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CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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May 6, 2018 10:55 am

CBS Sunday Morning

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 6, 2018 10:55 am

Rita Braver sits down with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. The Boys In The Band returns to Broadway 50 years later.

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I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. We hear it over and over again. America is a house divided, split between trendy metropolitan areas enjoying a boom and smaller cities and towns stuck in a downward spiral. It's a familiar story, but is it entirely true? Not according to a pair of travelers who've been taking flight to towns on the rebound, as Lee Cowan will report in our cover story. There is a reason that journalist James Fallows and his wife Deb set out to fly to mostly flyover country. From a reporting perspective, they say, it is simply the best view. This is high enough, but not too high, right?

Yes. The airliner is too high. When you're up 30,000 feet, just too far away to see what really matters. In search of the fabric of America, is it torn, tattered, or as tight as ever? Later on Sunday morning. Our Sunday profile this morning is of Nikki Haley, our outspoken ambassador to the United Nations. She'll be talking with Rita Braver. Welcome to the UN.

Thank you so much. As United Nations ambassador, you are going to see a change in the way we do business. Nikki Haley has taken a hard line for those that don't have our back. We're taking names.

Against anyone who crosses the United States. Some people say there's a little too much swagger. You know that. You know, I don't think it's swagger.

I think it's passion. Ahead on Sunday morning at home and abroad with Nikki Haley. Theater goers take note. The boys are back. Long after first raising the curtain on gay life, the boys in the band is back on stage. This time the Broadway stage.

Erin Moriarty has a preview. 51 years ago, a young Hollywood screenwriter with his career seemingly at a dead end sat down at a typewriter and transformed American theater. Did you have any idea how difficult it would be to get on the stage?

No. I kept pushing that out of my head. I didn't want to stop writing. The boys are back. How Mark Crowley's play finally made it to Broadway later this Sunday morning. We'll have those stories and more when Sunday morning continues. Taking flight is one couple's way of taking the pulse of some of America's overlooked places and what they found may surprise you.

Our cover story is reported by Lee Cowan. A good craft beer starts with good water and Duluth, Minnesota sits on the shores of some of the best. Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, is what makes Duluth Duluth.

It's how its iron ore, grain, and timber made its way to world markets. But then came the industrial decline and Duluth became just another rust belt community suffering an economic hangover. It turns out, however, that Lake Superior has just the right balance of minerals to make a pretty good pilsner. And in 2013, Laura Mullen and Brian Tonnes, along with their spouses, thought this flat Duluth neighborhood had the potential to fizz again. There was a billboard 10-20 years ago that said last one leaving Duluth turn out the light. There was this mentality that there were no jobs and I definitely felt that too.

I said I have to create my own job if I'm coming back up here. As soon as the Bent Paddle Brewery opened its doors, it helped a decaying part of Duluth become a destination. Restaurants and retail followed, all owned by young entrepreneurs carving out a new life in a town many had written off.

There's definitely been a wave of people moving back that have lived here in the past and, you know, looking at new opportunities and kind of thinking outside of the box to try to figure out how to make a good living here. That kind of neighborhood comeback doesn't generally make the national headlines, but James Fowles, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, has a soft spot for microbrews. What was your first craft beer?

Uh, it would have been Sam Adams. And he sees beer betterment as an intriguing piece to a larger economic puzzle. The existence of craft brews really is a marker of a town that's on the rise and it employs hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

So it's a real business that's making a real difference locally. He and his wife Deb, an author in her own right, were doing research for a book they co-wrote called Our Towns. It's a travelogue of sorts of what they describe as a journey into the heart of America. It started back in 2013 when they posted a request on the Atlantic website asking readers to suggest towns they could visit that offered examples of America on the rise.

What happened when you sent out that request? We got a tsunami of replies and it wasn't just naming your town, it was these long heartfelt descriptive narrations of the stories of their towns. So I think that was the point where we thought we were on to something here. Whatever it was that was happening, the Fowls thought it was telling a different story about America than the prevailing national narrative that the fabric of the country is unraveling. Instead, they found an almost universal determination to stitch things back together.

