Jun 18, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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In the wake of Joe Biden choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 Presidential election, conjecture has cropped up suggesting that President Trump will trade VP Mike Pence for former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. 

Perhaps the most prominent person to suggest that Haley would be tagged as Trump’s running mate was Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the UN. In an interview with Yuval Karni of the Knesset Channel on Monday morning, confirmed that there were indeed “rumors.”

“There are rumors that former ambassador Nikki Haley may take on the role of Vice President Pence,” Danon said. “I know it’s being considered, but I don’t know if it’s something that will happen,” he said. “I definitely think that this issue will be considered.”

“So it will be interesting,” Danon said, “but it is impossible to say what the outcome will be.”

Though it is highly unusual for a president running for a second term to choose someone who was not his VP as a running mate, it has happened in the past. Franklin D. Roosevelt dis so in 1944 when he replaced  Henry Wallace with Harry Truman as his running mate in his successful fourth bid for the Oval Office in 1944.

It is interesting to note Haley was sworn in by VP Pence on January 25, 2017. Haley was mentioned in the media as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney in his 2012 bid for the presidency but she declined, emphasizing that she had a prior commitment to the people of South Carolina who had elected her as governor. The media again tagged her as a VP candidate when Trump began his campaign in 2016 but again she publicly declined.

Trump’s selection of Haley as UN Ambassador was surprising since Haley was a critic prior to his election. 

In March, CNN’s political analyst Paul Begala predicted on Monday that President Trump is “gonna dump [Vice President] Mike Pence in favor of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.” 

“This is not a prediction. It’s a certainty. On Thursday, July 16 — that’s the date the Democrat gives his or her acceptance address — on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago. He’s going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms,” Begala predicted, explaining that this would be due to Trump’s ire at Pence, as head of a coronavirus task force, for mishandling the crisis.

Her appeal is due to her fierce defense of Israel in the notoriously anti-Israel United Nations. She is also a close friend of Ivanka, the president’s Jewish daughter. The Economist described Haley as a politician with high approval ratings who possesses a combination of “fiscal ferocity and a capacity for conciliation,” and stated as a female candidate and ethnic minority she would have appeal. Haley was raised as a Sikh by her parents but converted to Christianity in 1997. 

The irony is that both Haley and Harris are of Indian descent, though the two have vastly divergent political views and their political careers have taken very different paths.

Harris’s mother is Indian, who named her for Hindu Gods, and her father is Jamaican, though of Indian descent. Harris grew up going to both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple. She married Jewish attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014. She is a member of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, a congregation of the American Baptist Churches USA. She is an outspoken advocate for abortion. 

It is interesting to note that Biden’s ratings in the polls have dropped since announcing that Harris would be his running mate.

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