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Why Donald Trump Will Pick Nikki Haley as His Vice President

Nikki Haley in the Oval Office. Image Credit: White House.
Nikki Haley in the Oval Office. Image Credit: White House.

Former President Donald J. Trump is running circles around his Republican Party rivals. He’s got 58 percent support from registered likely Republican voters. He fares less well with independents and specific minority voters—notably women. If Trump does become the GOP nominee again, he will require the support of independents and key minority voters to overcome President Joe Biden (or whoever is the Democratic Party’s nominee in 2024). 

Surveying the current political landscape in the GOP Primary, one sees that aside from Trump, the other two frontrunners are Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and the former Trump Administration ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. 

In fact, due to her fiery performances in both the GOP debates, Haley appears to many observers to be the one with momentum on her side whereas DeSantis, in their eyes, has peaked and is now collapsing.

Since no real votes have been cast in the GOP Primary, this is a strange thing to see. It’s little more than the fickle perceptions of pollsters and craven reporters. 

Alas, this is the nature of the beast called American democracy. 

Because Haley seems to be the one with momentum on her side, many key donors who were supporting DeSantis are starting to eye her campaign with increasing interest (several donors have, sadly, opted to discontinue their financial support for the DeSantis Campaign). 

Given that Trump needs a woman and I suspect that he does not necessarily have the kind of lock on the early primary states that he is pretending in public to have, Nikki Haley could be of great assistance to the former president. She’s a tough woman. 

Nikki Haley’s Appeal

At least superficially, Nikki Haley would appeal to some voters who would otherwise be out of Trump’s reach. Haley has made a point to distinguish herself from her old boss, Trump, which will likely bring some of the “Never Trump”-type conservative voters over to the Trump ticket (when ordinarily they’d rather vote Democrat than vote for Trump).

Then there’s the familiarity. 

Sure, Trumpworld says there’s no love-lost between Nikki Haley and the former president. But they know each other. Trump was effusive in his praise for Nikki Haley when she served as his ambassador to the UN. 

What’s more, Trump elevated her, despite Haley’s overt resentment toward Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican Party Presidential Primary. She’s good at handling Trump and Trump thinks she’s tough and attractive. These are winning combos in the forty-fifth president’s view. 

If I’m correct about Trump struggling in the actual early primary states, then he would definitely require a big assist. Trump traditionally struggles in Iowa and it looks like DeSantis remains strong there. New Hampshire is a mixed bag and it will likely be tight for Trump to win. 

So, his team is likely looking to South Carolina as the Waterloo moment of the 2024 GOP Presidential Primary. If Trump can stop his enemies at that moment, he can ensure they can no longer challenge him.

Whatever bad blood exists between Trump and Haley will be insufficient to prevent him from, in a moment of absolute political need, from putting Nikki Haley as his vice-president. 

Trump Doesn’t Hire the “Very Best People”

And, just like that, Donald Trump will assuredly fall into his old patterns wherein he entrusts his administration to the worst possible people—the very people he has spent his entire political career railing against—who we today loosely refer to as, “neocons”. 

It’s just another example of why Trump is not the best candidate in 2024. We need a newer, younger generation of leadership who see the neoconservatives as the failures they are. 

Trump won’t do that. From the hiring of John Bolton to Mike Pence and, yes, Nikki Haley, Trump has already proven he is not up to the task of “draining the swamp” (because draining the swamp would begin with preventing these types of people from gaining power). 

Trump isn’t draining the swamp. He’s certainly not opposed to the neoconservatives. Actually, Trump has been enabling these corrupt elements since he first took power. 

If he’s the nominee, expect him to nominate Neocon Barbie, Nikki Haley. And then, if he’s removed from office because for whatever reason, then the neocons get their gal-pal into the Oval Office. It’s a real nightmare.

A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

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Written By

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.