The common thread was looking at the old with new eyes. This used to be Duluth's concrete burial vault factory until three guys from Minneapolis came and helped raise it from the dead. Now it's the home of Lull Designs, which fabricates vibrantly colored outdoor furniture in an eco-friendly way.

Greg Benson is CEO. It's 100% recycled from milk jugs. From milk jugs? Milk jugs. He also started Epicurean, the maker of cutting boards and other gourmet kitchen utensils.

All of them made out of an environmentally friendly wood composite. People here, we recognize there's something happening here and I don't think it's just because we're prideful of this place. I mean, there really is something happening here. It's not just Duluth, of course.

The Fowls saw similar things happening in towns all across the country. And we're going to lift up. Now Jim happens to be a pilot. He figured if he and Deb were going to head to flyover country, what better way to do it than by flying themselves? The whole idea of flyover America is just the opposite of what we felt like we're flying into America. For four years, they hopscotch to places reporters don't generally go.

Places like Redmond, Oregon or Spearville, Kansas or St. Mary's, Georgia. Nearly 50 towns in all. Did you ever imagine you'd see so much of the country from the small plane?

No, never. Their plane was a Cirrus SR22, which coincidentally is yet another Duluth success story. The aircraft maker moved its headquarters to Duluth back in the mid 90s and it grew fast. It was a major, major factor in the town's modern emergence. Nearly everywhere the Fowls landed, there were nuggets of success like that to boast about. New industry or innovations in education, expansion of public art, all of it mixed into a stew of reinvention that seems to present a view of the country far more optimistic than the one you might get if your window on the world is just cable news.

In a non-sappy, non-saccharine way, there are people who are aware of the national and regional and urban problems but feel as if they're making headway. This is certainly true of Greenville, South Carolina. It's a community about the same size as Duluth that had also lost its dominant industry, textile manufacturing. Early on, civic leaders began to recruit other industries to try and replace it.

GE was one of the first to accept the invitation. Then came Michelin, most recently BMW. But the heart of Greenville, its downtown, needed a shot in the arm too. The first thing that town seems to sit down and do when they're serious about trying to make improvements is figure out who they are. One feature that made Greenville what it was, was the Reedy River.

It spun many a mill wheel here over the years and longtime mayor Knox White had an idea to use that legacy to bring downtown Greenville back. The beautiful waterfall was covered over by a four-lane highway bridge for 40 years. So no one ever saw it?

Most people who lived in Greenville all their lives had never seen the waterfall. He convinced fiscal conservatives to tear down an otherwise perfectly good bridge to expose the falls once again. It was a very hard sell that we're going to spend money to build a beautiful park around a waterfall you've never seen trust us until they did.

This is the result. An elegant pedestrian bridge replaced the highway. A jogging path now winds its way along the river. Trees and flowers sprouted. Nearby downtown sprouted too.

Shuttered textile mills to become apartments and art galleries. It is, say the fellows, civic resurgence at its best. Long-term visioned people in all the different sectors working together to say what would this town look like a generation from now. Not that the places they visited don't have their troubles.

They do. But it's the creativity, compassion, and generosity of small town America that to the fellows anyway are the driving forces behind how the country is remaking itself one town at a time. I think maybe the surprise factor was how hard people are trying to to solve their problems or make things better or make things right. It's not all doom and gloom. It is definitely not all doom and gloom.

We got our big problems but but the country has not lost what made it America to begin with. And now a page from our Sunday morning almanac, May 6th, 1851, 167 years ago today. The day Linus Yale Jr. followed in the footsteps of his lock inventing father and received his own patent for a lock and key for banks.

