Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — under Donald Trump, remember — told Politico Magazine that yes, she once stood by the president but now, post-Impeachment Two, post-Capitol Hill protest, he’s “let us down.”
Ouch. That’s the sound of a knife sliding gently into the former president’s back.
It’s also the sound of Haley taking steps toward the White House, 2024.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said, one small quote in a lengthy article filled with quotes, as The Hill noted. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Trump’s become the pariah of the Republican Party — at least, to the self-anointed of the Republican Party.
Look at polls, pay attention to the Outside-the-Beltway people, and it’s clear: Millions upon millions of conservative voters still love the guy.
“Republican voters’ views of their own political party have declined by double digits since November, a new poll shows,” Newsweek wrote in February.
“Republican voters appear to be increasingly frustrated with their political establishment,” Newsweek went on to report. “Trump remains highly popular among Republican voters.”
The numbers looked like this: In November, according to Gallup, 90% of Republican voters saw the party in favorable light. Three months later? Only 78% saw the GOP favorably.
The difference is the election.
The difference is the impeachment.
The difference is the Republican Party establishment’s outward turning on Trump — as if they were just biding their time, waiting for someone else to get into the White House. As if they were keeping quiet for a time and a season, pre-election and that time and season, post-election, had come.
That speaks volumes.
That says conservative voters aren’t exactly happy with the idea of just pulling an “R” lever versus a “D” lever.
That sets the GOP on notice that simply running party faithful to fill Senate and House and eventually, White House seats, isn’t going to exactly bring out the vote.
If Haley is making moves to run in 2024, she’d do well by listening. The party leadership may pick her; the fundraisers and funders may love her.
But she still has to win the votes of the conservative voters. And calling out Trump as a mistake is not the best way to start.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.
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