Thursday, January 25, 2024

Nikki Haley’s chance

 What is there to say about New Hampshire that hasn’t already been said? 

Nikki Haley lost by double digits. This was pretty much as expected. The most recent numbers that I’ve seen show Haley trailing 54-43 percent. That is slightly closer than than last week’s polling but not nearly enough to change the outcome. In the end, the polls were very close, especially when accounting for Haley’s continued rise.

But now, as Chris Christie, said, “Haley is going to get smoked.”

Towfiqu barbhuiya/


I don’t think Christie meant that Haley would get smoked in New Hampshire. I think he meant after.

Haley’s one slim chance was to pull off an upset in New Hampshire and inspire donors and voters with the possibility of an underdog victory. She couldn’t do it and now Trump is set to sweep the Nevada caucuses, where Haley isn’t competing. After Nevada, it’s on to South Carolina where Haley trails in her home state by 40 points

At this point, Nikki Haley is on a quixotic quest to deny Trump the nomination. It’s not going to happen. It would require not only one miracle but several.

Still, I agree with my friend Steve Berman. Haley should stay in. She can’t win, but she can provide a focal point for anti-Trump Republicans. 

In the last days before New Hampshire, Haley finally went straight at Donald Trump. Maybe attacking Trump wouldn’t have salvaged Haley’s campaign, but one certainty is you can’t win a political campaign by saying your opponent is a great guy who never did anything wrong.

But Haley may have showed the way. When DeSantis fizzled and then dropped out, it became a two-person race. Haley could go after Trump without fear of being (further) stabbed in the back by other candidates like DeSantis and Tim Scott, both of whom bowed the knee and joined Trump’s entourage.

Trump isn’t used to people who fight back. And he’s not as sharp as he used to be. When Haley started putting pressure on him, he promptly got very confused and mixed up Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi

I don’t know if there is a straight line between the gaffe and Haley’s attacks, but I do know that there’s more where that came from. This wasn’t Trump’s first “senior moment,” and there will be more. 

And that’s not all. Trump went on a tear against Haley after the primary, saying, “I don’t get mad, I get even.” . 

Aside from being a very unchristian attitude, this is more of Trump’s open promise to abuse his power once again if reelected. The same goes for his quest for “total immunity,” even as a former president. Trump has threatened Haley with investigation, even though Republicans are supposed to oppose this sort of behavior.

Even more than the gaffes, Trump’s authoritarian tendencies need to be paraded before voters. 

What is needed is someone to call attention to Trump’s problems, someone who has the attention of Fox News and OANN. A Republican.

Unless Trump drops out of the race - or is forced out - Nikki Haley can’t win. But she can throw a monkey wrench into Trump’s campaign. She can help to make sure that Donald Trump never becomes president again.

Republicans seem confused by Donald Trump. They say that he is unfit and has committed all manner of unethical and illegal acts, yet one by one they all line up behind Trump in the end. (There are a few notable exceptions.)

If Trump is unfit for office, then making sure that Trump loses is more important than partisan politics. Nikki Haley has a chance to rise above partisanship for the good of the country, if she chooses to take it. 

I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a liberal. I disagree with quite a bit of Joe Biden’s policy, but Biden is the most conservative Democratic president that we can expect. He has not done a horrible job and is a decent man, as evidenced by Republicans’ inability to link him to evidence of wrongdoing. The country can muddle along under Biden for another four years while the Republican Party finds its way out of the MAGA dead end. 

Trump supporters will call Haley a RINO. I’ll call her a patriot, someone who supports the Constitution over whims of a would-be strongman. 

And maybe Haley will get very lucky. Maybe the Supreme Court will rule Trump ineligible under the 14th Amendment. If that happens, Haley will have the most delegates and a strong claim to the nomination.

What do you think would happen in that case? I think I know. 

MAGA Republicans would exit the party en masse and refuse to vote for her despite their current claims that the party must unite to save the country from a second Biden term. MAGA wouldn’t unite behind Haley - or anyone but Trump - but they expect the rest of the country to line up behind Donald Trump despite their misgivings.

That’s hypocrisy. 

And it illustrates that Trump and his minions are the real RINOs. MAGA only sees the Republican Party as a vehicle to elevate Trump to power. 

Trump needs to be beaten. If Nikki Haley chooses to do so, she could be the person who saves the Republican Party from Trump’s domination. In doing so, she could also save her country an untold amount of grief and achieve statesman status. This course of action requires true leadership.

It’s also a way for Haley to set herself apart from the also-rans who now stoop to kiss Trump’s ring. Would this be enough to salvage her hopes for 2028? There’s no way of knowing. There’s a lot of water yet to pass under the bridge between now and then, but it’s a better bet than joining the ranks of defeated challengers who have become Trump’s lackeys.

Just ask Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

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TRUMP VP POLL RESULTS: The results are in on the Racket News Twitter poll. There was a three-way tie between our options for Trump’s vice presidential pick, Elise Stefanik, Kristi Noem, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Each of the three won 17 percent of the vote.

Forty-nine percent chose someone else. Among the names offered were Jim Jordan, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, and the Trump children.

From the Racket News:

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