Nikki Haley’s run for president shows that now is DeSantis’ time to strike

by | Feb 14, 2023

Former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday that she is running for president in the 2024 election, becoming the second Republican to enter the GOP primary after former President Donald Trump did so last November.

In her announcement, Haley invoked sentiments of change, calling for “a new generation of leadership,” an apparent shot at Trump, who appointed her as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during his single term in office.

A once-ally of the former President, Haley adamantly stated in 2021 that she would not contend for the White House if Trump made an attempt to recapture the Oval Office in 2024. Her announcement today marks a diversion from past vows, but more importantly, could signify Trump’s waning power within the Republican Party.

Trump has had a tumultuous past six months, to say the least. His residence was raided by FBI agents, where they found classified documents, he was ordered by the state of New York to pay a $1.6 million fine for tax fraud, and found little success through his endorsed candidates in the 2022 midterm elections.

Consequentially, national donors have been bearish on Trump’s momentum heading into what appears to be a contentious election cycle. Politico reported last week that some Republican operatives are beginning to hit the panic button, concerned about the future of the party should Trump win a second term.

Major backers of the former President, including Americans for Prosperity, seem ready to move on as well. The group sent out a memo this past weekend that indicates it will back a candidate other than Trump in 2024.

“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter,” the group said. “The American people have shown that they’re ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do that.”

The swell of negativity surrounding Trump emboldened Haley to walk back on her prior statements and seize potential voters migrating away from the GOP heavyweight. Though looking at the landscape of the national Republican party following Haley’s election entry, Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to emerge as the biggest winner.

DeSantis has yet to announce any intent to launch a presidential campaign. That much has been clear. The Florida governor has been intentionally mum on the subject, going so far as goading reporters trying to get the inside scoop.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” he quipped at a reporter on Tuesday when asked if Haley’s bid affected his chances of running.

DeSantis’ quietude hasn’t prevented national media outlets from running wild with speculation, though. Early polling indicators reflect that DeSantis is level with or scarcely behind Trump in head-to-head metrics, exemplifying the transcendent momentum the governor carries in spite of a looming uncertainty of whether he will actually run or not.

Trump picks up on this, too. His trademark ad hominins have found their way to DeSantis, with accusations of grooming supplemented by the alleged moniker ‘Meatball Ron.”

In what appears to be the tipping of the scale from one end to the other, much like a seesaw, DeSantis has rapidly amassed an ardent base of supporters who once voted for Trump. His fiery “anti-woke” agenda has caught fire in Florida, earning the backing of prominent right-leaning advocacy groups and political action committees.

The Financial Times wrote in January that an outside group supporting DeSantis’ supposed jaunt to the White House is planning to spend $3.3 million across the first half of 2023 in order to boost his national profile.

Moreover, Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, vivaciously stated that he was ready to financially back DeSantis in his presidential run.

“He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas,” Griffin told Politico of Trump. “And for a litany of reasons, I think it’s time to move on to the next generation.”

When it comes to elections, DeSantis has proven to be a reliable success. He hasn’t lost an election that he’s run in. He defeated Heather Beaven by nearly 15 percent to become a U.S. Representative in 2012. DeSantis followed that up by breezing to reelection twice.

Then, when running for governor, won the Republican primary by 20 points before eeking out a victory against Andrew Gillum in the general election. When seeking reelection last year, he delivered one of the largest margins of victory in recent Florida history with a nearly 20-point win over Charlie Crist.

Haley made one thing clear today – Trump’s sun is setting in the Republican party. She recognized it, voters have recognized it, and unsurely DeSantis has too.

1 Comment

  1. Chris B.

    Same corrupted party, different devils. We need to remove both D and R and WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up and take our country back!


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