As RedState reported previously, Nikki Haley essentially disowned Donald Trump a week ago (see Nikki Haley Disowns Donald Trump). This came just prior to his the latest impeachment attempt failing in the Senate.
Haley’s scathing rebuke made the case that Trump has no future in the party and that “we shouldn’t have followed him.” She also seemed especially incensed by Trump’s treatment of Mike Pence, which is a far critique, to be honest.
Of course, Haley has strong 2024 aspirations, and now that the media buzz surrounding impeachment is over, she apparently saw the need to try to mend fences. Trump was having none of it.
The snub comes on the heels of Tim Alberta’s deep dive in POLITICO Magazine last week on Haley’s presidential ambitions and how she’s trying to have it both ways with Trump.
— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) February 18, 2021
This isn’t surprising. Trump never has been one to take a slight lying down, and he’s certainly not going to be too forgiving over someone virtue signaling about January 6th. Regardless of what one may think of what happened, Trump himself does not view himself as responsible. Someone directly blaming him for that was always going to rub him the wrong way.
Of course, Haley should know better as well. Did she really think she could run off to Politico and throw fodder to the left without paying a political consequence? But I think she realized afterward that without the support of at least some of Trump’s base, she’s already dead in the water in 2024. That speaks to her judgement, doesn’t it? Was getting fluffed by Tim Alberta worth possibly scuttling her chances to be the Republican nominee before the race has even begun?
These are things that should have occurred to her before her advisors or the latest focus group told her otherwise. That’s one of the reasons so many are skeptical of her possible candidacy. Haley is so manufactured that she always seems a step behind. While others will have commented on a major story on the same day, Haley typically shows up days later with a boilerplate take.
In the end, Haley should have played this better. She didn’t have to go praise Trump after the riot, but she also didn’t have to go to a hostile publication and attack him either. Some will say “principle” should outweigh the political considerations (though, I don’t think holding a consistent standard on incitement is unprincipled), but that’s nonsense in this case. Haley’s aspirations are real, and the politics of what she does absolutely matter, to her and her future.