His first patent but hardly his last. By 1865 Yale had perfected the pin tumbler cylinder lock. The same basic lock used to this day in countless offices and homes, maybe even yours. Many other Yale locks followed including this elaborate time lock from 1877 and a line of padlocks beginning in 1879. Yale expanded to Britain in 1894 where it's become the generic word for any household cylinder lock.

As in this episode of the tv series Dr. Who. Ordinary year lock but nothing fits. In the year 2000 Yale was acquired by a Swedish company Asa Obloy. Today the company operates facilities in Connecticut and other locations selling locks that go way beyond anything Linus Yale might have imagined. What if you never needed a key again? Among its creations a lot that works in tandem with a smartphone requiring no key at all. Introducing the nest Yale lock.

Which leaves you wondering with all this cutting edge technology how is it that we are forever losing our keys? A question to ponder until we return. It's Sunday morning on CBS and here again is Jane Pauley. The Boys in the Band was a 1970 movie based on a no holds barred play about gay life in a difficult time. Now the boys are back on Broadway this time and not a moment too soon says the playwright who's talking with Erin Moriarty of 48 hours.

You've heard the phrase good things come to those who wait? Well Mark Crowley has waited half a century for this. When did you first see Boys in the Band on the marquee of the booth theater here?

It was one day when it was pouring rain and I didn't care it was just so great I was getting soaking wet and I was standing outside looking at it with disbelief. 51 years after writing The Boys in the Band Crowley's play has finally made it to Broadway with a star-studded cast. That's Matt and Zach and Jim.

Jim Parsons. None of this seemed remotely possible back in 1967 when Mart was a Hollywood screenwriter with lots of celebrity pals but few prospects. I had written and sold a screenplay to 20th Century Fox for my friend Natalie Wood and then two weeks before shooting began Daryl Zanuck pulled the plug on it. At 31 years old he had no work and no income so he sat down at his typewriter and five weeks later I had a play. Did you have any idea of how controversial how difficult it would be to get on the stage? No it had to be apparent to me but I kept pushing that out of my head I didn't want to stop writing.

It wasn't the plot that was the problem it was the characters. Nine men eight of them gay talking about their lives inside the closet at a birthday party set inside a New York apartment. The Boys in the Band was an act of rebellion for the gay playwright trying to survive in 1960s America. There is a growing concern about homosexuals in society about their increasing visibility. This CBS documentary anchored by Mike Wallace aired the same year Crowley wrote The Boys in the Band.

We discovered that Americans consider homosexuality more harmful to society than adultery abortion or prostitution. It certainly was a taboo historically in American plays they're always gay characters but they always come to a bad end it was not a good thing to be gay back then and to be out about it all that was just not done. But with nothing left to lose Mark Crowley let loose and wrote about a world theater goers had never seen and you decided to put it right out there.

I did. For gays straights for everyone. Yeah it was just this wonderful creative urge that I had and I was just like time bomb. A time bomb fueled by long simmering anger. Anger from all sides the way the world treated gays and from the way show business was treating Mars I was up to here. Crowley's characters were also angry so it's no surprise that he struggled to find producers actors or even an agent to stage his play. The woman agent said to me this is an outrageous play I can't send it out of this office with our letterhead on it and I almost collapsed into tears right there because I thought this is really the end of the line.

Still in January 1968 The Boys in the Band finally had its first audience in a tiny theater downtown. The response well the next morning there was a line around the block. It was a hit the play moved to a bigger theater ran for 1001 performances and was made into a movie. Mark Crowley's career was back on track. This play in a way saved you.

It did oh god yes. Crowley returned to Hollywood became head writer for the popular tv show Heart to Heart but things got complicated for his play. 14 months after its off-broadway premiere a series of violent demonstrations known as the Stonewall Riots began the push for gay rights and activists felt The Boys in the Band was on the wrong side of history. They were offended by the way Crowley presented his characters as wounded and self-loathing. What I am Michael is a 32 year old ugly pockmarked jew fairy and not above turning on each other. Who would want to go to bed with a flaming little sissy like you? Michael who'd make a pass at you?

