The prospect of not one but two youngish, nonwhite, solidly conservative, not-very-Trumpy candidates entering the race and heading straight for also-ran oblivion practically requires old-school RINOs like me to flog the Republican base for preferring Trump and Trumpism.
“There is a great future behind Nikki Haley,” Stuart Stevens snarked in a column on Monday in the New York Times. “Had she remained the Nikki Haley who warned her party about Mr. Trump in 2016, she would have been perfectly positioned to run in 2024 as its savior. But as Ms. Haley knows all too well, Republicans aren’t looking to be saved.” Sarah Longwell made the same point this morning in a launch-day eulogy for Haley’s candidacy at The Bulwark: “Nikki Haley Is the Perfect Republican Presidential Candidate (for 2015).”
She’s polling at 3 percent in the latest primary survey conducted by Morning Consult, tied with Liz Cheney. According to The Daily Beast, Trump’s campaign is preparing to treat her like “a crash test dummy to demonstrate Trump’s dominance for anyone else willing to step in” and planning to attack her for being, among other things, a “hawk” and “disloyal.”