No one saw it coming.
Can you imagine the sense of panic that permeated the West Wing yesterday morning when the word that Nikki Haley was suddenly resigning got out?
The bombshell announcement reportedly blindsided those in the foreign policy establishment, the White House, and even members of Haley's staff.
Why was she resigning? Was she leaving so she could prepare to run for Trump's job in 2020? Was she the anonymous author of the NY Times Op Ed that suggested Trump was crazy and someone found out?
Why make this announcement just before the midterms? Why was her resignation signed a week before she made the announcement?
The day before Haley resigned a headline popped up that a Washington watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, called for an investigation into her use of private travel on the government's dime. Did this cause her to leave ahead of a scandal?
Or, is she aware of something that is going to take Trump down and doesn't want to be part of his administration when that happens?
These questions, and more, rolled out into the halls of the White House and into media land early Tuesday morning.
One of the two credible members (Sec.of Defense James Mattis is the other one) on team Trump, is leaving in December. Twelve weeks from now.
I almost lost my breakfast when I saw CNN reports coming out that Trump may put his daughter, Ivanka, in Haley's place! OMG!
To my utter relief he told reporters later in the day he wasn't going to select Ivanka because he'd be accused of nepotism. (I'm not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole.)
I would add that whoever Trump picks, they'll be uniquely unqualified for the job. One need look no further than his track record of appointments in the last 19 months.
If Trump is listening to any of his advisors (and in recent months that seems to be less, and less) they'll try to get him to put someone with at least some qualifications to hold such an important job.
Goldman Sachs executive and former White House adviser Dina Powell's name was thrown out as a possible replacement for Haley.
One more thought, if Trump was planning on Haley leaving (the current White House claim) why didn't he have a replacement ready to make a smooth transition?
Even more surprising to me is the resignation must have been one of the best-kept secrets in a White House known for having more leaks than a faucet without a washer.
Time for me to walk on down the road...