It’s no easy task trying to make sense of Nikki Haley joining the progressive establishment in framing former President Donald Trump as a spent force while pretending to be a conservative Republican in good standing. Haley came to bury Trump in a newly published extensive interview with Politico. And she didn’t leave any wiggle room. Choice quotes:
“I think he’s going to find himself further and further isolated.”
“I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”
“He’s not going to run for federal office again.”
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture…. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
In order to understand why she chose to utilize a left-leaning, big-box media organ to hammer a man who remains overwhelmingly popular within a GOP grassroots that she is ostensibly courting for her long-planned 2024 run for the White House, one must understand who Nikki Haley is. The former South Carolina governor long ago revealed herself to be a rather shameless political opportunist, seeking to puff herself up while jumping on emerging trends. But she has frequently shown amazing tone-deafness while doing so.
‘Lack of Tactical Thinking’
This is acknowledged in the book-length Politico article. “[S]he also has liabilities,” author Tim Alberta writes. “What I’ve heard again and again is that Haley’s raw skills obscure an absence of core beliefs and a lack of tactical thinking.” A former aide elaborates:
“Nikki is motivated by instinct, and a lot of times when she’s out on the stump, or in a certain environment, and she feels like saying something, that emotion takes over, and she loses herself in the moment,” says Rob Godfrey, who spent six years as Haley’s chief spokesman and no longer works for her. “She can be a tremendous messenger, because of her natural talent. But she doesn’t take well to a lot of coaching.”
This selfish myopia was on full display when Haley served as a war-drum-banging UN ambassador for a bring-the-troops-home America First administration. She staked out a virulently hardline approach against Russia that impeachment-obsessed Democrats and their neoconservative allies surely appreciated, but that marked her as an outlier on the Trump team.
“We don’t trust Russia; we don’t trust [Russian President Vladimir] Putin; we never will,” Haley told CBN in July 2018. “They’re never going to be our friend. That’s just a fact.”
As she was performing this chickenhawk strut, the president she allegedly served was saying something else entirely. “It’s not a question of friend or enemy. He’s not my enemy,” Trump said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the time. “And hopefully someday maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen. But I just don’t know him very well.”
Haley went on to herald tough new sanctions against Russia that never came. The important takeaway is that Haley opportunistically sought to elevate herself at the UN yet her manner of approach only left the impression that she held no real sway at all in the White House. Her keen ambition ended up making her look weak and powerless instead of strong and forceful.
PC Parrot in Elephant Clothing
Poor political instinct is hardly her only 2024 flaw. What Haley does try to stand for is particularly ill-suited to the Republican Party of today. Politico damningly quotes her as saying she was “very triggered” by Trump’s remarks after the 2017 rally in Charlottesville that Democrats and their media partners love to use to portray him as an arch-defender of white supremacy. That word “triggered” is a blazing red flag to GOP voters. In this and other instances, Haley is far too quick to adopt the PC language employed by the cultural left to attack conservatives.
Hewing out a Democrat-Lite GOP stance on cultural issues while championing a neocon interventionist foreign policy is political suicide in a GOP grassroots dominated by America First Trump supporters. They despise the weakness, lack of authentic principle, and eagerness to compromise that has defined Republican establishment politicians since the George H.W. Bush administration, if not much earlier.
But Haley may indeed realize that her only hope in 2024 is to be a Republican Joe Biden and get herself installed by the establishment. Perhaps she is cleverly banking on a controlled “blowback” to the popularity disaster Biden will likely be, four years from now as the Elites try to push another Bush, McCain, or Romney as the only real “opposition” to the liberal Democrat in the White House.
The Uniparty is trying to put the band together. Like many a careerist hack, Haley gazes at Biden in the Oval Office and is reinvigorated. The Old Swamp charade is back on, she exclaims, as she scrambles to find her place on the game board.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.