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The Right Resistance: Nikki Haley’s lonely journey to no woman’s land in South Carolina

As we inch towards the next big occurrence in the 2024 Republican party presidential race – the South Carolina primary – set for Saturday, February 24 – it’s become evident, at least

since the New Hampshire primary a couple weeks ago, that the Democrats have finally woken up to the fact that Donald Trump will be the all-but certain winner in the GOP and have thus initiated the time-consuming process of re-igniting their slime machine in order to have it primed and ready when old goat president senile Joe Biden gives the go-ahead to beginning the campaign in earnest.


That is if Biden actually understands what’s going on these days, which is never a given considering his increasingly rare and bizarre public appearances, which defy description, even for him.Note: Nevada’s GOP primary took place yesterday, a virtually uncontested non-election where Donald Trump did not even appear on the ballot. The only question was whether Nikki Haley would best “None of these candidates” among those who participated. Silver State caucuses will be held tomorrow. There were no delegates awarded for the Nevada primary, and 26 are available through the caucus results. As of press time, it certainly appears that “None of these candidates” bested Haley by a wide margin. Go Nikki!


Last week’s fixation on the supposed conservative “conspiracy theories” involving pop star Taylor Swift were the most obvious hint that Democrats are reaching for anything remotely connected to politics that could be used to damage Trump and Republicans.


Yes, we realize that the establishment media pundit class is bored silly with the lack of real action in either party’s presidential race, so it’s hardly shocking that they’ve adopted the eye-pleasing, young-female appealing Swift to carry forward their hate campaign. Who knows, maybe Taylor will write a song about how manly and capable senile Joe is compared with the eminently energetic and virile Trump.


Who said art had to reflect reality?


At any rate, Trump’s lone remaining competitor – if you could still call her that – in the Republican horserace is South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, who has been busying herself of late attempting to gain some sort of traction in her native state, which, theoretically speaking, should be a stronghold for her if she were really the worthy responsible governor there she persistently claims to have been.


South Carolina polling is not nearly as extensive as that from New Hampshire and Iowa, though conditions on the ground don’t appear to indicate that the Palmetto State’s Republicans are priming themselves to hand a big, unwelcome blow to Trump. In fact, it looks as though Haley is headed for her own personal Waterloo (and not the city in Iowa, either).


In an opinion piece titled “Nikki Haley headed for spectacular flameout in South Carolina”, the ever-present and respected Charles Hurt wrote at The Washington Times recently:


“[F]or sure, Ms. Haley is willing to keep her campaign going for as long as she can find wealthy people willing to dump money into it. Who doesn’t like free money? And the ego boost is powerful. As the adage goes, running for president is like making love. Nobody does it just once and then decides: ‘Well, I have done that. I don’t ever need to do that again.’ Usually, people do it once and decide to make a habit of it.


“But there is more at play here for Ms. Haley than just the sneaky fun of it all in the back seat of a Cadillac Escalade. And it’s pretty stupid if she thinks it is part of a grand strategy to get picked as Mr. Trump’s running mate. Ms. Haley has turned caustic toward her former political benefactor, who launched her to the national stage when he made her his ambassador to the United Nations. She now claims — hilariously — that as U.N. ambassador, she would call Mr. Trump in the Oval Office and tell him that he is his own worst enemy. Really? Can you imagine that conversation? What a self-serving lie.


“Ms. Haley has also taken to lumping Mr. Trump into the same senile camp as President Biden. Seriously? Mr. Trump bungles a story by mixing up the names of Ms. Haley and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and he suddenly belongs in the memory wing of the old folks’ home with Mr. Biden?”


Yes, it’s all fact, and Mr. Hurt’s comparison of making love to politics also rings true. And, based on Haley’s actions, the Democrats aren’t the only ones who’ve recognized the proverbial writing on the wall and are now engaged in straw-grasping of the most desperate and highest order. It seems when you’ve been out on the campaign trail for a year like Nikki has and delivered the same -- or a version of the same -- speech for hundreds of appearances, you beg your writers for something novel and attention-attracting to talk about, even it’s a load of male bovine excrement.


