Rating her chances, The Hill acknowledges Indian American politician “has been underestimated in the past”
With Nikki Haley set to announce her bid for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, a leading political news site said she faces a serious uphill climb, but has been underestimated in the past.
Haley, 57, the first Indian American to get cabinet rank as US ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump, “:is clearly a serious candidate — but she faces big challenges,” according to The Hill.
Read: Nikki Haley poised to enter 2024 presidential race (February 1, 2023)
A former governor of South Carolina, Haley is expected to make her campaign official at a February 15 event in Charleston, making her the second official Republican candidate after Trump.
There are “five big questions around her candidacy,” it said suggesting, “Haley offers a more inclusive, less abrasive version of conservatism than either Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is widely expected to make his own run.”
“Part of the difference stems from Haley’s biography — the daughter of Indian immigrants, she was South Carolina’s first female governor,” the Hill noted. “She would become the Republican Party’s first female presidential nominee if she won.”
She also has shown a capacity to address sensitive issues in a more nuanced way than Trump or DeSantis tend to do,” it said.
At the same time, Haley is more conservative than figures like former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) or New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), both of whom are mulling runs but whose centrism gives them an extremely slim chance of success in today’s Republican Party. it said.
Read: Nikki Haley hints at presidential run in 2024 (January 21, 2023)
The Hill also speculated how strongly will she and Trump attack each other?
“The dynamic between Trump and Haley is a complicated one,” it said noting “she had been highly reluctant to board the ‘Trump Train’ in 2016, initially backing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in his presidential bid and later switching to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).”
“Haley accepted Trump’s offer to be United Nations ambassador and served without any public sign of dissent for almost two years. She left her post voluntarily but somewhat abruptly in late 2018 — adding to distrust of her among Trump’s inner circle,” it said.
Haley has stolen a march on the rest of the field with her decision, the Hill said. “That won’t matter much at all to DeSantis, who is clearly the most serious challenger to Trump based upon early polling despite not yet officially announcing a campaign.”
Similarly, the most moderate potential candidates won’t feel crowded by Haley’s arrival on the scene either, it said. But her entrance into the race does make life a bit more complicated for figures like former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however.
Read: Nikki Haley hints at 2024 presidential run (November 22, 2022)
“Their appeal is broadly similar to Haley’s — Trump administration veterans who are nevertheless seeking to thwart his bid for a third presidential nomination,” the Hill said. “Haley’s campaign launch doesn’t at all rule Pence or Pompeo out — but it certainly doesn’t help,” it said.
“Haley has real political skills,” the Hill said. “As she is fond of noting, she has never lost an election, beginning her career in the South Carolina statehouse and then winning twice in gubernatorial contests.”
“Skeptics who would minimize those achievements by noting the conservative lean of the state miss the point that she has also had to win against the odds in competitive primaries — the same task that now awaits her on a national level,” it said.
“That being said, Haley begins, like everyone else in the field, way behind both Trump and DeSantis in the polls,” the Hill noted citing an Economist-YouGov survey last month ging her just 5 percent support, with Trump at 44 percent and DeSantis at 29 percent.
“Haley has been underestimated in the past. But she faces a serious uphill climb to the nomination,” it concluded.
Read: In campaign style speech Nikki Haley touts her role at UN (December 3, 2021)
Read: Nikki Haley calls for formal US alliance with India (October 27, 2021)