Nikki Haley: ‘I Can Be That New Leader’—Or Maybe Not

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

As Nikki Haley teases a 2024 presidential run, one thing can be said immediately in her favor: she is only 51 years old. When she was born, Old Joe Biden was just a member of the New Castle, Delaware County Council. So if she were elected president, a break from the gerontocracy that has dominated American politics of late would be more important, and refreshing, than her status as the first woman to be elected president. But is Nikki Haley really the change we need? Probably not, at least not any more than is John Bolton or Mike Pence. The last thing America needs is another establishment voice, and Nikki Haley is very much an establishment voice.


Haley is, however, positioning herself as the precisely the cure for what ails us. “When you’re looking at a run for president,” she proclaimed in a Fox News interview Thursday, “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 that new leader?’” She quickly summarized all the problems the new president would face: “You know, on the first question, you can look all across the board, domestic, foreign policy. You can look at … inflation going up, economy shrinking, government getting bigger … small business owners not being able to pay their rent, big businesses getting these bailouts, all of these things warrant the fact that, ‘Yes, we need to go in a new direction.’”

Not surprisingly, Haley anointed herself as the new leader who can fix all that for us: “Can I be that new leader? Yes, I think I can be that leader.” Epoch Times noted that this was a reversal from Haley’s April 2021 statement: “I would not run if President Trump ran.” Explaining why she has departed from that position, Haley said: “I had a great working relationship with the president,” that is, Trump. “I appreciate all the foreign policy issues we worked on together. But what I will tell you is, the survival of America matters. And it’s bigger than one person. And when you are looking at the future of America, I think it’s time for new generational change.”

Haley added that she had said she wouldn’t run if Trump was running “before we surrendered to Afghanistan, it was before we saw this high inflation and high crime, it was before we saw drugs infesting all of our states, it was before we saw our foreign policy in disarray, so a lot has changed. And when I look at that, I look at the fact if I’m this passionate and I’m this determined, why not me?”


Let me count the reasons. The biggest reason why not is her readiness to play along with the Left’s lies and propaganda. One of the biggest and most damaging smears among many that the Left floated to take down Trump was the false claim that he had said that the Charlottesville neo-Nazi and white nationalist protesters were “fine people.” Old Joe Biden, as dishonest a man as there has ever been in American public life, repeatedly cited this propaganda fiction as if it were fact, even claiming that he decided to inflict himself upon us as president because of it.

Related: Nikki Haley Declares ‘America Is Worth Fighting For’ and Calls on Us to ‘Renew Our Patriotism’

Whatever one may think of Trump, he didn’t say this, and patriotic candidates should never, ever play along with the Left’s Big Lie machine. Haley, however, uncritically accepted the claim that Trump said this, and criticized him for it. According to an August 2020 report in Politico, “in her recent memoir, Haley recounted how ‘deeply disturbed’ she was by Trump claiming that there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides of the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville that saw a counterprotester get killed. ‘A leader’s words matter in these situations. And the president’s words had been hurtful and dangerous,’ Haley wrote that she told the president at the time, lamenting that Trump’s ‘moral clarity’ from the day before when he had denounced the KKK and neo-Nazis had disappeared.”


Is that enough to disqualify Nikki Haley as a viable America-First candidate for president? Yes. And it’s not about Trump. It’s about not willing to dance to the Left’s tune. If America is to be saved in 2024, it will be by someone who is not willing to give an inch to the serial liars, propagandists, saboteurs, and America-Last forces that dominate the scene today. Nikki Haley had a chance to be one. She fumbled.


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