“I’m Nikki Haley and I’m running for president,” the 51-year-old former governor of South Carolina. Nikki Haley to be the first major challenger to Donald Trump running for 2024 presidential elections.
Get excited! Time for a new generation.— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 14, 2023
Let’s do this! 👊 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BD5k4WY1CP
Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley announced her candidacy for the 2024 US presidential election on Tuesday, becoming the first high-profile Republican to challenge former President Donald Trump for the party’s nomination. The announcement marks a change in direction for Haley, who had stated two years ago that she would not compete with Trump for the presidency in 2024. However, citing the country’s economic difficulties and the need for generational change, Haley declared her intention to run for president in a three-and-a-half-minute video posted on social media.
The first significant Republican candidate in the race
Haley is the first significant Republican candidate in a long line of contenders expected to launch 2024 campaigns in the coming months. Among them are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. President Joe Biden has stated his intention to seek reelection in 2024, which will stall any jostling for the Democratic nomination.
Political Career of Nikki Haley
Haley, who is 51 years old, started her political career as an accountant when she launched her first bid for public office in 2004, defeating the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House. Three terms later, she launched a long-shot campaign for governor against a large field of experienced politicians. She received endorsements from high-profile Republicans, including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and she won the race, becoming South Carolina’s first female and minority governor and the nation’s youngest at 38. She also earned a speaking slot at the 2012 Republican National Convention and gave the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union in 2016.
Haley’s defining moment as governor came after the 2015 murders of nine Black parishioners in a Charleston church by a self-avowed white supremacist who had been pictured holding Confederate flags. For years, Haley had resisted calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, even casting a rival’s push for its removal as a desperate stunt. But after the massacre and with the support of other leading Republicans, Haley advocated for legislation to remove the flag. It came down less than a month after the murders.
Haley’s tenure as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
After Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, he appointed Haley as his U.N. ambassador. Haley had feuded with other administration officials at times but bolstered her own public persona. One of her most memorable moments as U.N. ambassador came in 2018 after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow suggested Haley had suffered “momentary confusion” when she said Russian sanctions were imminent. “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” she responded. The first half of the quote became the title of her 2019 memoir.
Haley’s departure from the job later that year fueled speculation that she would challenge Trump in 2020 or replace Pence on the ticket. She did neither. Instead, Haley returned to South Carolina, where she bought a home on the wealthy enclave Kiawah Island, joined the board of aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co., launched herself on the speaking circuit, and wrote two books, including the memoir.
Haley’s goals and values
In the video, Haley made no direct reference to Trump but mentioned “the Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again.” She emphasized the need for “a new generation of leadership,” which has become the refrain of her messaging leading up to the launch.
Haley has positioned herself as a bridge builder who will bring together different factions of the Republican Party and unite the country. In her announcement video, she said, “We must unite to restore our country’s greatness,” and pledged to work for all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation.
Haley’s campaign website outlines several key policy positions, including support for tax cuts, limited government, and a strong national defense. She also emphasizes the need for criminal justice reform, an issue that has gained bipartisan support in recent years.
Haley has taken a hardline stance on China, calling for the United States to be tough on the country in trade negotiations and human rights issues. She has also been critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing that it has damaged America’s reputation abroad.
While Haley has broken with Trump on some issues, she has largely remained loyal to the former president and his base. During her time as U.N. ambassador, Haley defended the Trump administration’s policies on Israel, Iran, and North Korea, and praised the president’s efforts to engage with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Haley’s candidacy is likely to be met with skepticism from some corners of the Republican Party, particularly those who remain loyal to Trump. The former president remains a powerful force within the party, and many of his supporters have already signaled that they will not support any candidate who challenges him in 2024.
However, Haley is also likely to attract support from moderate Republicans who are looking for a candidate who can appeal to a broad range of voters. She has a strong record of accomplishment as governor of South Carolina, where she presided over a period of economic growth and job creation, and she is widely respected for her diplomatic skills and ability to navigate complex political issues.
The Road Ahead For Nikki Haley 2024
Haley’s announcement is just the first step in what is likely to be a long and grueling campaign for the Republican nomination. She will need to build a strong fundraising operation, assemble a talented campaign team, and develop a message that resonates with voters across the country.
She will also need to navigate a crowded field of candidates, including several other high-profile Republicans who are expected to enter the race in the coming months. In addition to DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo, and Scott, other potential candidates include Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, as well as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Haley’s path to the nomination will likely depend on her ability to build a coalition of supporters that includes both Trump loyalists and more moderate Republicans. She will also need to find a way to stand out in a crowded field of candidates and develop a clear message that resonates with voters.
If she is successful, Haley could become the first female president in American history and cement her status as a rising star within the Republican Party. However, she will also face fierce opposition from Democrats, who are likely to view her as a divisive figure who represents the worst aspects of the Republican Party.
Nikki Haley’s decision to enter the 2024 presidential race sets up an intriguing battle for the Republican nomination. As the first major challenger to Donald Trump, she will need to navigate a crowded field of candidates and build a coalition of supporters that includes both Trump loyalists and more moderate Republicans.
Haley’s candidacy is likely to be met with skepticism from some corners of the Republican Party, particularly those who remain loyal to Trump. However, she is also likely to attract support from moderate Republicans who are looking for a candidate who can appeal to a broad range of voters.
The coming months will be crucial for Haley as she works to build a campaign that can compete with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. If she is successful, she could become the first female