News & Politics

Report: Trump Considering John James to Replace Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John E. James (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican Senate candidate John James may have lost his race against Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, but he could land a high-profile job in the Trump administration as a consolation prize.

President Trump is considering James, a Michigan businessman and Iraq War veteran, for UN ambassador, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced in October that she would resign her post by the end of the year and James is one of the names under consideration to be her replacement. Other people Trump is considering for the plum UN job include the U.S. ambassadors to France, Germany, and Canada, as well as State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Two White House sources told Bloomberg that James was at the White House last week in meetings with Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence to talk about a possible administration post.

James is president of James Group International, a supply-chain management firm based in Detroit. The political novice fell short of unseating Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow 46 to 52 percent in a swing state Trump won in 2016.

Many political observers are questioning James’s qualifications for the diplomatic post on Twitter and elsewhere, but they forget that our current UN ambassador came to the job with little international diplomatic experience, and did an outstanding job.

The Washington Examiner’s Tiana Lowe made a strong case for the appointment, noting that sometimes “experience is overrated.”

 Samantha Power may have been one of the most qualified ambassadors in a generation, thanks to her groundbreaking and Pulitzer-winning book on genocide and experience in Obama’s State Department. Yet her tenure was atrocious. Under her watch, the United States allowed Bashar Assad to massacre his own people, effectively gave Russia free rein over Crimea, and allowed attacks on Israel to escalate.

By comparison, Nikki Haley was relatively unqualified. She became ambassador with no real experience in foreign policy, and she’s leaving the post with an enviable record of accomplishment that has many discussing her as a future presidential candidate.

These are anecdotal points of reference, sure, but considering the other people Trump could nominate, James doesn’t seem like a terrible bet.

James suggested in his concession speech on election night that he would continue to pursue a career in public service.

“This is why we’re not done, because too many families out there don’t have the ability to live the life we do,” he said, adding that a “passion for service doesn’t end with a poll or end with a vote.”