Reviews for With All Due Respect

by Nikki R Haley

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A memoir suggesting that if there are problems within the Trump administration, the problem is not Trump.As a tea party candidate who became governor of South Carolina, Haley (Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story, 2012) first established herself as a political star on the riseyoung, female, and minority, all areas where the Republican Party had been perceived as weakest. With the election of Trump, she was recruited to become the United Nations ambassador, though her governorship hadn't involved any foreign diplomacy, nor did her straight-shooting demeanor as a self-described "badass" suggest a diplomatic personality, nor had she supported Trump during the primary campaign. Thus, the most remarkable part of this memoir, in contrast to the onslaught of Trump exposs, is her account of how well she worked with the president, how they established a relationship based on mutual respect and trust, how she was able to disagree with him without drawing his ire, and how she was able to leave her U.N. post on good terms. If others had problems with this president, she suggests it was their fault. Her memoir generated plenty of pre-publication publicity for its accounts of her skirmishes with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and her allegation that he and John Kelly had attempted to enlist her in a conspiracy to circumvent the president's policies. "Whether they sincerely believed they were doing the right thing or just pushing their personal agendas, these people were dangerous," writes Haley. By contrast, you always knew where you stood with the president, or at least she felt she did. Because of their "open and honest communication," she writes, "in an administration in which so many people's negative relationship with the president was their undoing, my relationship with President Trump was a positive. Our styles were different, but we were both fundamentally disrupters of the status quo. And we were both action-oriented."An average political memoir containing strong speculation that her next action will be a bid for the White House. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
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Former South Carolina governor Haley (Can’t Is Not an Option) delivers a selective and self-serving account of her stewardship of her home state in the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston church shooting and her tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Haley movingly describes trying to call Mother Emanuel AME’s pastor, State Senator Clementa Pickney, before she realized he was one of the shooter’s nine victims. She takes issue with President Obama for—according to her interpretation of his remarks—suggesting that the Southern “way of life” was to blame for the murders, and details the bipartisan vote to remove the Confederate flag from state house grounds. Haley admits to not knowing much about the UN ahead of her appointment (except that “most Americans didn’t like it”), but takes credit for convincing Russia and China to support sanctions against North Korea and standing up to the General Assembly’s “anti-Israel bias.” She paints Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House chief of staff John Kelly as “disloyal to the president,” and claims that Trump has a right “to change his mind,” even if it leads to the embarrassment of others. Haley’s unwillingness to fully address the counterarguments to her policy positions undermines her authority, and her claims to have left the UN before the 2018 midterms simply because she needed “to take a breath” will ring false to readers keeping track of how often she describes herself as “ambitious” and “no wallflower.” As groundwork for a future campaign, however, this carefully worded memoir does its job. (Nov.)