Former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley recently noted that she is “disgusted” by President Trump and observed that he has no future in the GOP.  This appears to have been an ill-considered, tone-deaf attempt to wrestle the mantle of party leader from Trump.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Haley being anointed leader of the Republican Party.  The GOP base concluded that she is of the Mittens McRomneyCare and Liz let’s bomb some place and tweet ‘responsibly’ Cheney wing of the party that seeks a return to the Republican progressive neo-con glory days of yore.

Even Haley, with her hopelessly awful political instincts, seemed to understand that she had dealt a potentially fatal blow not to Trump but to her own goal of becoming president.

She rushed to conduct damage control in an article published in the Wall Street Journal, but it was an embarrassing and garbled mess of fence-straddling gibberish.

From Haley’s Wall Street Journal plea:

But the liberal media doesn’t care about that. It wants to stoke a nonstop Republican civil war. The media playbook starts with the demand that everyone pick sides about Donald Trump —either love or hate everything about him. The moment anyone on the right offers the slightest criticism of the 45th president, the media goes berserk: Republicans are trying to have it both ways! It’s a calculated strategy to pit conservatives against one another. It’s also a ridiculous false choice. Real life is never that simple. Someone can do both good and bad things.

People feel strongly about Mr. Trump, but we can acknowledge reality. People on the left, if they’re honest, can find Trump accomplishments they like—a coronavirus vaccine in record time, Middle East peace, more accountability from China. People on the right can find fault with Trump actions, including on Jan. 6. Right or left, when people make these distinctions, they’re not trying to have it both ways. They’re using their brains.

. . . . We can’t go back to the pre-Trump GOP. Those days are over, and they should be. But we lost our majorities in the House and Senate, and we’ve lost the national popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections. Surely there’s room for improvement as a party. We should embrace the successes of the Trump presidency and recognize the need to attract more support.

. . . . Here’s my take: Most of Mr. Trump’s major policies were outstanding and made America stronger, safer and more prosperous. Many of his actions since the election were wrong and will be judged harshly by history. That’s not a contradiction. It’s common sense.

. . . . Trump brought millions of new voters into the Republican Party, for which he deserves great credit, but the party also lost millions of voters.

These are facts. Admitting them, even when it hurts, is the only way to achieve progress. Denying them and dismissing those who disagree with you on even one thing is a surefire way to go backward. That’s true for Republicans who demand people praise everything Mr. Trump did. It’s just as true for liberals who demand everyone hate everything he did.

Haley, perhaps thinking this wishy-washy pablum would ingratiate her to Trump, is reported to have reached out to the, to use her own term, “fallen too far” Trump for a meeting.  He declined her request.

The Hill reports:

Former President Trump this week declined to meet with Nikki Haley, his former ambassador to the United Nations and a prospective 2024 presidential candidate, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Politico first reported that Haley reached out to Trump on Wednesday to request a face-to-face meeting at his Mar-a-Lago resort. But Trump turned her down after Haley has spent recent weeks criticizing the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Perhaps it is Haley, not Trump, who “lost any sort of political viability [s]he was going to have”?


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