The Second Republican To Declare - Nikki Haley Announces Run For President, Challenging Trump

 February 15, 2023

On Tuesday, Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador, Nikki Haley, announced her candidacy for president. According to the Associated Press, Haley, announced her candidacy for president, becoming the first major challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Delivered in a tweeted video, the announcement, marks an about-face for the ex-Trump Cabinet official, who said two years ago that she wouldn’t challenge her former boss for the White House in 2024. Citing, among other things, the country’s economic troubles and the need for “generational change,” a nod to the 76-year-old Trump’s age, apparently, she has changed her mind in recent months. The announcement included the following statement -

“You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” …“I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”

-Nikki Haley, Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador

The first in a long line of Republicans, who are expected to launch 2024 campaigns in the coming months, Haley, 51 leads the group of apparent hopefuls. Among the list are: former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

If elected, Haley would be the nation’s first female president and the first U.S. president of Indian descent. Still regularly boasting about her track record of defying political expectations, Haley said-

 “I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now.”

Haley, is the daughter of Indian immigrants, who grew up enduring racist taunts, in a small South Carolina town. She has long referenced that impact on her personal and political arc.

Haley referenced that past, in the three-and-a-half-minute video, saying she grew up-

“not Black, not white — I was different.”

-Nikki Haley, 2024 GOP Presidential Candidate

Haley insists that America is not a racist country, saying - “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Images of media reports related to The New York Times Magazine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project” -  which centered the country’s history around slavery, can be seen playing in the background of her campaign video.

Never mentioning Trump by name, in the video, Haley, instead said-

“the Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again.”…calling for… “a new generation of leadership,”  [her messaging refrain leading up to the launch].

-Nikki Haley, 2024 GOP Presidential Candidate

According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, there appears to be an openness among Republicans to new leadership. In the poll, an open-ended question was asked of Republicans, to choose who they want to lead their party.  A majority of Republicans didn’t choose either Trump or DeSantis, considered the Trumps’ top rival. However, they offered no clear alternative.  Named by just 1% of Republicans as their preferred leader, eleven other politicians were noted. Haley was included in this number.

Taylor Budowich, Spokesman for Trump’s Super PAC, in a statement, said that Haley was-

 “just another career politician.” adding “She started out as a Never Trumper, before resigning to serve in the Trump admin”…“She then resigned early to go rake in money on corporate boards. Now, she’s telling us she represents a ‘new generation.’ Sure, just looks like more of the same, a career politician whose, only fulfilled commitment is to herself.”

-Taylor Budowich, Spokesman for Trump’s Super PAC

Haley was an accountant, before entering politics. In 2004, in her first bid for public office, she defeated the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House.  With little statewide recognition - three terms later, Haley entered a long-shot campaign for governor, against a large field of experienced politicians. She racked up a number of high-profile endorsements, including from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a tea party darling and the sitting South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford.

Haley became South Carolina’s first female and minority governor, the nation’s youngest at 38, with her 2010 victory. She garnered a speaking slot at the 2012 Republican National Convention, and in 2016, she gave the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Her defining moment of as governor came after the 2015 murders of nine Black parishioners in a Charleston church by a self-avowed white supremacist, who had been pictured holding Confederate flags. Haley had resisted calls, for years, to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. She even cast a rival’s push for its removal, as a desperate stunt. But after the massacre and with the support of other leading Republicans, Haley advocated for legislation to remove the flag. Less than a month after the murders, the Confederate Flag came down.

Ultimately saying that she would back the party’s nominee, in the 2016 presidential primary, Haley was an early supporter of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, later shifting to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. After Trump’s victory, he tapped Haley to be his U.N. ambassador, a move that rewarded Henry McMaster, the lieutenant governor who was the nation’s first statewide elected official to back Trump’s 2016 campaign. Haley’s’ absence cleared the way for McMaster, to ascend to the governorship he had sought, losing a bruising primary to none other than Haley seven years earlier,

Haley became the first Indian American in a presidential Cabinet, with her Senate confirmation. Haley feuded at times with other administration officials, during her nearly two-year tenure and built her own public persona.

in 2018, one of her most memorable moments as U.N. ambassador came, after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow suggested she had suffered “momentary confusion” when she said Russian sanctions were imminent.

Reportedly, she responded-

“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,”

--Nikki Haley, 2024 GOP Presidential Candidate

Later that year, when she left her job, it fueled speculation that she would challenge Trump in 2020 or replace Pence on the ticket. Instead, she returned to South Carolina, where she bought a home on Kiawah Island, joined the board of aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co., launched herself on the speaking circuit, and wrote two books, including the memoir.

Haley initially cast doubts on Trump’s political future, after the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, but said she wouldn’t challenge him in 2024. Later, citing inflation, crime, drugs and a “foreign policy in disarray” among her reasons for considering a White House campaign, she apparently shifted course. Trump told WIS-TV, during his South Carolina stop last month, that Haley had called to seek his opinion on running for president. Trump reportedly pointed out, her earlier pledge not to run against him,  but said he made no attempt to stop her. Trump reportedly said-

“She said she would never run against me because I was the greatest president, but people change their opinions, and they change what’s in their hearts,”… “So I said, ‘If your heart wants to do it, you have to go do it.’”

-Former President Donald Trump

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

-Edmund Hillary
Copyright 2024 Patriot Mom Digest