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Nikki Haley isn’t running for president, but she’s running for something

By Lee Cleveland - March 16, 2023

According to a March 2023 Quinnipiac poll, the majority of Republican voters (46%) favor President Trump over any other potential candidate at the moment. 32% prefer Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and only 5% prefer former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Some would consider Haley’s numbers disappointing and suggest she should drop out of the contest, but she isn’t really running for president in 2024; she’s running to make a name for herself so don’t believe the pundits who are saying her campaign is a disaster.

It’s obvious Halley doesn’t have much juice among Republican voters as a presidential candidate, but many probably would support a ticket with her as the vice-presidential candidate for Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. As a result, Haley is campaigning to familiarize voters with her, looking to become a strong vice-president option by the time the Republican Party presidential candidate is nominated.

Keep in mind, over the last 60 years, seven vice presidents had previously run for president – Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. And three of them, thus far, eventually ascended to the presidency.

In that period, only Jack Kemp, who had previously run for president prior to becoming the 1996 Republican vice-presidential nominee, failed to win in the general election.

Do you notice a trend?

Vice-presidential candidates who’d previously run for president tend to do well in general elections.


They are usually mainstream politicians, having already run for the country’s highest office.

Now you know why Haley is running. And now you know why she refuses to say anything negative about Trump. She doesn’t want to distance herself from him too much because she’s aiming for vice-presidential consideration.

Still not convinced?

Is it just a coincidence that George H.W. Bush, who was a failed presidential candidate prior to becoming vice president and then president, was also, like Haley, a U.N. ambassador previously?

Haley wants to be the second person on the 2024 Republican Ticket, not the headliner. However, she undoubtedly has designs on the presidency down the road.

Former governor…Former U.N. ambassador…(Eventual) Former presidential candidate… That’s some good resume-building.

Secondly, by running for vice president Haley is getting on-the-job training by campaigning on the big stage. Remember Sarah Palin’s disastrous campaigning in 2008? She didn’t have any big-stage experience and it showed.

“I read all of the magazines.”

Haley will eventually drop out of the race but don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. And when Republicans nominate their 2024 candidate for president, expect Haley to be among the top two or three vice-presidential prospects.