Upcoming Match-ups

Richard Grenell Favored to Be Next US Ambassador to the United Nations

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Politics News

Updated Mar 30, 2020 · 4:19 PM PDT

Nikki Haley speaking at CPAC. What's her next move?
Nikki Haley speaking at CPAC. What's her next move? Photo by Gage Skidmore (flickr) [CC License]
  • Nikki Haley is leaving her position as UN Ambassador at the end of the year, opening up one of the most coveted positions in Trump’s cabinet
  • Trump would love to nominate his daughter Ivanka, but doesn’t want to be accused of nepotism
  • Richard Grenell, currently the Ambassador to Germany, is the favorite to replace Haley

Nikki Haley abruptly announced that she will be walking away from her position as Ambassador to the United Nations, catching virtually everyone by surprise. We don’t know exactly why she’s leaving. Perhaps she wanted to escape an ethics investigation into her private jet travels, or maybe she’s stepping aside to plan a run in 2020.

Whatever the reason, she’s leaving open one of the hottest pieces of real estate on Trump’s cabinet. Donald Trump hasn’t revealed much about Haley’s replacement, but there’s already a ton of speculation.

Odds to Be the Next UN Ambassador

Who Will Be The Next Ambassador To The United Nations? Odds
Richard Grenell (Ambassador to Germany) +175
Dina Powell (Former Senior Counselor to the President for Economic Initiatives) +200
Jon Huntsman (Ambassador to Russia) +700
Jared Kushner (Trump’s son in law and adviser) +800
Ivanka Trump (Trump’s daughter and adviser) +2500
The Field +200

Let’s start by crossing a few names off the list. Dina Powell (+200) was a name immediately floated to take over from Haley, but Powell has reportedly already ruled herself out of the job. Trump believes that his daughter Ivanka (+2500) would be “incredible” and “dynamite,” but he wants to avoid being accused of nepotism. I guess that rules out Jared Kushner (+800) as well, since the guy is pretty much the living definition of “nepotism.”

“I think Ivanka would be incredible. That doesn’t mean I’d – you know, I’d pick her, because you’d be accused of nepotism, even though I’m not sure there’s anybody more competent in the world.” – Donald Trump

That only leaves us with two names left on the list: Richard Grenell (+175) and Jon Huntsman (+700). Both are ambassadors, but that’s where their similarities end. Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, is an outspoken backer of Donald Trump and a staunch conservative. Huntsman, the Ambassador to Russia, is far more moderate and has distanced himself from Trump in the past.

YouTube video

Ric Grenell is the frontrunner, mostly due to the backing he’s received from prominent conservatives. He’s fiercely loyal to the President and isn’t afraid to be controversial. He openly claimed that he wanted “to empower other conservatives throughout Europe,” which prompted some prominent German politicians to call for his firing.

Jon Huntsman is the closest thing Republicans have to a moderate. He was willing to work with President Obama, supports increasing immigration, and acknowledges the existence of climate change. He backed Trump in 2016 but withdrew his support after the Access Hollywood tape was leaked.

Trump may prefer Grenell to Huntsman, but he’ll have to reckon with the 51-49 Senate in order to have his nominee approved.

Trump may prefer Grenell to Huntsman, but he’ll have to reckon with the 51-49 Senate in order to have his nominee approved. Grenell was confirmed as Ambassador to Germany by a slim 56-42 vote, while Huntsman strolled through with a unanimous confirmation. Grenell has only done more to anger Democrats since moving to Germany, so there’s a decent chance he won’t pass the Senate. If Trump wants someone who can slide into the UN gig without any friction, Huntsman is the way to go.

YouTube video

There’s also value in picking the Field (+200). Trump hasn’t released his shortlist for the position and has said very little on the matter, so we really don’t have any idea who he’ll pick. There are so many names to choose from so there’s a good chance it’ll be someone we haven’t thought of yet.

Pick: Jon Huntsman (+700) and Field (+200)

Author Image