Haley meets with Trump about cabinet position - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Haley meets with Trump about cabinet position

Gov. Nikki Haley (Source: South Carolina Governor's Office) Gov. Nikki Haley (Source: South Carolina Governor's Office)

NEW YORK, NY (WMBF) – While President-elect Donald Trump is working to fill out his cabinet, part of that effort was to bring South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to New York for a meeting in Trump Tower.

Reports from MSNBC and CNN say the governor's name has been floated for the Secretary of State position. In a press briefing Thursday, Trump’s team said there's no rush and no set timeline to make announcements like this.

“The focus of this administration will be to put together the absolute best team to help lead this nation forward, and when those decisions have been made by the president-elect then they will be announced. There's not an arbitrary timetable; it's about getting it right,” said Jason Miller, communications director of President-elect Trump’s transition team.

With the reports of Haley's consideration, WMBF News took a look back at South Carolinians who have managed to reach high levels of the federal government.

  • Going back to 1817, John C. Calhoun was Secretary of War, the seventh vice president and Secretary of State
  • Andrew Jackson was the seventh president, although there is debate as to whether he lived in North Carolina or South Carolina
  • Joel Poinsett was the Secretary of War appointed by President Martin Van Buren
  • Christopher Memminger was the Secretary of Treasury for the Confederate States of America and he was succeeded by George Trenholm   
  • James Byrnes was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, only to retire the following year. Then, in 1945, he was confirmed as President Harry Truman's Secretary of State.
  • Strom Thurmond worked his way up to President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, which put him third in line for the presidency
  • Dick Riley was Bill Clinton's Secretary of Education and George W. Bush nominated Ben Bernanke of Dillon to be the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

WMBF spoke with former Gov. Riley on Thursday to get the perspective of someone in a similar situation as Haley.

Riley played a role on President-elect Clinton's transition staff. He said there was a lot to sort through when the team started to fill position.

“When Clinton came in, Democrats had not been in for some time except for four years of Jimmy Carter," Riley said. "So, there were lots and lots of people, especially young people, who were interested in coming into the government. I think they are having that same situation here. An awful lot of people will be interested.” 

Riley said electing to serve as Secretary of Education wasn't a difficult choice, but it was a very different role than the one he had as governor. For one thing, the stakes were very high.

“Serving here, you have that kind of local connection, the familiarity with all of the local issues," Riley said. "When people talked to me about going to Washington, (they said), 'In the governor's office you impact lots of people's lives. If you to to Washington and take this job as Secretary of Education, you make one decision sitting around a table with key people and you recommend that to the president and he goes to Congress and so forth, you're impacting over 50 million children.'”

Frederick Wood, associate dean of politics for Coastal Carolina University, says both Haley and the president-elect could benefit from this potential cabinet choice.

“Appointing Nikki Haley to any cabinet position would be beneficial. It would help heal a rift with traditional Republicans. She's a woman, she's a child of immigrants, she fits the American story and I think Gov. Haley's participation would be beneficial to her for her future career,” Wood said.

Wood went on to say even being named as a suggestion is an honor.

Thursday, Trump's team said a national security "landing team" will go into action Friday morning that would involve the Secretary of State's office.

That team will be revealed tomorrow, but that doesn't necessarily mean the cabinet position will be filled by then.

Haley isn't the only person in the running for the job. NBC News reported Mitt Romney is now in the running and will meet with Trump on Sunday.

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