Nikki Haley decided it’d be a good idea to sit down with Politico’s chief hack, Tim Alberta, to give an interview. It turned into exactly what you’d expect it to turn into, which was a discussion on the evils of Donald Trump. Haley was pressed on the former president, the Capitol riot, and his future in the party.
Here’s a sampling of her answers.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 12, 2021
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley, who served in her ambassador role under Trump, said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”…
…“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley told Politico. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”…
…”And it wasn’t just his words,” she added at the time. “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”…
Make of this what you will. My opinions of Haley do not rise and fall based on her opinion of Donald Trump. I was giving Haley the thumbs-down long before it was cool. To me, this interview is less about her suddenly deciding to dump Trump after clinging to him for years, though that’s noteworthy, and more about her overall abilities as a politician.
Why are you giving Tim Alberta an interview knowing that anything you say will simply be weaponized to attack the Republican Party going forward? You’d think avoiding this kind of stupidity would be engrained into every single GOP politician by now. Stop handing your enemies fodder in hopes they’ll pat you on the head. Politico is not your friend, and shifting your tone and admissions based on who you are talking to is exactly what every GOP voter can’t stand.
You can be pro or anti Trump, but the notion that he suddenly changed is silly.
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) February 12, 2021
David is correct here. It’s not that Haley has to profusely praise Trump in order to be acceptable in 2024. Does Kristi Noem spend much time talking about Trump? The answer is no, but she’s also not giving interviews to Politico in order to drive wedges through the party. Trump is Trump and has always been Trump. The fact that some Qanon morons lashed out on January 6th didn’t actually change that calculus. Haley is simply taking the easy way out when she believes it’s most politically convenient.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it many more times between now and the next presidential election. Haley is way, way too focus-grouped to be the 2024 nominee in my opinion. She’s just so quintessentially beltway, even though her major experience is as a governor. That doesn’t mean I’d wholly reject her if she made it through the primary (though a lot of Trump voters would), but it does mean the GOP should be aiming higher than someone who mirrors Jeb Bush more than Ron DeSantis.