Haley’s Comet to Hit Towering Trump: Nikki Haley Expected to Announce 2024 Presidential Bid on Feb 15.
- She will be the first Republican to officially challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.
Former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will announce her 2024 presidential bid on Feb. 15, making her the first Republican to officially challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.
Haley had indicated in November that she would take the Christmas holiday to mull the presidential bid. “We are taking the holidays to kind of look at what the situation is,” she told the audience at the Nov. 29 at her alma mater, Clemson University in South Carolina where she is a trustee. “But I have said I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. If we decide to get into it, we’ll put 1,000 percent in and we’ll finish it.”
Politico noted that Haley’s decision to launch her campaign in her native South Carolina “highlights how critical the early-voting state is to her prospects — and several other candidates.” The report adds that the Indian American “could face competition from another home-state contender, Sen. Tim Scott, who is also considering a bid.”
The recent opinion poll of potential candidates in the Palermo state, however, put Haley a distant third, behind Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Of course, it is too early to take any polls seriously. But the fact that Haley registers support at all is significant as compared to other interested candidates who barely make a mark, particularly former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was her cabinet colleague in the Trump Administration.
Haley’s expected announcement is a stark contrast to her previous pledge not to run if Trump was. Replying to a question asked by The Associated Press in April 2021, Haley said she would support a future Trump presidential campaign. She also noted that she would not seek her party’s nomination if Trump were running. “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it.”
A few months later, on the first day of the Republic National Convention on Aug. 24, 2021, she defended President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy and foreign policy and painted a picture of a dystopian America under Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s leadership. “Joe Biden and the Democrats are still blaming America first,” she said. “Donald Trump has always put America first. He has earned four more years as president.”
But in November, in an interview with Fox News, she indicated her change of plans in an interview. “It’s bigger than one person,” she said of her potential presidential bid. “And when you’re looking at the future of America, I think it’s time for new generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in D.C.”
CNN reported at the time that “Haley has often attempted to walk a fine line between allying herself with Trump — who remains a hugely popular figure within the party — while distancing herself enough to appeal to his Republican and moderate critics.”
Meanwhile, Politico reported that “Trump has already started making light of the shift, pointing out to reporters over the weekend that she had previously said she would defer to him.”
A month after the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, Haley criticized Trump and appeared to be distancing from him. In an extended and detailed interview with Tim Alberta, published on Feb. 12, she admitted that Trump “let us down.” 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.”
Politico reported earlier that since she joined the Trump administration as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, “Haley had navigated the Trump era with a singular shrewdness, messaging and maneuvering in ways that kept her in solid standing both with the GOP donor class as well as with the president and his base. She maintained a direct line to Trump, keeping private her candid criticisms of him, while publicly striking an air of detached deference.”
She was one of the few members of the Trump administration who left on good terms with her boss, unlike her other colleagues, many of whom engaged in public spats. When she resigned in 2018, the New York Times called her “that rarest of Trump appointees: one who can exit the administration with her dignity largely intact.”