Nikki Haley to run for US President in 2024 - GulfToday

Nikki Haley to run for US President in 2024

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley

It was evident after last November’s mid-term elections, that former president Donald Trump is not the powerful figure with a stranglehold on the Republican Party before the election. The American media has been betting on Florida Governor and Republican Ronald Dion DeSantis to be the man with the money and political clout to challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination of the party.

There is however a new entrant to the race for Republican party’s presidential nomination. Former South Carolina governor and former United States ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s presidency, Nikki Haley, is set to announce her candidacy next week. It has been confirmed through a source in her inner circle by the local newspaper, Post and Courier. And Haley’s own position in the matter has been made pretty clear in her recent tweets.

Haley, 51, said, “It’s time for a new generation. It’s time for new leadership. And it’s time to take our country back. America is worth the fight – and we’re just getting started.” And in another tweet, she has declared her intention to enter the fight. And in her interview to Fox News, she said, “When you’re looking at a run for president, you look at two things. You first look at does the current situation push for new leadership? The second question is, ‘Am I that person that could be the new leader?” And she answered in the affirmative to both the questions.

What is interesting about Haley is that she is the daughter of migrant parents from India and she grew up in difficult circumstances in South Carolina. It is quite unlikely that an  immigrant can ever be the face of a Republican party in a presidential contest given the fact that the party is conservative not just in economic and political matters, but it is conservative in its attitude towards blacks and other races, including migrants.

But Haley has been a Republican political icon and she was very popular as governor of South Carolina. And she showed that she has the courage of conviction when she had the Confederate – the side in the mid-19th century American Civil  War which defended slavery – flag removed from Statehouse grounds after a racist murdered nine blacks in a Charleston church in 2015.

She had been an active Republican leader who had campaigned for party candidtates for elections, and she had started an advocacy group, Stand Up for America, after she left office as South Carolina governor. And she had been critical of Trump for not doing enough to stop the January 6 rioters in Washington D.C. from attacking the Capitol. Interestingly, Trump, who had already announced his intent to run for presidency in 2024, said that Haley rang him up and told him she was considering to run for the presidency, and that he told her she should go by her heart and that she should. He also said that that he liked competition.

Critics have pointed out that Haley has been chameleon-like, and that she often changed her positions, including on the issue of race. But what seems to be appealing about Haley is that she is articulate on her political positions, and she exudes not just confidence but also good-heartedness. She connects with people, and her political conservatism does not make her into an intolerant and grumpy leader like many other conservatives. It is this quality that should win her support not just from the Republican voters but also people beyond. The American people have always liked a feel-good politician, and Haley is one such politician. It is too early to predict whether she will get the party nomination in the first place, but her presence in the race will make the atmosphere less testy.

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