I'll tell you who nobody. They thought that it showed the characters in a negative light there was a lot of uh self-hatred going on and they wanted pride which became the word out and proud. Have you heard the term closet queen? You know what that means? Do you know what it means to be in the closet?

Don't Michael it won't help to explain what it means. There was a kind of boosterism spirit that was in the air. Why don't you write something that's positive about the gay experience and about gay people? Well there wasn't anything positive when I wrote the play. Like a lot of gay men in my generation I had a very complicated response to the play. Yet acclaimed actor director Joe Mantello agreed to direct the play for its 50th anniversary and bring it to Broadway. Like any good play it exposes things that might embarrass us as gay men but it also gets at the truth of something as well and I think that's why it's lasted for 50 years. As for the actors this time around any of you feel you're taking a risk taking on these roles?

Only performing live every night what if I vomit on myself? No I mean other than that no I really don't. Oh have times changed. One of tv's highest paid actors Jim Parsons from the big bang theory has a starring role joined by a veteran cast of performers Zachary Quinto. This is a cast of entirely openly gay successful accomplished actors and that's certainly different than it was 50 years ago but if you look at what we're up against legislatively and ideologically is it that much different?

I don't know. Only one cast member was even alive when the boys in the band was first staged Tuck Watkins. And at 50 years old I'm about twice as old as the youngest cast member but I probably I would guess that I've got twice as many fears about what it means to be gay. If I have twice as many fears as the youngest guy in the cast it's because we're standing on the shoulders of giants. Matt Bomer.

I think it's important to look back and see that this cast can do this play now because of how far we've come. And Michael Benjamin Washington says it all began with one angry man Mark Crowley. He opened a door to the mainstream population that gay men did exist and were complicated and that were flawed. Oh I think there's no question he'll be remembered. He will always be the first. He will always be that pioneer who did it. You can never take that away from him. It seems Americans are hungry for a superhero and Steve Hartman just may have found one.

He's faster than a speeding stroller, more adorable than a wet kitten and able to get a stranger's attention with a single courtesy. This is America's latest superhero and the only superhero with the power to feed the homeless. Now why do you do that?

You know what Mr. Steve it's just the right thing to do. Is it? Yes. You want honey? By day Austin P. Rhine is a mild-mannered four-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama but about once a week he turns into this alter ego. Would you like a sandwich? A superhero set on feeding as many homeless people as possible.

Thank you. What's your superhero name? President Austin. President Austin. President Austin. President Austin.

That's his idea of what the president is supposed to do. I was like buddy you have no idea but hey I'm going along with it. TJ says this all began when they were watching a TV show about pandas. It showed a mama panda abandoning a baby. TJ told his son the cub was now homeless. He says what's homeless? I said well it's when you don't have a home and sometimes you don't have mom or dad around.

I can tell what the follow-up question is going to be. Yeah are people homeless? When I was a four-year-old I didn't care about helping people. I did. I see.

Once Austin learned some people are homeless and some are even hungry he launched this caped crusade. Told his mom and dad that he wanted all his allowance and money they would spend on toys to go toward chicken sandwiches instead. Oh thank you baby. You're welcome. Don't forget to show love.

After he gives out each sandwich yes he gives each person that same bit of advice. Don't forget to show love. Don't forget to show love he tells them and most do immediately. Why thank you. It warms my heart to see him. It don't warm anyone's heart.

Yeah it really did man. Raymont Baugh says this kid gives him hope. That's that's that's where it starts.

Don't forget to show love. Everyone who meets Austin leaves with hope which is why with any luck someday President Austin won't be a superhero anymore. Being the homeless is the highlight of my life. He'll just be a president. All right come on Nikki Haley is already making quite a name for herself as America's ambassador to the United Nations. A noteworthy accomplishment for the daughter of immigrants. Rita Braver has our Sunday profile.

If this administration has a star. Welcome to the U.N. Thank you so much your workplace.

