[guest post by Dana]
Nikki Haley is set to announce her bid for the presidency next week:
Cementing what has been in the works for months, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will formally announce she is running for president and will seek the Republican nomination for her party’s 2024 ticket, The Post and Courier has learned.
According to an invitation soon going out to her backers, Haley’s advertised “special announcement” will come Feb. 15 at the The Shed at the Charleston Visitor Center, a downtown gathering spot that could draw hundreds of supporters into the heart of the city’s tourism district.
The confirmation she is entering the race came Jan. 31 from a member of Haley’s inner circle.
Haley’s announcement would make her the second high-profile Republican to make an official announcement.
Last year, Haley said that she would not run if Donald Trump were running:
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”
Trump pointed out her reverse-course this weekend after talking with Haley about her presidential bid:
The former president revealed that Haley had called him recently to tell him that she is considering a possible 2024 run, with Trump responding that she “should do it.”
“I talked to her for a little while, I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,’” Trump said. “She’s publicly said that ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president.’”
Also this weekend, Haley made pointed remarks about aging candidates the need to shake things up:
“The survival of America matters,” she told Fox News. “It’s bigger than one person. And when you’re looking at the future of America, I think it’s time for new generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in DC,” Haley said. “I think we need a young generation to come in, step up, and really start fixing things.”
It's time for a new generation to lead. pic.twitter.com/vDG8eWtUpC
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 28, 2023
While Haley ticks off some important boxes (first Indian-American female to a hold cabinet position, member of the South Carolina House of Representatives for six years, served two terms as the first female governor of South Carolina, and was the ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s tenure), I’m not sure how much of a national profile she has given that she resigned from the Trump administration back in 2018. And her turnabout with regard to Trump will surely turn off some voters – possibly with both MAGA (she is betraying Trump) and NeverTrump (an opportunist who conveniently began distancing herself from Trump with an eye to 2024). The question is: can she bridge the two groups, reach moderates and independent voters? While it’s certainly early days and polling isn’t a reliable barometer at this point, I’ll just point out that Haley has consistently polled behind Trump, DeSantis, and even Pence…