May 24, 2019 | 60° F

SURIANO: Haley has what it takes to become next president

Opinions Column: A RINO's View


United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley made headlines last week after she got into a flap with the White House. On Sunday, April 15, Haley announced new sanctions against Russia before President Donald J. Trump appeared to change his mind on the issue. A White House official blamed Haley for announcing the sanctions too early but she stood her ground. This forced Larry Kudlow, the president’s economics advisor, to apologize. Haley being in the news is as good a time as any to tell you why I think she should and will be the first female president of the United States.

When deciding who to support for president I look for two things, and Haley has both in excess. The first two things I look for are executive experience and foreign policy experience. Usually a candidate will have one but not the other. For example, if a person was a governor they would have executive experience but not any foreign policy experience or record. On the other hand, if a candidate were a senator with a voting record on foreign policy matters, they would most likely have no experience running an executive branch. Haley has both. As governor of South Carolina she served admirably and showed her leadership ability when after a tragic shooting at a South Carolina church she led a unified state in bringing down the Confederate battle flag from atop the South Carolina state house. She has also shown great foreign policy chops and has made every American proud as the United States ambassador to the UN. She has stuck up for our allies in that wretched hive of scum and villainy known as the UN. She has also stood up to President Vladimir Putin's thuggish regime and shown great moral clarity as the U.S. spokeswoman to the world. It is important to have the U.S. articulate the its push for good at the UN and Haley has done this very well. This is why she should be president but another question is could she be elected.

If a potential candidate is not electable in either the primary or the general then whether they would make a good candidate is moot. For example, I think Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would make an excellent president but he could not make it on the main debate stage in the 2016 primary, so who cares? Haley is not only electable in a GOP primary but also in a general election. Now, there is an elephant in the room here (pun intended) that I have ignored until now, his name is Trump and he is president. Since there is a sitting GOP president, it is most likely that Haley will not have a chance to run until 2024, but it is possible Trump will not seek reelection, so for the rest of this column Haley’s candidacy could be in 2020 or 2024 — it does not really matter for my analysis.

Haley is the perfect compromise primary candidate that can unite the GOP after Trump is gone. She is well liked by the more establishment perhaps anti-Trump wing of the party. This will be key in getting votes in the New Hampshire primary and more importantly raising money. Haley was also the governor of South Carolina, one of the earlier primary states — a commanding win there would be a boon to any campaign. She would also have indisputable pro-Trump street cred as one of the most visible Trump administration officials not named Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. In regard to Pence, I think he could win the nomination, but Haley is more electable in a general election electorate. The general election is the other key to winning the presidency — obviously you cannot be president if you do not win the general. Haley would be a good face for the Republican Party in a national election. She is conservative but not in a way that would turn off independents. I think she would outperform Trump among the suburban middle class, a key voting demographic. If she underperforms Trump among working class voters, a former President Trump campaigning in Pennsylvania and Ohio could potentially sure up those votes. For those reasons, I believe the next Republican president will be Haley.

We are two years from the next election and six from the most likely election wherein Haley would run, so that is to say a lot will happen from here to then. Any number of events may transpire that could make this prediction for naught. But as it stands today all I can say is that I am with her.

Robert Suriano is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in history. His column, "A RINO's View," runs on alternate Mondays.


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Robert Suriano

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