As expected, the Senate GOP has confirmed former Trump regime Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Knight Craft, to Nikki Haley's old post as UN Ambassador. Sadly, Craft has even less experience than Haley did, considering she was absent from her job in Ottawa for more than a third of her assignment.
Craft’s confirmation was all but certain, thanks to a Republican Senate majority and her family’s close ties to fellow Kentuckian Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recommended her for the ambassadorship.
That doesn’t mean her nomination was without controversy.
Craft came under scrutiny during her confirmation hearing in June over a slew of absences from Ottawa, where she was posted as US ambassador to Canada. Democrats pressed Craft on her attendance record, with Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) saying State Department records showed that Craft had been absent for more than 300 days between October 23, 2017, and June 19, 2019.
Craft defended her days away, stating that she was traveling to negotiate and promote the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the updated version of NAFTA that was negotiated during her tenure.
Democrats didn’t really accept that answer, and have largely continued to resist her nomination. Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee published a lengthy minority report on Wednesday, which outlined her poor qualifications for the UN ambassadorship, including her lack of relevant experience for such an important job and her excessive number of absences in Ottawa, which diminished her service as US ambassador to Canada. Democrats also cited potential conflicts of interest, specifically her family’s ties to the coal industry.
“Ambassador Craft has neither the experience nor the skillset to represent U.S. interests or challenge the world’s most seasoned diplomats on the global stage,” the report said.
But that opposition did little to change the final result.
Now Craft has an enormous challenge ahead of her as UN ambassador. Her diplomatic experience is still pretty thin, and she revealed at her hearing that she doesn’t have a great grasp on some of the workings of the United Nations.
She will also represent the United States as part of an administration that sometimes doesn’t have its messaging straight, including on foreign policy. And she’ll have to deal with UN-skeptical officials like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And, unlike Haley, Craft likely won’t have the benefit of serving in a Cabinet-level post.
Craft will need to balance the president’s agenda while collaborating and finding compromises with partners at the United Nations — something Haley was largely able to achieve. She will also need to move quickly to rebuild the US leadership at the United Nations, which has eroded in the more than half a year without a confirmed ambassador in the office.
And her biggest test is coming soon, when the UN General Assembly kicks off toward the end of September.
At this point, the Trump regime no longer cares about the United Nations in any meaningful way, and the UN no longer cares about the Trump regime, so Craft is doomed to an embarrassing failure. John Bolton will steamroll her, and when he finally convinces Trump that war with Iran is the only course of action, Craft will be crucified on the world stage.
I'd feel sorry for her, but she chose to join these villains, and deserves what she gets.