Haley Continues The Fight

[Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Despite losing another primary, this time in Michigan by another huge margin, Nikki Haley promises she will continue to campaign against Donald Trump. She has become convinced that the former president will not beat Biden this November.

On Tuesday night, noted The Guardian, “Haley told CNN she was continuing to campaign in preparation for the 15 primaries a week from today, and she criticized Trump. ‘He cannot win a general election.'”

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about the thinking of the former ambassador to the United Nations as she continues to “do what she thinks is right.”  

Haley pledged earlier in the campaign to endorse the party’s eventual nominee, but now refuses to reaffirm that commitment when asked about Trump. “What I will tell you is that I have serious concerns about Donald Trump. I have more serious concerns about Joe Biden,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want either to win.

She pointed to the 91 criminal charges Trump faces for matters including his handling of classified documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“This may be his survival mode to pay his legal fees and get out of some sort of legal peril, but this is like suicide for our country,” she said. “We’ve got to realize that if we don’t have someone who can win a general election, all we are doing is caving to the socialist left.”

Haley, who once had a good working relationship with Trump, said she wasn’t sure whether that would ever be possible again, given the recent animosity.

“It’s not personal for me,” she said. “It’s not something I think about.”

Politico recently speculated that Haley continues to remain in the race so that she can cause problems for Trump at the Republican National Convention. 

“The rules don’t simply give power to a candidate based on the number of delegates they possess. Candidates cannot have their names placed into nomination, and thereby get television airtime at the convention, unless they have a plurality of delegates in at least five states.

That threshold makes a big difference for Haley in terms of her clout — if any — at the convention. Modern political conventions have morphed into four-day long infomercials for a nominee whose identity has long been known. Every winner wants to use that platform to broadcast a structured, convincing message. Do that right and you can give your candidacy a significant, and perhaps decisive, bounce in the polls.

But that requires ensuring that there are no fights, or alternative messages coming from the convention floor — something winners cannot fully control. Defeated candidates can still deploy their delegates to obstruct the winner’s will by posing contentious amendments to the party platform or by using their nominating speeches to criticize the nominee. That can become news, and prospective nominees will cut deals to prevent that from happening.

Against that backdrop, Haley’s continued campaign makes a great deal of sense. The more delegates she can acquire, the more power she can exert on the floor. And the more power she can exert on the floor, the stronger hand she has to deal from to get concessions from former President Donald Trump on things she cares about, such as U.S. support for NATO. Indeed, given that the party did not even write a platform in 2020, simply insisting that it draft a new one for this election might be a significant request.”

The Republican National Convention will begin on July 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

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