you know what that means: Manhattan traffic will be even more nightmarish than usual. Restaurant reservations will be impossible in Midtown – except at 5:15 or 11:30 p.m.
And U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will show everyone that her brief internship is over and she’s more than ready to be secretary of state. Rex Tillerson may have the title. But Haley definitely has the elbows, and she seems to have the juice with Donald Trump.
The only lingering question: Which man will get sick of the other sooner, Tillerson or Trump?
Expect the president to send a signal on Haley’s future just as soon as he takes a break from his juvenile GIFs. His latest retweet comes via Mike @fuctupmind: “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing” smacks a ball into #CrookedHillary Clinton and knocks her to the ground. Yes, instead of preparing for his first speech to the 193 member nations of the General Assembly on Tuesday, the president of the United States spent the weekend sharing a violent video about a former rival, which he seemed to find hilarious.
Haley is the former governor of South Carolina. She is also one of the most ambitious members of Trump’s administration. She was interviewed by him for the secretary of state job but told Trump she didn’t think she had enough experience. The U.N. gig would be her foreign-policy internship.
That left secretary of state to Tillerson, the retired chairman of Exxon Mobile, who has spent his time at Foggy Bottom hardly doing the job at all.
Proposing devastating State Department budget cuts. Leaving key positions unfilled. Pursuing a vision of U.S. power abroad that can easily be summed up in two words: “Orderly shutdown.” He’s also failed to bond with Donald Trump.
That last one’s a killer.
Asked on Sunday whether she’s now ready to fill Tillerson’s shoes, Haley gave the political answer. “Secretary Tillerson continues to work hard,” she told Dana Bash on CNN. “He’s not going anywhere. I continue to work well with him.”
But really, how long is an internship supposed to last?
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is the best-selling author of a dozen books including the upcoming “Trumpitude: The Secret Confessions of Donald's Brain.” He is on Twitter @henican.