A GOP organization in Dallas, Texas, sent out invitations to an event scheduled for early next month featuring Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor.
The invitation referenced Haley as “the early frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination,” Politico reported.
But the Dallas GOP apologized to Haley after her representative, Chaney Denton, told Politico the emailed invitation and the description had not been cleared with the Haley team.
“We did not encourage that, and had no involvement in their choice of how to promote the event,” said Denton. The webpage with the invitation was since removed, the outlet also noted.
Given that Haley already has a communications team ready to respond to a small matter such as that, methinks the lady doth protest too much, to recall a phrase.
Haley is touring the country right now to promote her new book, “With All Due Respect.” A campaign bio is certainly standard operating procedure for a candidate in the wings.
In the book, she generally defends the president — and tells how other Trump officials made an effort to recruit her into an internal cabal that opposed the president and tried to stop the execution of his programs.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 20, 2019
There has been speculation that Haley might replace Vice President Mike Pence on the GOP ticket in 2020.
But both President Donald Trump and Haley herself strongly deny rumors to that effect.
“Mike Pence is a great vice president. He’s our man 100 percent,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning when asked directly about his choice for vice presidential nominee in next year’s election.
“Mike Pence — I know I’ve seen this rumor that keeps popping up, and Nikki would be great, but Mike Pence has done a phenomenal job as vice president,” Trump added.
“He’s our guy, he’s my friend, and look, we have a great team.”
What is relatively undeniable is that Haley is not going on a nationwide tour merely to sweeten the sales of her book.
At this point in November 2019, it seems presumptuous and a bit early to talk about the 2024 race.
But given the nature of modern politics, one race does not have to end before another takes shape.
Further, given the current tumult in D.C. — a situation that has no likely short- or medium-term end — long-range analysis and strategy are the order of the day.
So how would Haley fare against other possible contenders for the 2024 GOP nomination?
Her status as a telegenic woman from an immigrant family who was a successful governor of a southern state will be an advantage. Haley is perceived as conservative. Her tenure as the Trump administration’s U.N. ambassador gives her national security and foreign policy experience, rounding out her presidential resume.
And the notion that perhaps the first female president of the United States might be a conservative woman would send GOP voters to the polls in droves.
Other potential candidates for president in the near future — such as former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, and perhaps even former GOP nominee and even current Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — all come with significant baggage. Ryan presided over what many consider to be an ineffectual Republican House majority that was driven from office. Pence has the Trump association to contend with regarding some voters. And Romney — well, his GOP baggage is so large it would take a Pullman car to carry half of it.
Thus Haley, as early as this time period right now, is indeed the frontrunner for 2024 — if such a title makes any sense in 2019, that is.
Less than a year from now, if the GOP stumbles at the November 2020 polls, it will make a lot more sense.
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