From one of the three guys standing to her left on stage on Wednesday night in Miami, Nikki Haley had heard worse than snippets of gunfire. She faced insults directed at Native Americans when running for South Carolina governor in 2010. Despite the fact that she was born in South Carolina’s Bamberg County Hospital, the state party chairman declared three years later that she ought to “go back to wherever the hell she came from.” The Secretary of State is said to have called her to her face with sexist epithets beginning with B and C while she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN.
However, during the third discussion amongst the lesser-known candidates, Haley became quite agitated when her daughter’s use of social media was brought up by the presidential candidate. Rena Haley’s TikTok was brought up by tech bro Vivek Ramaswamy, to which Haley responded with a cool edge, “Leave my daughter out of your voice.” Her daughter was watching from the room when she said, “You’re just scum.”
Haley appeared to be resetting her aggression and maybe reminding herself that anger directed towards female candidates might be easily misinterpreted as hostility. Her gaze was fixed on the bright Miami stage lights overhead.She has done well thus far in the current Republican campaign with such level-headed ownership of her domain. As far as national surveys, early state polls, and her reputation among funders go, she is the only contender rising. Haley is fast emerging as a credible primary opponent and the Republicans’ greatest chance to discover an escape route to Donald Trump’s third nomination, even if he is still miles ahead of her.
“Using politicians from the 20th century to win the battles of the 21st century is not possible. Haley stated in her final remarks, “We have to go ahead. It summed up her campaign’s central claim, which is that Republican voters would prefer a high-stakes diplomat and former state leader to a former president who is facing four separate legal proceedings. That formulation is really logical, in my opinion. However, query Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and the former ambassador to China and Singapore, on the two delegates he secured during his presidential campaign in 2012.
Haley knew the rules on stage. Her hawkish instincts on national security gave her an advantage during a debate that covered threats from China and the southern border, as well as the situations in Ukraine and Israel. She makes the astute argument that Congress enacting a federal abortion ban is about as likely as discovering the Loch Ness Monster because she is a pragmatic realist when it comes to social matters. Her home state edge in South Carolina, which she has never lost once in her 20-year career, is another advantage she has. She is being guided by some very smart advisers in the lead-off states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
But it must be acknowledged that Haley, her policy-based opposite, who once again bailed out of the debate entirely, is still far from posing a challenge to Trump. The former president was presenting his own show, which was rife with victimization and complaints, some 20 minutes away from the Miami theater. He was promising the GOP base an unrealistic agenda once more. An anti-Joe Biden rallying cry, “Let’s Go, Brandon,” was led by a UFC fighter to the audience before Trump entered the stage in Hialeah, Florida. The slogan wasn’t very clever. Not statecraft, but showmanship.
There are benefits to being a past president, and raising money is foremost. In the three months before October, Trump raised over $24 million, and in the previous quarter, he raised $17 million. With $37 million in the bank at the end of the term, he was $20 million ahead of Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis’s $12 million.
Yes, even though DeSantis’s popularity among Republicans has significantly decreased since the beginning of the campaign, he is still running. The man known as “Ron DeSanctimonious” is a little unbalanced coming into the starting line due to some rough terrain and Trump’s scathing insults. Nevertheless, his threat was never very dangerous—the closest he ever came to surpassing Trump was a 15-point disadvantage.
While Haley may be making progress, she is still behind Trump by a significant 50 points. Furthermore, although winning the Not-Trump primary is important for media attention, second place is not rewarded under Republican rules. This implies that she must either begin to map out a strategy for surpassing Trump in less than a year or persuade supporters of candidates such as Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former governor Chris Christie to switch sides. Still, they are difficult odds. It seems that not even the possibility of voting for a nominee who is in jail will be enough to weaken Trump’s grasp on the party.
“I’ll say this about Donald Trump: You cannot lead this party or this country as a leader if you are going to spend the next year and a half trying to avoid going to jail or being in court,” remarked a sour Christie. “It must be stated clearly.”
That’s the reason Haley has chosen her targets so carefully while criticizing her former boss. “He was the ideal president in the ideal circumstances. Serving as Trump’s U.N. representative, she declared, “He’s not the right president right now.”
But because of her astute late rise, competitors without Trump find her an easy target to humiliate on public platforms.
“Do you need a pioneer who will focus on this country, somebody from an alternate age? Or, on the other hand, is Dick Cheney in three-inch heels more your style? Ramaswamy commented prior to ridiculing both Haley’s and DeSantis’ shoe determination. “In this occurrence, there will be two of them performing this evening.”
Haley missed no beats as she went to her go-to reaction. “They have five crawls of heel. She commented, “I don’t wear them until you can run in them. “I have heels. They’re not intended to make a style explanation. They are used for ammunition.
At the point when she was interrogated in this manner regarding the hostility by Ramaswamy, Haley was naturally derisive. “Hello, I’m a mother.” She expressed in the twist, “I will get me covered up the second that you begin expressing something about my 25-year-old girl.”
But if serious-minded Republicans wish to avoid a third Trump nomination, perhaps it’s time to extend her that courtesy.