That's right this is where I live. It just might be Nikki Haley. Good morning. From her first day on the job as United Nations ambassador. You are going to see a change in the way we do business.

46 year old Haley laid down the law. For those that don't have our back we're taking names. So this is where the real action happens huh? And she took us on a rare visit to the floor of the United Nations Security Council.

This is the United States spot. She defended her tough stance. Some people say there's a little too much swagger you know that.

I you know I don't think it's swagger. I think it's passion. I am very passionate about defending the United States.

There are times when we are compelled to do more than just talk. After a gas attack in Syria she held up pictures of young victims blaming Russian backed forces. How many more children have to die before Russia cares? In late last year she pushed through tough international sanctions against North Korea.

He is begging for war. After they tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. Sanctions that may have helped lead to recent promises to roll back North Korea's nuclear program and to an upcoming summit. A few months ago it almost seemed like this administration was prepared for war with North Korea.

Were you prepared for that? I think this administration was creating the tone with North Korea to remind them exactly what could happen to them if they threaten the United States. No one wants war. The president doesn't want war. I don't want war. No one wants war.

But it's an option. When you spend time with Haley you know this how often she brings President Trump into the conversation. She is unfailingly loyal to him constantly stressing his accomplishments. Whether you say the people who say okay maybe he's done some things right but his behavior is sometimes reprehensible.

Do you ever think that? First of all he has his communication style but you're not hearing me defend that. What I will tell you is if there's anything that he communicates in a way that I'm uncomfortable with I pick up the phone and call him. I don't need to be public about that.

I think that's a private conversation that should happen when I feel it and I think it's one that he's receptive when I do. One area where Haley is in lockstep with President Trump is on his charges that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has gone on too long. Should the president shut it down?

No not at all. I mean anything that comes like this it should play its part. It should go through the process but they need to do it quickly for the good of the country.

This investigation needs to happen quickly. Haley does sometimes put a softer focus on the president's pronouncements. These countries are not our friends you know they we think they're our friends. Earlier this year he threatened to cut off aid to Central American countries that don't do more to stop drug trafficking.

And they're laughing at us so I'm not a believer in that. I want to stop the aid. Welcome to Honduras.

Thank you so much for coming. A few weeks later we traveled to Honduras with her as she conferred with senior officials, witnessed a drug enforcement exercise, but also made time to visit a U.S. funded after-school program. If they get education and they get training then we know that they're going to be productive. If they don't we'll be dealing with resentful children that are uneducated and angry and that's what we don't want. You sound like a liberal. I'm not a liberal I assure you.

I'm a conservative who understands prevention saves us a lot more money in the long run. In fact Haley is a tea party conservative against Obamacare, anti-abortion and tough on illegal immigration as the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India who came to the U.S. legally and settled in the small town of Bamberg, South Carolina. You've said we were always other. What was that like growing up and what kinds of lessons did it teach you? I think you grow up in a small town and you know your father wears a turban, your mother wears a sari, we look different, everybody treated us different, but it was in that small town that I'm very grateful because my parents reminded us that it's not about how you're different it's about you're similar. After Clemson University, Nikki Randhawa as she was known married Michael Haley, now a National Guard officer.

They have two children. She was an accountant working in her family's gift and clothing business when in 2004 she decided to run for the state legislature. You took on the longest serving member of the state legislature, a man who as I recall referred to you as little lady and you won.

You know ignorance is bliss. All I knew was there were too many lawyers at the state house and they needed an accountant and I needed to figure out how to get there. In 2010 she beat the odds again by winning the governor's race but it was a dirty campaign with both racism and sexual innuendo that would surface again this year. In that campaign you had two people falsely say that they've had extramarital affairs with you. Just recently we had somebody who was very much slapped down tried to insinuate that there was something with you and the president. Is that just the price you pay for being a young attractive woman in politics? What I've noticed is if a woman does well, if a woman's good at her job, for some reason people have trouble giving her that credit for just being good at her job.

