Wednesday, January 13, 2016

She's Going To Have To Do Better Than This

"And while the GOP rebuttal traditionally blasts the sitting president for his proposed policies," Politico's Rachel Bade writes

Haley also echoed, at least broadly, some of Obama's own comments about the risks of fear-mongering. Observers on both sides of the aisle immediately praised Haley for her poised delivery and nuanced message.

“Great job @nikkihaley ! Fantastic balance and substance. Our party is the new, young and diverse party,” tweeted RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

Haley made headlines this summer for backing an effort to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds following the racially-motivated massacre of several blacks in an African American church. Since then, she’s only risen in prominence.

Bade was undoubtedly thinking vice-president as she penned her love letter to South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.  The GOP, especially its National Committee, would love to place a woman on this year's ticket, particularly in light of its understandable defensiveness about supporting policies hostile to women's rights.

The reprehensible, despicable, and utterly dishonest Carly Fiorina would prove an interesting attack dog were she to become the running mate to Cruz, Rubio, Trump, or Christie.  However, her precipitous drop in polls of GOP voters suggests that even Republicans have caught on to her. (And aside from Rubio, each of the other guys is thoroughly nasty, anyway).  Moreover, the Party's 2008 nominee went in that direction, giving the nomination to an unqualified, nasty piece of work, and it doomed John McCain.

New Mexico governor Susannah Martinez, whose speech before the 2012 Republican National Convention was well received, remains a live possibility, especially if party faithful are looking for a real fun-loving candidate.

It is true that Governor Haley was able to effect removal of the Confederate flag in a relatively swift manner and with little controversy.  It's true also that Bade wasn't the only member of the mainstream media to swoon when in her rebuttal to the State of the Union message Haley stated

I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country ... My story is really not much different from millions of other Americans. Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America ... Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.

Reince Priebus may be thrilled, but Steve M. responds

Really? Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have 50 to 60 percent of your party's presidential primary vote, and you're going to say this?

Two theories: 

* She and the party are still in denial about the fact that the GOP has gone overwhelmingly nativist.

* She thinks (and possibly the party thinks) that Trump or Cruz will crash and burn this year, and Haley -- soon to be a term-limited ex-governor -- will have nothing but time to plan a 2020 run against President Hillary Clinton, by which time all this neo-fascist silliness will be a thing of the past.

I don't know about the latter, but I do know she's not going to be anyone's running mate this year. Anyone who tells you next summer that that's a possibility is an idiot.

I think it's still a possibility- but one diminished by her speech last night.  Asked on "Today" Wednesday morning about the VP slot, Haley admitted "I think that that's a big decision, it's a family decision, it's a state decision, it's something I'd have to think about. But absolutely would sit down with anyone that wanted to talk."

That's as close as any politician- this far out from the convention or at any time- comes to saying "make me vice-president!" But although her remarks were directed at Trump, she
seems blithely unaware that the Party's popular base has passed her by.  No longer is it satisfied when a Republican blames Democrats for deteriorating "health insurance," the national debt, urban crime, terrorism, and a strong national government. GOP boilerplate doesn't cut it anymore.

I still believe Donald Trump won't be nominated. However, this morning (on "Fox and Friends," below) he charged Haley is "weak on illegal immigration." Even if neither he nor Cruz is selected, the candidate (needing to turn out the base) will have to respond to the cultural unease- nay, anger- across the nation. As Trump put it

whoever I pick is going to be very strong on illegal immigration. We’ve had it. We’ve had it with illegal immigration. Believe me—this country, and a lot of other things, especially when you look at what’s going on, at the Iran deal and all of the money that goes out and we get nothing for it. So we’ve had it with a lot of things in this country.

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