Trump picks two women for cabi­net posts

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS -

Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day named South Carolina Gov­er­nor Nikki Ha­ley, a for­mer critic with lit­tle for­eign pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ence, to be the next US am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions at a time of un­cer­tainty over Amer­ica’s in­ter­na­tional role un­der his pres­i­dency.

Ha­ley, one of two women cho­sen so far for a job in Trump’s Cabi­net, is “a proven deal­maker, and we look to be mak­ing plenty of deals. She will be a great leader rep­re­sent­ing us on the world stage,” the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­t­elect said in a state­ment.

The 44-year-old daugh­ter of In­dian im­mi­grants, Ha­ley rep­re­sents what some Repub­li­cans hope could be the new face of their party: a younger, more di­verse gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers.

Ha­ley took Trump strongly to task dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign over his harsh rhetoric about il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and for not speak­ing force­fully enough against white su­prem­a­cists.

Trump has cho­sen mostly male con­ser­va­tives so far for se­nior po­si­tions as he shapes his administration fol­low­ing his vic­tory over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in the Nov 8 elec­tion. Trump takes over from Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Jan 20.

The choice of Ha­ley may be aimed at coun­ter­ing crit­i­cism of Trump’s di­vi­sive com­ments about im­mi­grants and mi­nori­ties, as well as ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ism dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign.

Ha­ley led a suc­cess­ful ef­fort last year to re­move the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capi­tol af­ter the killing of nine black church­go­ers in Charleston. The flag was car­ried by pro-slav­ery Con­fed­er­ate forces dur­ing the Civil War and is viewed by many as a racist em­blem.

Ha­ley said she had ac­cepted Trump’s of­fer and would re­main gov­er­nor pend­ing her con­fir­ma­tion to the Cabi­net-level post by the US Se­nate.

“When the pres­i­dent be­lieves you have a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to make to the wel­fare of our na­tion, and to our na­tion’s stand­ing in the world, that is a calling that is im­por­tant to heed,” she said in a state­ment.

Trump on Wed­nes­day also picked wealthy Repub­li­can donor and school choice ad­vo­cate Betsy DeVos to lead the Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment, say­ing, “Un­der her lead­er­ship we will re­form the US ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and break the bu­reau­cracy that is hold­ing our chil­dren back so that we can de­liver world-class ed­u­ca­tion and school choice to all fam­i­lies.”

DeVos, a bil­lion­aire for­mer chair of the Michi­gan Repub­li­can Party, has long pushed for a larger role for pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion. In her own state­ment, DeVos said, “The sta­tus quo in ed­u­ca­tion is not ac­cept­able.”

In a video mes­sage re­leased ahead of the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day on Thurs­day, Trump said he hoped the hol­i­day would be an oc­ca­sion for Amer­i­cans “to be­gin to heal our di­vi­sions” fol­low­ing a “long and bruis­ing po­lit­i­cal cam­paign.”

Nikki Ha­ley

Betsy DeVos

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