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Nikki Haley's sad path to the moderate middle

By Rachel Alexander
web posted January 22, 2024

It's been rather depressing watching the downward spiral of Nikki Haley as she washes out challenging Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. She started her political career with such promise, as an American of Indian immigrant parents who worked her way up from state legislator to governor of South Carolina and then U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Now, although conservatives need to rally behind Trump as he is targeted by the left through fascist political prosecutions, she is doing the opposite and attacking him.

Obviously, Haley believes if she gets her name recognition up, she'll be in a better position to run for president in 2028 or later, and if she performs well in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, it will give her leverage to demand to be Trump's vice-presidential running mate. But despite the fact the establishment has kept that state's primary mostly open, allowing independents to skew the results towards moderates, Trump appears poised to take over 50% of the vote as he did in Iowa. 

Haley's record as a state legislator was exemplary, garnering lifetime "A" ratings by the Palmetto Family Council and the NRA, "Taxpayer Hero" designation by Governor Mark Sanford in 2005 and "Friend of the Taxpayer" status by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers in 2009.

But her record started going downhill after she became governor. She refused in 2016 to support a bill that would require transgenders to use restrooms based on their gender assigned at birth. She said that global warming is manmade. 

In 2020, she said she was "heartbroken" about the death of George Floyd, and that "[i]n order to heal, it needs to be personal and painful for everyone." Haley angered constitutionalists when she called to end anonymous social media accounts. She backtracked after coming under criticism, saying only Americans should be allowed to have them. The Founding Fathers used anonymous political writing in the Federalist Papers to generate support for passage of the U.S. Constitution. She won't call to eliminate the Department of Education, unlike several other presidential candidates.

During a presidential debate last year in August, Haley ducked the issue of whether she supported a federal ban on abortion. Merely a few months earlier, she'd pledged to sign a federal ban into law. Even RINO extraordinaire Mike Pence, who supports a federal ban and who has since dropped out of the presidential race after dismal poll numbers, called her out for demonstrating "the opposite of leadership" in her response. 

Trump appointed her ambassador to the U.N. despite the fact she supported Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2016 primary and called for Trump to release his tax records. She also denounced him for allegedly not disavowing the KKK. Trump has denounced white supremacy so much that The Daily Caller compiled a minute and a half long video of his many public statements. 

A few days after the January 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol, Haley faulted Trump for the clash.  "We need to acknowledge he let us down," she said during an interview. "I think he's lost any sort of political viability he was going to have … He's fallen so far." She continued, "He went down a path he shouldn't have, and we shouldn't have followed him, and we shouldn't have listened to him. And we can't let that ever happen again. … When I tell you I'm angry, it's an understatement." 

Trump said on J6 speaking to a crowd near the U.S. Capitol, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." 

Haley believes Biden was legitimately elected president, and said Trump's efforts to overturn the results would "be judged harshly by history." She praised Pence for accepting the electoral slates for Biden from states suspected of election fraud, "I do think that Vice President Pence did the right thing, and I do think that we need to give him credit for that."

When Trump confused her name with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Haley questioned his mental fitness. "Don't be surprised if you have someone that is 80 in office, their mental stability is going to continue to decline," she said during an interview, calling it a "warning sign."

Haley recently said that Trump cannot win a general election and declared, "The American people are not going to vote for a convicted criminal." The New York Times reported that she said regarding Trump's administration,  "We cannot have four years of chaos, vendettas and drama." In an essay for The Wall Street Journal, she said Trump had gone astray as president, and said she could not "defend the indefensible." 

Even before jumping into the presidential race, and after serving as U.N. ambassador, Haley has not hesitated to criticize Trump. In August 2019, she responded to a sarcastic post on X by Trump about Rep. Elijah Cummings' home being burglarized, "This is so unnecessary" with an eye roll emoji. 

Trump said Haley promised him that she would not oppose him running for president again in 2024. As late as April 2021, she said she would not run for president if he was. Her entry into the race was a slap in the face, considering she has said she told Trump she would serve as U.N. ambassador on three conditions, and he agreed to them and followed through. He was "true to his word," she repeatedly praised him later. 

The truth is Haley appears to be garnering significant interest because the fake news MSM covers her campaign relentlessly, in an effort to make Trump look less popular and pretend Republicans are becoming more moderate. She's been able to soar ahead of Ron DeSantis because he's too similar to Trump, and she has the woman and Indian factor. 

Much of Haley's transformation into a moderate Republican is likely typical of why RINOs become RINOS; a combination of follow the money and knowing too many establishment players she considers "friends." The Republican Party needs to stay far away from what would clearly be another Bush type of leader. ESR

Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, Enter Stage Right and other publications.

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