Nikki Haley has all but declared she is going to run in the 2024 GOP primary against Donald Trump.
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However, while the former governor of South Carolina and former UN ambassador might have the credentials to pull it off, at least in theory, she does not have, according to many Republican experts, what she truly needs to win: grassroots support like Donald Trump. And that is just for starters.
Donald Trump Would Crush Nikki Haley
I reached out to quite a few GOP veterans to get a sense of what they thought of Nikki Haley and if she could win.
While I will admit asking for quotes on a Saturday, as any journalist knows, is not easy. However, I did get some interesting reactions, and I was surprised by the negative vibes overall.
“Nikki Haley, really? You are asking about her? Yes, I know. She basically said she was running. I get it. However, she does not have anywhere near the support in the GOP people think,” explained a former Donald Trump 2020 campaign official.
“Sure, she is photogenic and can read her talking points well. But where is the policy substance? What would be her natural base of support? What does her donor pool look like against Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis? Sure, she can run, but she won’t even make it to Iowa.
And didn’t she say sometime back she won’t run in 2024 if Donald Trump decided to go for it? That won’t play well – and we all know Trump will hit her hard for that change of heart.”
Another 2020 Donald Trump for president staffer was even blunter. “Nikki Haley will get crushed by Donald Trump – I don’t see any other outcome for her. I have worked with her in the past and I know she is pretty ambitious, and those ambitions have served her well. She is intelligent and talented and has a bright future in the GOP and could even be president in the future. She has relative youth on her side.
Still, I think Trump will go after her hard – especially if she declares early and it is just the two of them. Imagine if Trump gets Facebook back and jumps back on Twitter and goes right after her. He will have a field day, as I am sure he will let out any and all mistakes he thinks she made when she served him at the UN. It could get nasty.”
Democrats Jump in on Nikki Haley
A Democratic Party official who worked in communications for the 2012 Barack Obama campaign was far more polite and had a different train of thought: “My guess is she is really gunning for Vice President. She knows she can’t win the nomination against Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. But she does have a shot at being the VP and a really strong VP and bidding her time.
She is young and could clearly be helped by building her profile a little more.”
Donald Trump and Nikki Halley in 2024? Hmm, that could be a tough challenge for Joe Biden. I guess we will have to see what happens. One question: would the MAGA GOP base like that move? To be frank, she seems like too much of a Mitt Romney Republican from 2010 for MAGA to get behind her.
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About the author: Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.
February 2, 2023 at 11:49 pm
So far, when it comes to National security outcomes; it TRUMP all the way. Democracies vs Dictators in a Worldwide war. Democracies can win if they can mobilize.