Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador and former governor of South Carolina, recently published her memoirs, “With All Due Respect.” In the book and interviews related to it, Haley offered a warm defense of President Donald Trump, stating that he has done nothing wrong that would merit impeachment. She has also suggested that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly tried to suborn her into a plot to subvert President Trump’s agenda to “save the country.”
According to the Hill, Tillerson has denied that allegation. Tillerson claims that “My conversations with the President in the privacy of the Oval Office were always candid, frank, and my recommendations straightforward. Once the President made a decision, we at the State Department undertook our best efforts to implement that decision.”
The reaction by the mainstream media has been interesting, to say the least. According to The Wrap, Joe Scarborough, one of the hosts of the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” was pretty sure that Haley is angling for Mike Pence’s job as vice president. Scarborough also suggested that Haley is “besmirching her own reputation” by “lying” about the president’s truthfulness and mental acuity.
Political pundits have speculated that Trump may swap Pence out for Haley to buttress his standing with women voters. Haley is not only female but also counts as a “woman of color” who is a Sikh American. Others point out that changing running mates in midstream would be difficult for presidents not named Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt. Mike Pence has been a loyal soldier who has ties to mainstream conservative Republicans who would be angered were he to be dumped.
Ed Morrisey, over at Hot Air, states that Haley’s book is just what President Trump needs to argue that he has been fighting against “the deep state” as much as he has the Democrats and various foreign enemies of the United States.
“The timing for Trump, on the other hand, couldn’t be better — even if it’s probably accidental. It takes months for books to get from the final draft to print, which means Haley’s memoir was finished no later than this spring, long before any of the Ukraine-Gate issues arose. Trump can use Haley’s claims to argue that his presidency has been undermined by the Beltway political establishment all along, although neither Kelly nor especially Tillerson was part of it before Trump. This is the Deep State exposé that Trump has needed since the whistleblower came forward. Expect Trump to ride this horse until it drops.”
Hot Air’s Allahpundit, however, has concluded that Haley does not want to be Trump’s vice president. Too much risk exists for such a gambit.
The theory is that if Haley is Trump’s running mate and he loses in 2020, she is forever tainted. The idea for her being on the ticket would be that she increases Trump’s appeal to women and minorities. A loss in 2020 would cast doubt on that supposition and wreck Haley’s chances for running for the top spot in 2024.
If Trump wins in 2024 with Haley on the ticket, then she is tainted as well, according to Allahpundit. The only time in modern history when the same party held the White House for more than two terms happened when George H. W. Bush followed President Ronald Reagan into the White House. Haley would also be associated with some of what Allahpundit regards as the “weirdness” that has featured the Trump presidency.
On the other hand, one might argue that she would also be associated with President Trump’s undoubted successes, provided that the second term resembles the first, Bush 41 campaigned in 1988 as Reagan’s third term, albeit in a “kinder, gentler” tone. Haley could do the same as the third term of Trump, though with a “calmer, less chaotic” style.
Allahpundit believes that Haley’s “game” is to remain on the good side of Trump’s supporters to buttress her potential run in 2024. She’ll have stiff competition, including Pence and perhaps Ted Cruz. The Hot Air article concludes that Haley might be given the keynote address at the Republican National Convention as a reward for her loyalty. After all, the Democrats gave their 2004 keynote speech to an obscure United States Senator named Barack Obama. Does one wonder what happened to him?