The Acceptance Stage

Nikki Haley speaks with young supporters during a campaign event in North Augusta, South Carolina, on February 21, 2024. (Photo by JULIA NIKHINSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nikki Haley’s only shot at winning the Republican nomination is to stick around as a candidate for as long as possible and hope that something happens to Donald Trump.

Yet increasingly she’s spending her time saying things about him that guarantee she won’t be acceptable to the grassroots right as the nominee if something actually were to happen to him.

That’s weird, no?

Also weird: Few politicians in the United States, especially in the modern Republican Party, are as disciplined as Haley. She’s run a tight ship organizationally, a model of frugality relative to Ron DeSantis’ failed operation. And she’s unflappable as a retail campaigner, always smiling and always, always on-message.

On Tuesday, her composure finally broke.

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