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Nikki Haley brings a breath of fresh air to the GOP stage

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Photo By Mak Krivka, Class of 2021

On Feb. 15 in Charleston, S.C. former two-term governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced she is putting her hat in the ring for the 2024 Republican nomination. She is the first major candidate to challenge former President Donald J. Trump.

During her announcement, she made several digs at her opponents in and out of her party. The 51-year-old called for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old,” this would include fmr. President Trump, 76, and President Biden, 80. 

The two-time Governor of South Carolina would be the first woman and first Asian-American to win the Republican nomination for president. In my opinion, she will be the first Republican nominee to win the popular vote in a very long time. 

Amb. Haley has a unique background and would appeal to a whole new sector of voters that have remained largely untapped since the 2016 election. The Trump-hating, moderate right wing of the party is extremely excited about Haley’s run for the White House. 

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Photo by: Mak Krivka ’21

Her experience is wide and, in my opinion, she is the most qualified candidate besides, of course, the two other candidates with actual presidential experience. She was a South Carolina State Representative, beating a long-time incumbent. In 2010 she was elected governor of South Carolina, and she became the first female and the first person of color to serve in that position; she was also the youngest. 

During her tenure as governor, she strengthened South Carolina’s economy beyond belief. She boosted production and brought massive amounts of jobs to the state. South Carolina became known as the “Beast of the Southeast” during her time in office.

In 2012, Haley played a vital role in current Senator Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Haley traveled all over the country with Romney, and although he lost, I firmly believe that Haley as Romney’s VP pick instead of former House Speaker Paul Ryan would have pushed him to victory over Obama.

In 2016, President Trump announced he would be nominating Haley for the position of Ambassador to the United Nations. Upon assuming the position she was the first Indian-American to serve in this capacity. As U.N. Ambassador, she took a no-nonsense stance and asserted America’s dominance on the international stage.

Haley was extremely critical of countries like Iran, China and Cuba; she brought their many human rights abuses to the world stage like never before.

One of the more notable controversies surrounding her time in Trump’s cabinet was her relationship with the president himself. During an Oval Office press event in 2017, Haley admitted that she was not Trump’s “biggest cheerleader” but was thrilled that he won. Later on, political blogs went wild as rumors of a meeting between Haley, Fmr. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Fmr. Chief of Staff John Kelly was held. In the meeting, Haley reported that the two cabinet members wanted Haley to join them in undermining the President and the policies he was pushing out at the time.

For me, this is when Haley made her name in Washington as a force to be reckoned with. She not only defied senior-level cabinet officials but also exposed them for their disloyalty. In her book With All Due Respect, she claimed that “to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.”

Ambassador Nikki Haley has time and time again proved her ability. She has won uphill battles from the time she ran for the South Carolina State House to her time as Governor to representing the United States on the world stage. A Nikki Haley nomination would ensure a Republican the White House on Jan. 20, 2025 without a doubt.

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