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Why we need Nikki now

Former governor and tenacious presidential candidate Nikki Haley. IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Rarely in the annals of American history has there been such an opportunity for the party outside executive power to waltz right in and wallop the incumbent. Our country is in great need of an effective leader — AND one able to go the distance. By most any reasonable political hack’s projections, all Republican voters need to do is to nominate a warm body palatable enough to a reasonably wide swath of the electorate, and they’ll win the White House in a walk.

Yet the results of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary show us that a very loud and enthused subset of Republican primary voters are not interested in nominating such a candidate. They are instead keen to see the return of a Trump presidency. We know many who support the former president are disgusted by Joe Biden and his administration and are rightfully furious about the many ways he has degraded our national security, energy security, economy, border security and on and on; so are we. This is no small list, and it does not include the corruption at the top of the FBI and Department of Justice. What about being a nation of laws?

It is not difficult to see this public policy horror show and then demand wholesale change. The issue is:  In what person do we place our trust to lead the Republican ticket? Which candidate can attract a following of citizens of many walks of life and withstand the political and mainstream media headwinds? We know how close elections elicit trouble with legal challenges and talk of legitimacy, so let’s elect someone who can run the table and have a legislative majority. We can do this.

This nation is hopping mad and many are hopping on the Trump bus. Very fine readers, friends and kin are absolutely sure that Donald Trump needs another term to fix what ails this nation. We also want to see our country’s leader address these issues and have the requisite support from the House and Senate to pass bills that can bring citizens relief and make the nation stronger. We must pause and think strategically. Further, we must not bend to the passions of the day — the “We’ll show ‘em” and “let’s watch their heads explode” mindsets are not on the true path to sound public policy and a restoration of our nation.

Instead, nominating Mr. Trump would hand leftists a golden ticket to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for another four years — and does anyone really think that Joe Biden would be propped up in the Oval Office by the end of said term? No, Republican primary voters bear the burden not just of stopping Biden remaining in office, but of preventing the presidency from falling into Kamala Harris’ lap. Moreover, the smart money is on President Biden not even running and Gov. Gavin Newsom (the pundit’s favorite stalking horse) announcing his bid for the White House instead. There is no way that Trump defeats Newsom, but Nikki Haley can whip Newsom — or any other candidate they throw at the nation.

The only surefire way to win is with a fresh, new candidate who doesn’t bear Mr. Trump’s burden of unfavorability and myriad legal troubles. To that end, the Mercury endorses the Palmetto State’s own Nikki Haley. Haley is the only other candidate in the field to have experience — not just as a state-level executive but in a substantive way on the international stage. Furthermore, as all good Sandlappers should, we recall that Mrs. Haley is an outstanding politician, a term is too often used pejoritively and should be understood here as a compliment.

From her first race for the S.C. House to her first gubernatorial primary, she proved herself to be absolutely tenacious. Her instinctive ability to pivot from openness and charm to steel-cold aggression — that ability made so famous nationally with her “Bless your heart” moment — is masterful. She is not a fidgety and awkward policy wonk — she is the ideal fighter for a must-win election race.

Finally, it’s vital to keep in mind that this is not just a race for the White House:  Every presidential cycle carries massive down-ballot implications. Think back to the 2022 midterms and recall how well Trump endorsements and Trump-styled candidates transformed a predicted “red wave” into a Democratic-held Senate and a diminished GOP position in the House. Instead, Nikki Haley has the capacity to turn out the vote of those who do not look like the average Republican. Moreover, she can improve GOP support from suburban women, especially since she understands how to deal with the abortion issue in a more nuanced manner than others.

Most importantly, Ambassador Haley will not be facing the sword of Damocles from the legal world. We are not speaking of a mythological blow:  Polls tell us that many voters who support Mr. Trump now will not support him if he is convicted of a felony, and plenty have the potential to do great damage. Other polls suggest Trump can win against Biden, but these polls fail to account for the damage millions of dollars in attack ads would do, and the Democrats have plenty of ammunition.

We urge citizens not to bet on a shaky prospect when the wise vote would be for the woman who can go the distance during the election and afterward. Moreover, Nikki Haley can serve two terms, not walk in as a lame duck. She knows about winning elections and can mop the floor with any candidate the left chooses; let Donald Trump enjoy golf and his grandchildren.

We need Nikki Haley now.


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