Note: Hurt’s reference to the Cadillac Escalade alludes to Haley’s alleged infidelity prior to winning the governorship in 2010. Wouldn’t this be a fun tidbit to try and explain away if she ever advanced far in the party race – or even worse, was tapped as Trump’s vice president? It may be a male/female politician double standard, but Trump’s always had a reputation as a playboy and flexible marital transgressor. Nikki? She maintains that she’s as pure as new fallen snow. The scandal would be fresh meat, so to speak, for the always-hungry-for-sleaze tabloid establishment media.


No one should be flabbergasted if Haley suddenly starts tearing into Trump for his trumped-up connection to Vladimir Putin or any of the other crap that emerged during the 45th president’s first term.


And everyone knows Nikki Haley loves Ukraine – for reason of supplying her big defense contractor business associates with gobs of federal dough – so there could even be a nasty and spiteful Haley reference to Trump’s impeachment over his infamous phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy that was subsequently turned into Adam Schiff’s favorite phony pet cause and forced down the throats of the nation to endure and pay for months’ worth of stupid hearings and a fruitless impeachment trial.


All of this should lead Haley to conclude that Trump has more political lives than Morris the Cat. Her mission to brand him as too old and out-of-it to serve as president has about as much chance of sticking in South Carolina as experiencing a summer-like heat wave in Iowa in January.


Hurt also speculated on why Nikki is continuing with her doomed-to-fail quest to win the Republican presidential nomination this year, even beyond her lukewarm finishes thus far. There continues to be establishment media hype regarding Haley’s hope that Trump will choose her as his running mate, thus all-but guaranteeing her a prime spot from which to run four years from now.


No objective observer would fault Haley for doing this, as the blueblood establishment wing of the GOP is already on the run, and after four more years of Donald Trump shredding whatever is left of the Bush legacy, there won’t be any remaining popular call for returning to the compromising sell-out go-along-to-get-along wing of the party. A look towards the future shows almost exclusively MAGA adherents vying for the next nomination.


Does Haley seriously believe she’s bound to be part of that conversation?


As of now, the Trump veepstakes look to be more wide-open then they were recently, as one-time apparent shoe-in South Dakota governor Kristi Noem herself has some lurid marital infidelity rumors floating around (she was said to be carrying on an open affair with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, which, if true, completely disqualifies Noem for her lack of values – and taste).


There are whispers that Arkansas governor and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is near the top of the would-be nominee’s short-list, which also makes sense since Sanders is not only a successful full-spectrum conservative, she’s also conditioned to the media wars from being in front of the Trump White House microphone for a good chunk of time. Sanders wouldn’t fulfill the “woke” culture’s obsession for diversity, equity and inclusion, but would Trump care about such things anyway?


Sanders has also been auditioning for the traditional role of running mate/attack dog, and she’s done a pretty solid job in the doing. On this, stay tuned.


The truth is, with each passing day that Haley campaigns for a nomination that’s clearly beyond her reach, it only calls into question her future viability as a potential candidate for any office. It’s true that, in general, American voters have short memories for a politician’s foibles, but Nikki is crafting lasting damage that isn’t likely to be forgotten or forgiven anytime soon. She’s also doing it for no glaring reason other than ego and perhaps a forlorn hope that the party nomination will fall into her lap if something happens to Trump, either in the courts or in a doctor’s office.


Or, could it be, that Haley is trying to fashion a launch pad for an outsider “No Labels”-type run either this year, or in the coming elections? It was even suggested that Nikki herself might end up being senile Joe Biden’s biggest rival for Democrat votes in this year’s Democrat primary, which took place last Saturday (February 3).


With Nikki’s future in the GOP being cloudy at best, this year’s ultimate political opportunist could be susceptible to any form of persuasion that would keep her sinking presidential hopes afloat. Haley has rejected the notion of running outside the Republican Party, but she hasn’t demonstrated much consistency on anything, really. Do you trust her word?


Charles Hurt is right; the South Carolina Republican primary will probably be Nikki Haley’s last hurrah in politics. Some say she’s past the point of no return, and even someone as forgiving as Donald Trump won’t be in the mood to grant clemency to a duplicitous establishment supporting empty-shell like Haley. Nikki has an extremely bad habit of talking out of both sides of her mouth – which will leave her in no woman’s land very soon.

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