Can Haley Wake Them Up in South Carolina?

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley prays with a supporter during a campaign event on February 23, 2024, in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Down a dozen points or so to President Bill Clinton in late October 1996, Republican nominee Bob Dole had a question for the press that assembled at a campaign event in Houston: “Where’s the outrage in America? Where’s the outrage?”

Dole, described at the time as “seething,” was at the very least mad as hell. He said the press was hiding the incumbent’s many scandals, including the revelation that the Clinton White House had been hoarding FBI files on the president’s political foes, allegedly for use in the Clintons’ notorious smear machine. 

The press, Dole said, was trying to “steal” the election for Clinton. The very fact that the Republican candidate needed to campaign in Texas 11 days before the election suggested that there wasn’t much left to steal. But Dole had a point. Clinton’s rottenness, dishonesty, and unquenchable ambition were, as they say on Wall Street, “priced in.” The suggestion that the Clintons would use the FBI to do their dirty work was hardly a shocking possibility.

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