July 14, 2024

Nikki Haley would be GOP’s best 2024 presidential candidate – Op-ED

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaking with the media after a campaign event with U.S. Senator Martha McSally at a home in Scottsdale, Arizona in October 2020 - Photo by Gage Skidmore
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaking with the media after a campaign event with U.S. Senator Martha McSally at a home in Scottsdale, Arizona in October 2020 - Photo by Gage Skidmore

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea pose a threat to America and its allies. Critical race theory and other far-left indoctrination happening inside and outside the classroom. A nation $31 trillion (and counting) in debt. High inflation hitting everyday Americans’ wallets. High gas prices everywhere as America has become energy-dependent and not energy independent. A humanitarian and national security crisis at the Southern Border.

The Republican Party has a golden opportunity to nominate a candidate who can not only beat President Biden, but who also has the personal and professional qualifications to capture the hearts and minds of Americans and restore American greatness.

Nikki Haley was born to Indian immigrants. As she has said: “My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari.” Despite living in South Carolina almost a decade after the Civil Rights Movement prevailed, Haley and her family experienced racism. For example, she was disqualified from a beauty pageant due to her ethnic background. Nonetheless, she has rightly refused to echo the leftist notion that America is systemically racist.

“In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country,” said Haley at the Republican National Convention in 2020.

“This is personal for me. I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. They came to America and settled in a small southern town. My father wore a turban. My mother wore a sari,” she continued. “I was a brown girl in a Black and white world. We faced discrimination and hardship, but my parents never gave into grievance and hate.”

Haley’s eloquence, especially when it comes to race, would be an asset to the GOP, which must win over independent and suburban voters in order to have any chance of winning in 2024.

After all, approaching the culture war with a blunt but eloquent posture is the way to not only win that war but elections too. Look no further than 2021 when Glenn Youngkin united not only Republicans but also independents and even some Democrats in decrying critical race theory and other left-wing indoctrination but doing so in a way that does not alienate voters. This approach helped him narrowly defeat his Democratic opponent and become the first GOP governor of Virginia in almost a decade. He turned the state from a blue state that Biden won by double digits in 2020 to a purple state.

Youngkin’s playbook was not utilized in 2022 as the Republican Party underperformed in the midterms with too many awful candidates. The GOP cannot afford to make the same mistake in 2024. Haley, after all, is a Youngkin-type candidate. She has the grit without the bombastic baggage.

As governor of South Carolina, in the aftermath of the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston by a white supremacist, Haley brought people together in healing. Her words ensured no violence in the streets. Whereas Baltimore’s mayor permitted for there to be “space to destroy” in the aftermath of a black kid’s death while in police custody, Haley brought the people of Charleston together peacefully following a racial attack. She also had the Confederate flag removed from the grounds of the state capitol. If how Haley responded isn’t leadership, what is?

At the United Nations, Haley spoke up for America and joined Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Arthur Goldberg and John Bolton as one of the most pro-Israel U.S. ambassadors to Turtle Bay ever. She showed that she is unafraid to take names.

“I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick them every single time,” she said at the AIPAC Policy Conference in 2017 when she was ambassador. “So how are we kicking? We’re kicking by, Number One, putting everyone on notice, saying that if you have our back, we’re going to have the backs of our friends but our friends need to have our back too. If you challenge us be prepared for what you’re challenging us for because we will respond.”

Biden’s foreign policy has consisted of American weakness and doing what our allies say as opposed to America leading on the world stage. Even on Ukraine, while Washington and its allies have supported the Eastern European country against Russia’s invasion, Biden and his European partners have refused to give Kyiv certain assistance, including fighter jets, and have not enacted maximum sanctions against Russia. Biden abandoned those who helped America during the war in Afghanistan, leaving them to die at the hands of the Taliban, in what was a costly mistake of withdrawing from there.

Haley’s foreign policy would consist of standing with our allies, especially Israel, and against our adversaries including Iran and China, both of which Biden has been soft on by reversing Donald Trump’s hawkish policies on those countries. While America cannot be the world’s policeman, it cannot allow for there to be vacuums abroad where our adversaries fill them. Haley recognizes this and would work with our allies but on America’s terms.

On the domestic side, Haley has called for American energy independence, lowering the national debt, and other conservative agenda items that would put the United States on the right track. During her time as governor of South Carolina, around 86,000 jobs and $21.5 billion were added to the state’s economy. Whereas Biden has barely worked outside the public sector, Haley has had a career in business before entering the political arena and knows what it takes for the private sector to thrive.

At the end of the day, Haley is everything the GOP needs in a candidate on a personal and professional level – a minority with major domestic and foreign policy experience. She fits the bill of what I like to call “qualified diversity” in which personal backgrounds such as ethnicity and religion should be embraced but not supersede professional qualifications. The Left would attack her personally for being a minority who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology – all while her accomplishments as a state legislator, governor, and ambassador would get her elected America’s first madame president. Her shattering the glass ceiling would be the ultimate statement against the woke crowd.

Haley said on Fox News last week that she is “leaning in” toward a run for the White House. Now is the time for her to officially declare her candidacy and put an end to the Biden nightmare.

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