Haley 2024!

As if.

Good stuff from Nate Cohn, “What Nikki Haley Can Teach Us About the Republican Party”

Ms. Haley’s strength in the polls may not be a great test of the electoral appeal of traditional conservatism. She’s a first-time candidate with single-digit support in the polls. Almost all presidential candidates who start in the single digits end at zero, and that usually doesn’t say much about the strength of their ideological faction.

But if Ms. Haley can gain traction — if she can raise big money, if she can land a punch on the debate stage, if she can draw applause for linking immigration and inflation, or attacking Mr. Putin — it may say something about the appetite for her brand of conservatism.

What might say the most of all is if she could successfully attack Mr. Trump — but, realistically, she is probably not going to directly do so very often. She was a former Trump administration official as U.N. ambassador. Indeed, Mr. Trump appeared to bless her run, perhaps in hope that she will siphon away votes from Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

In an interview with the Fox host Sean Hannity last month, Ms. Haley didn’t seem eager for a fight. When asked whether she had policy differences with Mr. Trump, she said she “totally” agreed with “most of the policies that he did.” When Mr. Hannity followed up by asking the question a second time, she pivoted to the baby formula shortage.

This nonconfrontational approach is emblematic of a broader challenge for her in today’s populist, pugnacious Republican Party. She appears to be temperamentally moderate, regardless of her views on the issues. And some of her views really have been relatively moderate. As governor, she famously removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House. She wouldn’t support a bill blocking transgender people from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. She’s sympathetic to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. This is no culture warrior.

In today’s Republican Party, Ms. Haley will have no choice but to try to tap into the culture wars. In her announcement video, she recast her Reagan-like belief in American greatness as a counter to the left-wing view that America’s founding principles are “bad” or “racist.” Her race and gender might make her an especially strong proponent for this kind of position, especially if she more explicitly embraces conservative views.

But while American exceptionalism may be at odds with the left, it doesn’t channel the anger and resentment that fuels large elements of the conservative base. In this important respect, a reincarnated Reaganism will not be like the original.

And an NYT discussion:

David Brooks In a normal party, she would have to be taken seriously. She’s politically skilled, has never lost an election, has domestic and foreign policy experience, has been a popular governor, is about as conservative as the median G.O.P. voter and is running on an implicit platform: Let’s end the chaos and be populist but sensible. The question is, is the G.O.P. becoming once again a normal party?

Jane Coaston To borrow a phrase, we should take it extremely literally but not seriously. She is indeed running for president. But Nikki Haley will not be the next president of the United States of America.

Ross Douthat Much less seriously than the likely front-running candidacies of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, and somewhat less seriously than the likely also-ran candidacy of Mike Pence. Which means that barring a scenario where at least two of those three men don’t catch fire, not particularly seriously at all.

David French The Republican race is best summed up as two individuals (Trump and DeSantis) and a field. Maybe a third candidate can emerge from the field, and maybe that person can be Haley — a decent reason to take her seriously — but we need to see evidence of independent traction.

Michelle Goldberg Not very. I can’t imagine who she thinks her constituency is. A video teasing her candidacy starts with a spiel by the neocon Reagan official Jeane Kirkpatrick. Talk about nailing the zeitgeist!

And, lastly, my comments for the Slovak audience:

As Nikki Haley announced her presidential bid, how do you assess her chances to win the GOP nomination and to become the next US President? What is her biggest strength and what about her weakness?
I would be very surprised were Haley to win the nomination. She just does not have some obvious, popular role to play in the Republican primaries that would net her the support needed to win. On one level, there is Trump vs everybody else, but, like all the other Republicans, Haley has been entirely unwilling to meaningfully stand up to Trump. To defeat Trump, it seems that would have to happen at some time. Ron DeSantis seems to have all the energy and establishment support behind him as the non-Trump candidate and it seems hard to see, at this point, how Haley, or anybody else surpasses him on that. Even if DeSantis falters, though, it’s hard to see Haley as somebody who is really exciting to a lot of Republican voters. Presumably, she offers something different as a woman and a racial minority, but this is in an era where Trump has unleashed thinly-veiled racism and sexism that seem ascendant within much of the Republican base. Haley has an impressive resume and undeniable political skills, but I don’t think that really gets her close to the nomination in the current Republican Party.

%d bloggers like this: