Outgoing ambassador says she brought 'Carolina values' to UN (copy)

Former South Carolina Governor and current ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, waves to the audience after accepting the Charlotte Chamber's 2018 Citizen of the Carolinas award in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

COLUMBIA — Former Gov. Nikki Haley is not coming straight back to the Palmetto State after she leaves the United Nations at year's end.

She plans on staying in New York where her son attends high school. 

"South Carolina will always be home for Ambassador Haley and her family, and they look forward to returning to their friends and family in the Palmetto State after her son finishes high school," Haley spokeswoman Chaney Adams said in a statement.

The return will be long enough away that Haley and her husband, Michael, recently sold their Lexington home.

Haley, 46, has not revealed what she will do when she leaves the United Nations after two years.

The Post and Courier has learned a second book is in the works, per several sources who asked to not to be identified because they were not authorized to reveal the news. 

Haley released a memoir "Can't Is Not An Option" in 2012, a year after she took office as South Carolina's first female and first minority governor. At the time, she was hailed as a rising star who could help attract more diverse voters to the Republican Party.

The book focused on her upbringing in rural Bamberg where she and her parents, immigrants from India, faced discrimination, and her rise in politics punctuated by her surprise gubernatorial win in 2010 that was spurred by a campaign rally with former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

A new book would surely focus on her successful call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in 2015 after the shock of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting by an avowed white supremacist. Her stance, unpopular among those who defended the Civil War banner, thrust her into the national spotlight.

She would likely share her experiences as U.N. ambassador and as a member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet where she is leaving on good terms, a rare feat in the topsy-turvy administration. She has been one of Trump's more popular Cabinet picks, an outcome that could help her future political prospects.

"A book deal is where politicians hang their futures," New York literary agent Lucianne Goldberg said.

After not responding to a question earlier in the day about the ambassador writing a book, Adams sent a statement late Tuesday evening that Haley "has not begun work on a book or had conversations with any publishers about writing one.”

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Seated next to the president on the day she announced she planned to leave the United Nations, Haley pledged to back Trump's re-election in 2020. She is widely expected to mount her own White House bid in 2024, though some news outlets have reported she could be Trump's new running mate in 2020.

In the meantime, Haley needs to find a new job. 

Federal ethics reports show Haley and her husband had debt from $525,000 to about $1.1 million from credit cards, mortgage and a line of credit in 2017, the latest year available. The couple's current debt is "well below $500,000," Adams said in October. 

Haley is leaving the United Nations at the same time her second and final term as governor would have ended if she had not joined the Trump administration in early 2017.

As first reported by FITS News, the ambassador and her husband sold their five-bedroom, four-bathroom home last month for $405,000 to Brian and Lauren Prahl. The 3,541-square-foot home owned by the Haleys for 19 years has a tax value of $352,000, according to online property records. 

Brian Prahl, who runs a Lexington mortgage firm, said he did not realize the home belonged to Haley until he did some pricing research after his first visit with a real estate agent.

Michael Haley has been back in South Carolina where he works for the S.C. National Guard, his employer during much of the time while Haley was governor from 2011 to 2017. The couple's other child attends Clemson University, where Nikki Haley graduated with a degree in accounting. 

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Columbia Bureau Chief

Shain runs The Post and Courier's team based in South Carolina's capital city. He was editor of Free Times and has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Charlotte, Columbia and Myrtle Beach.