What I will tell you is I will stand up every time it happens and let people know it's not okay. This will be South Carolina's decision. As South Carolina governor Haley gained national prominence after she pushed through a bill to remove the confederate flag from the state capitol grounds in the wake of a racially motivated shooting that killed nine people in the black church.

That flag while an integral part of our past does not represent the future of our great state. She was handily re-elected but left to join the Trump administration where she's shown it's a mistake to mess with Nikki Haley. We're joined now by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Last month on Face the Nation in response to the latest gas attack in Syria believed carried out by Russian backed forces she announced. You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday if he hasn't already.

But at the last minute the White House decided to hold off. The president's new economic advisor Larry Kudlow then came out and said that you'd had some momentary confusion and you fired right back in the statement saying what did you say? With all due respect I don't get confused. That was a pretty strong statement. Why did you feel like you wanted to say that? That's just how I function. If there's something wrong you go and you make it right.

But I think what's more important is the fact that Larry's a friend of mine he immediately called he immediately apologized. That combination of silk and steel has cut through to the public. A new Quinnipiac University poll finds her approval rating much higher than that of the president. She even scores 55 percent among Democrats which has led to inescapable speculation. I seem to read a story once a day either saying she's going to run for president or she should run for president. Are you going to run for president? I don't think about it. No one wants to believe this but people spend more time talking about my future. My job is to be the best UN ambassador I can possibly be and make sure that people are proud of it. I don't think about the future and honestly I don't have time.

Between North Korea, Russia and Syria the last thing I'm thinking about is what I'm going to do in the future. And Rita Braver joins us now for a chat about her interview with Nikki Haley. Good Sunday morning Rita. Good morning Jane.

Thanks for inviting me. Yeah well you know I think you knew Nikki Haley a little bit. I really don't have any knowledge of what she like.

What you like? You know I think in the story she came across as she is. She's endlessly optimistic, very personable, incredibly energetic. I followed her around Honduras for two days. She had 12 hour days.

She lived on kind bars you know those high energy bars. She had a smile for everyone, a handshake for everyone. What was interesting was that she was able to be in the moment. She wasn't one of those people who seemed to be worrying about the next thing.

If she was talking to a young child she was in that moment and even when she was talking to me in the liberal side her staff had to pull her away because we went by the allotted time. I don't know anything about her personal life really. Well she talked in the story about the fact that she was the daughter of Indian immigrants. She did face a little bit of discrimination growing up but again she is very positive about her experience and she says her small town learned to accept and embrace her. Now I will tell you that in her over the course of her campaigns there were racist things said to her.

There was one state legislator who referred to her as a raghead but she chose to believe that her each time she was elected that that was a triumph not of her but that was a triumph of the people of South Carolina. Does that sound like she's tough? She's obviously resilient.

She is very tough and as I said in the story she's both tough and sweet. She is very close to her family. She has two teenage children about whom she worries you know just like any mom. Her husband was her college sweetheart as we said and he is a reserve a national guard officer.

He has done tours of duty overseas. She tries to have Sunday always be family day and she has her elderly parents living with her. They lived with her in the governor's mansion and now they live with her in the United Nations Ambassadors residence in New York. Just teenage children and elderly parents. And she takes care of them all.

And a full-time job. Just to say the least. She's not always on the exact same page as the president. For instance why does she seem to take a tougher tone with the Russians than the president is willing to?

Very interesting. I asked her that and the way she describes it almost sounds like she sees it as a good cop bad cop relationship with her being the bad cop and the person who has to lay down the law and she says in the end it's the president who has to negotiate with these people. So why does he want to get them angry?

