Does Nikki Haley Really Just Want to Be Vice President?: When you are someone who is not well known across the country, and you run for president you confront inevitable questions.
Are you auditioning for another job besides president?
It is certainly not fair to Haley, who would be the first Sikh-American woman president in history.
Her initial rollout of the campaign has been flawless and she has forged a path that looks to be uplifting and positive instead of trotting out the usual grievances and mudslinging.
Could her real goal be Vice President?
Is There a Nikki Haley – Trump Alliance?
But some wags are skeptical that not only Haley cannot win, but that she really just wants to be a presidential running mate with former President Donald Trump.
The two might be seen as allies since they are not insulting each other at this point.
Trump picking a woman, minority candidate could help him bring a new bloc of voters to the Republican ticket – potential minority supporters the party often fails to attract.
One Pundit Thinks Haley Is Campaigning For VP
Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein is one of the naysayers who disputes Haley’s intentions. He said Haley is a long shot with no chance but to serve as someone’s understudy.
“Nikki Haley says she is running for president, but a few political observers including a potential opponent have suggested that she might actually be angling for the vice-presidential spot on the GOP ticket,” Bernstein wrote.
Running on the Generation Gap
At 51, Haley is running on her relative youth. Trump is 76 and Joe Biden is 80. So she has requested all politicians over 75 be forced to take a mental acuity test to prove they are worthy of leading their constituents.
It’s a good idea for Haley to promote herself as being on the young side before 44-year-old Ron DeSantis enters the race. The Florida governor is expected to announce a run for the White House in May after his state’s legislative session.
A pairing of DeSantis and Haley on the ticket would remind some voters of John F. Kennedy who was only 43 when he became president.
Underdog Has Much Work To Do
But before Haley advances her presidential quest, she must improve her name recognition, national fundraising, and grassroots support.
To do this, she is campaigning in early states on the nominating calendar such as New Hampshire.
She is blessed to be from South Carolina, which will vote third in the primary in 2024 after Iowa and New Hampshire.
Needs to Up Her Fundraising Game
Over the last two years, Nikki Haley has used her leadership PAC, Stand For America, as the vessel to raise money. She hasn’t been that bad as a fundraiser.
Stand for America has brought in at least $15.6 million, according to Open Secrets, but she has only about $2 million left in the kitty.
That is an absurdly low number for a presidential candidate.
She will have to drastically improve those numbers before she can compete for the nomination.
Keep Things Positive
Nikki Haley has so far stayed away from negative campaigning against Trump, which fuels the fire she may have a secret partnership with the former president. She hasn’t laid a hand on DeSantis and she served in the same administration as former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
It makes no sense to attack anyone who hasn’t declared their candidacy. And why pick a fight with Trump when he has mostly stayed away from insulting Haley? He said, “The more the merrier,” after she announced.
Secretary of State Would Be Nice
If Haley runs a quality campaign and fizzles out, but acquits herself well, she could be in line for a vice presidential slot or a prime cabinet position like Secretary of State, which she has the resume for, so don’t be surprised.
George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, Joe Biden and others have become vice president after failing to capture the presidency. Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. Haley could thus find her way on the ticket and hope to win and then run for president later.
That’s not such a bad outcome, even if it is not by design.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.