Ambassador Nikki Haley will bid farewell to the United Nations just before the US mid-terms; after 24 months in the job. Much has been made of the fact that she has bucked a Trump Town trend. That is, leaving on both her own timeframe and terms. Unlike so many of her colleagues at the White House. Naturally, there is now talk of how the highest-ranking woman in the Trump administration has her eye on challenging her boss to the Oval Office seat. To the point where she publicly denied this was the case. This leaves the 2024 presidential race. Indeed, the incumbent has offered her a job of her picking; assuming, of course, that he is returned to power after two years. In the event that she picks up the downed gauntlet in the hope of becoming the country’s first woman (of colour) president, one might well wonder what a Haley tenure would look like. Much like Hillary Clinton, in her capacity as secretary of State — as she green-lighted a ratcheted-up drone programme in Pakistan’s so-called badlands, resulting in civilian casualties of war — the world can expect the debunking of the man-made stereotype that casts high-flying women politicians being forever constrained by presumed weaknesses that are associated with being female. Even after Margaret Thatcher verily smashed that glass ceiling to smithereens. Ambassador Haley has already proved herself on this front. As the face of the US, as the country cut off vital funds to the UN Palestinian refugee agency. Or when she all but desk-thumped President Trump’s unilateral Jerusalem Shuffle. All the while slamming the world body for its ‘anti-Israel bias’. This requires nerves of steel or else staunch belief. Yet during her time as governor of South Carolina and in the immediate aftermath of the Charlottesville shootings, it was she who pushed for the lowering of the Confederate flag. Thereby prompting many of her supporters to suggest the former. All this being said, it remains unfortunate that women who get to the top in politics are viewed through the gender lens in a way that men never are even when it comes to, say, ethnicity or race. That is why Barrack Obama was never held to account over black lives in the same way that Hillary was expected to either do more for women or else advised not to be blinkered by ‘those issues’. He was simply allowed to get on with his job. And even across the pond, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been on the receiving end of Islamophobic slurs — these are not comparable to the level of abuse endured by Labour’s Diane Abbott; Britain’s first-ever black parliamentarian. This tangled state of affairs gives way to fragmented support. For example, we here at this newspaper would like nothing better than to see a woman of colour — Ambassador Haley was born Nimrata Randhawa to Indian immigrant parents — sitting in the hot seat. But if her record at the UN is anything to go by, we would be extremely hesitant about supporting a potential presidential bid based on past record. The question is whether this would make us regressive in our choice or pragmatic. That such dilemmas regarding women and their place in politics still exist here in the 21st century underscores just how much needs to be done to level the playing field. * Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.