Why does he want to go after them? And sort of indicates that that's what she is there for. One thing that I think is fascinating is that at the beginning of this administration Nikki Haley was the person out front on foreign policy. The former secretary of state Rex Tillerson didn't like to do the talk shows. Wasn't really out there nor did McMaster the National Security Advisor and I said to her so and there have been some suggestions that she's going to get squeezed by the two new people Mike Pompeo who's now the secretary of state, John Bolton who is the new National Security Advisor and that she will get squeezed by them and she will have a lesser role and her response to me was look I am fine with that.

I think there's more than enough to go around and John Bolton frankly has a reputation for having very sharp elbows. She does not have to report through him because she goes directly to the president but she said that he is a friend of hers and someone who she called on for advice because he's a former United Nations ambassador. So I think it remains to be seen how this new foreign policy team will work together but I did say to her so you're the three hawks because all of them are more hawkish than people who were there in the past and she said yes I think you're the three hawks yes I love that. If she goes directly to the president how often does she go directly to the president? Well she was a little sort of she sort of indicated she'd speaks to him at least once a week. She says in their story that if she has a problem she pick picks up the phone and calls him but she says that she likes to keep those conversations private.

From what I understand about the president who I don't really know though he loves to talk on the phone he's a big schmoozer so I bet he hears that Nikki Haley's calling him he's perfectly fine with that. How does she feel has she felt about foreign policy appearing to be conducted on twitter? Well she denies that and I asked her that several times. What do you mean she denies that? She denies that foreign policy is conducted on twitter. She says that her direct quote was from a foreign policy aspect I've never been surprised about things he talks about on twitter and she says that everything that he says on twitter is stuff that has been talked about by the foreign policy team previously.

So maybe the process is unconventional definitely is that but maybe not quite as improvisational as it looks? That's certainly what she led us to believe. You found her very very loyal to President Trump. Some would say to a fault. Some would say to a fault?

What do you mean by that? I mean I think there's some people and I said this to her I spoke to republicans around the city about her I spoke to a surprising number of democrats really like her and a number of people have said to me what is she doing with him? Why would someone who in fact in in her memoir that she wrote after she was governor she really blasted someone for doing some of the very same kinds of things that Trump did. She also didn't support Donald Trump in the primaries but I think she feels that he's the elected representative of the American people and one thing that she said to me was look when I was governor the last thing I wanted was my cabinet not being loyal to me and I feel if you take the job you need to be loyal. You remind me I think in the primaries she had backed Rubio first and when he dropped out then Cruz.

So how did she go about winning his trust? You know it's really interesting because she had done she had done a reply I think to state of the union right before Trump took office. I think she was the reply to Obama's last state of the union. She was talking about the world and she said something to the effect of that that you don't need to be angry that there's too much anger out there in the public space and a lot of people took that as a direct hit on Donald Trump. In the primaries he tweeted against her at one point he even said the people of South Carolina should be ashamed of Nikki Haley because he said she wasn't tough enough on illegal immigration but you know politics people always kiss and make up.

Well you know politics better than I do. I think the the question everybody is thinking about now is the future and is she running? Is she running for president? Well you heard her just refuse to even engage in a discussion on that. I think she finds it on one level somewhat embarrassing. She did say when I asked her about these sky high polls she has.

How sky high? Well they are better I think she is at 63 percent overall approval rating. The president in the same poll was about 39 percent and she is higher than any other official in the foreign policy establishment. Democrats 55 percent of democrats like her that's the same number of democrats who approve of Chuck Schumer the democratic senate senate leader. So she really has good poll numbers right now compared to everybody else. Ideologically where is she on the spectrum? A tea party uh republican.

She is a tea party republican and a lot of people forget this but she was way behind in the governor's race and the person who rode into her rescue gave her an endorsement that really pushed her up to the top of the polls was another a former governor by the name of Sarah Palin. All right I will conclude from that what you will. Yes. Oh Rita, Rita Braver uh thank you and we'll be right back. I'm Jane Pauley.

Thank you for listening and please join us again next Sunday morning. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the marathon initiative a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out. What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing. Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 14:46:04 / 2023-01-26 15:02:26 / 16

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