United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, President right-hand diplomat; and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, on the Democratic Party’s short-list of presidential candidates for 2020, made the list of leading thinkers from around the world, in Foreign Policy magazine’s annual reckoning. So did comedian Hasan Minhaj, who made national headlines with his scathing stand-up delivery against President Donald Trump, the Media, and everything else in almost equal measure, at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
This year the magazine named it’s list the “Global re-Thinkers of the World” contending that 2017 was the year when leaders had to re-calibrate their ideas and strategies after “reactionary populism swept the world” in 2016.
The list includes “legislators, technocrats, comedians, advocates, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, presidents, provocateurs, political prisoners, researchers, strategists, and visionaries — who together found amazing ways not just to rethink our strange new world but also to reshape it,” the magazine said.
Harris topped the list and was recognized “For giving the Democratic Party hope in the Trump era”; Haley was included “For trying to preserve America’s traditional vision of international affairs”; Minhaj made the list “for defining the narrative of the ‘New Brown America’.”
What skyrocketed Harris to the national scene was a June hearing where she flayed former Sen. Jeff Sessions, in prosecutorial style, drawing flak from Republican Senators. “Suddenly, California’s 53-year-old junior senator has become an early favorite to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election,” the magazine noted.
As for Minhaj, the magazine notes it was no coincidence he was chosen for the White House Correspondents Dinner. “After all, just when the U.S. president was desperately trying to ban more Muslims from entering the United States, Minhaj — the son of Muslim immigrants from Aligarh, India — was making a name for himself as the right comedian for the wrong time,” the magazine said.
“In a cabinet stacked with decorated generals and multimillionaire moguls, the daughter of Indian immigrants whose only major political experience was serving as governor of South Carolina seemed an unlikely pick,” said the magazine. But, even before she became the U.N. Ambassador, Haley “appeared to have little in common, foreign policy-wise, with her would-be boss, President Donald Trump,” according to the magazine. “After she assumed her new role, their differences have been thrown into stark relief,” it adds. Haley’s push to keep sanctions against Russia, championing human rights, and advocating renewed commitment to NATO, over the last 10 months, “smacks more of traditional Republican (and, arguably, traditional U.S.) policies more closely in line with Ronald Reagan than with the current president.”
Significant others who made the list included the women of the #MeToo movement “For coming forward” as well as those journalists who exposed filmmaker Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct and further energized the #MeToo movement; scientist Evelyn Wang of University of California, Berkeley for engineering a way to get water even for dry desserts through solar energy; and an Iraqi activist for wanting justice for the minority Yazidis.