Many years ago I used to hand-knit colorful, funky scarves and I sold them to an exclusive retail boutique, Exotica International. I would drop off 6-8 scarves at a time, and a nice woman who was the controller and CFO of the business would pay me. One day she mentioned she was considering a run in the primary for the SC House of Representatives and I immediately felt sorry for her. I knew it would take a miracle to defeat the competition, a man who was the longest-serving republican legislator in the SC Statehouse.
I remember going home and telling my husband about it, and then pretty much forgot the conversation.
The woman was Nikki Haley.
She ended up winning despite the expert predictions and expectations.
I completely underestimated her.
And others have been doing the same for years – to their detriment. In With All Due Respect, Haley shares poignant and personal stories about growing up in Bamberg, SC and looking different than all the other children. Witnessing first-hand the sacrifices her parents made for their family made a huge impression. Everything Haley experienced as a minority growing up in a small, southern town has been put to good use.
After defying the odds and defeating an entrenched incumbent in a local House race in 2004, Haley then went on to become the first female governor of South Carolina in 2010.
It’s no secret Haley is highly regarded by men and women all over South Carolina after the excellent leadership she displayed during the dark, tragic times of the Walter Scott shooting, the Emmanual AME church massacre, and the 1000-year flood. Her leadership on the removal the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds was in stark contrast to previous attempts.
With All Due Respect covers part of her time as Governor, but the main focus of the book features her time as Ambassador in the Trump administration. Her tenure at the United Nations and in New York has catapulted her to ‘rock-star” status among politicians and leaders.
Haley has proven time and time again she will not back down and doesn’t shy away from delivering tough messages to dictators – Chapter 11 goes into great detail about her time in South Sudan and her frank conversation with Salva Kiir, which was one of the highlights of the book for me.
“Whenever I traveled to areas of conflict as U.S. ambassador, I sought out women to talk to. In many ways, it is women who pay the greatest price for conflict. I found that if I wanted to get the honest, unfiltered sense of conditions on the ground, I had to ask local women. Under the right conditions, women are more open with their opinions than men. In refuge camps, their views were the most trustworthy. Their eyes were on the future, not the past. They cared about building better lives for their children, and that meant they cared about achieving peace.”Nikki Haley, With All Due Respect
As the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has shown the world she is FIERCE and a FORCE to be reckoned with . . . but she manages to display these traits with her signature grit and grace.
I highly recommend this book.