Sunday, February 11, 2024

Tiny Step Forward

At a Get Out The Vote rally at a Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina

“Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away,” Trump said, appearing to imply Haley was having challenges in her marriage that would explain her husband’s absence. “What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone.”

At her separate rally in Gilbert, South Carolina, Haley addressed Trump’s comments head on, and again challenged the former president to a debate.

“I need to start with the fact that Donald Trump had a rally today, and in that rally, he mocked my husband’s military service,” she began.

“I have long talked about the fact that we need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75. Donald Trump claims that he would pass that — maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. But if you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States.”

I don't know where in the US Constitution competence tests are listed as a qualification for federal office but my guess is that Nikki Haley would have Americans for Prosperity administer those tests.

Last July, the same Nikki

Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday that the country needs a “new generational leader” but added she would back Trump if he wins the primary.

“I would support him because I am not going to have a President Kamala Harris. We can’t afford that. That is not going to happen,” she said.

( In  September 27, 2023, the debate stage at the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California, co-moderator Dana Perino asked ".... And candidates, it’s now obvious that if you all stay in the race, former President Donald Trump wins the nomination. None of you have indicated that you’re dropping out. So which one of you on stage tonight should be voted off the island....?  Nikki Haley responded "Are you serious?"

In January

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said in an interview on Fox News that if elected she would pardon former President Trump only if he were found guilty and would not consider preemptively pardoning him.

“I think you only do it if someone’s found guilty. So, you know, what I’ll say is this is about moving the country forward, and the last thing we want to see is an 80-year-old former president sitting in jail,” she told the network when asked if she would pledge to pardon Trump preemptively or only if he was found guilty.

The former President will not be "sitting in a jail," even if he is convicted and sentenced to a period of incarceration. It would be prison- not jail- and he would be much more likely to serve such a sentence with electronic monitoring or some other punishment; so, straw man. She would not pre-emptively pardon Trump, in part because he might not accept a pardon because it comes with an assumption of guilt.

Yet just as President, Trump lied about veterans; rhetorically asked "I don't get it- what was in it for them?" while at the gravesite of the Homeland Security chief John Kelly's son, killed in Afghanistan; objected to the presence of maimed veterans at a military parade because "nobody wants to see that;" and cancelled a visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris while remarking "Why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers."

But now the former President has questioned the military service of Nikki Haley's husband, and her criticism finally has gone beyond derogating Trump- and Joe Biden- as "grumpy old men," a stereotype which would be beneath Nikki Haley if anything were.

However, no one has asked the candidate if she still would support the former President if he is nominated for a second term. Nor has anyone asked whether she still believes that Trump should be pardoned if and when he is found guilty of a criminal offense.

No one, even at Americans for Prosperity, knows when Nikki Haley will drop out of the presidential race. Nor does anyone know for sure what she will do thereafter. However, we do know that it will be whatever benefits Nikki Haley, and there will be no other consideration.

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