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Flashback: Nikki Haley’s Own Ex-Political Director Exposes GOP Hopeful on Tucker Carlson

Flashback: Nikki Haley’s Own Ex-Political Director Exposes GOP Hopeful on Tucker Carlson

To the extent there remains any viable alternative to former President Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nominee in 2024, former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley might be it.

She’s third in the RealClearPolitics national polling average as of Friday morning, just behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Both are a distant second and third to Trump (60.3 percent for Trump vs. 12.6 percent for DeSantis vs. 12.1 percent for Haley).

She’s also third in the Iowa caucus polling — again, with both DeSantis and her well in Trump’s rear-view mirror — and a distant second in New Hampshire.

In all three departments, however, it’s worth noting that Haley is the only candidate with a sustained upward trajectory at the moment.

DeSantis reached the point of diminishing returns in late spring. While his campaign is confident in a strong Iowa showing, he would need a comeback of Joe Biden- or John Kerry-esque proportions to win the nomination.

Other candidates who have had their moments — businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — have fallen back to earth or withdrawn entirely.

Given the long odds and passing deadlines, there’s no unknown challenger (i.e., Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin) waiting just offstage to charge in at the last second.

So, if you’re a Republican primary voter and you’re not casting your ballot for Trump, it’s basically 1) DeSantis, 2) Haley or 3) setting it ablaze. (Look, heating costs are high this winter. Got to do something.)

And Haley is, for better or worse, the woman of the moment. She has a Trump connection, in that she served in his administration. She’s also suitably anti-Trump enough, given that she disavowed him after the events of the 2020 election, that the establishment media can take her in small doses — unless she won the nomination, of course, in which case they would go back to pummeling her.

So, if you are kicking the tires on a non-Trump candidate, it may well behoove you to ask what’s to like about Haley.

Well, there are plenty of things, don’t get me wrong. However, part of Haley’s brand is winning. She’s happy to tell you that she keeps on winning elections — with the implication being that, after 2020, she’s more electable than Trump is.

For instance, take this from a May profile in The Hill:

“Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, is fond of reminding skeptics that she has never lost an election. Watching her at close quarters, it’s easy to see why,” Niall Stanage wrote. “The positions she enunciates are firmly conservative. She shows no reluctance to plunge into culture war issues, including immigration, ‘wokeness’ in education, and support for law enforcement.”

And yes, she and her supporters are “fond of reminding skeptics” of this fact:

Fair enough — but voters might want to consider the argument from her former political director Justin Evans, who noted that while Haley has never lost an election, “she’s also never finished a job.”

As Mediaite noted at the time, he appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show back in the halcyon days of February, when Carlson still had gainful employment at Fox News and Haley was on the eve of announcing a presidential run.

Evans, the political director for her 2010 South Carolina gubernatorial campaign, excoriated her for her inability to perform under pressure, noting that she walked away from no less than three high-profile gigs.

“A lot of people are asking, ‘What’s up with all these political inconsistencies that we’ve seen out of her lately?’” Evans told Carlson on Feb. 1.

“And one of those is with her support for the former president. I mean, she’s been so inconsistent on that and flip-flopped on that so often that people are starting to confuse her with Mitt Romney at this point.”

“She likes to tell people that she’s never lost an election,” Evans continued.

“Well, on the ballot, that may be true,” he said. “But, Tucker, she’s also never finished a job. Whether it was her time as governor, her time at the U.N. or her time at Boeing [where she was a board member], she’s got a demonstrated pattern of behavior that she just walks away when times get tough.”

Evans also criticized her for her tax policies.

Now, let’s get a few things clear here. First, this still doesn’t change the fact that Haley never lost an election. Second, consider that Evans is now, according to The Wall Street Journal, a Trump operative in the Palmetto State.

“She has a trust issue with the base, and she has a low ceiling in South Carolina of about 18 percent to 20 percent,” he told the Journal for a November piece. “That does not come close to beating President Trump.”

However, the pattern of leaving jobs is undeniable: Haley left the South Carolina governorship to be U.N. ambassador, only to resign from that position two years later.

She didn’t give any concrete decision for leaving but (rather hilariously) said she was setting her own term limit.

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“It’s been eight years of intense time, and I’m a believer in term limits,” Haley said at the time, according to the BBC.

Apparently, those term limits don’t apply to her run for president. (It’s also worth noting, as the British public broadcaster did, that her resignation just happened to come “a day after an anti-corruption watchdog accused her of accepting seven luxury private plane trips as gifts from South Carolina business leaders.”)

As for her time on the Boeing board, that lasted a little over a year — although, as a South Carolina politician, Haley was long an ally of the aerospace giant. Her stated reason for leaving, per the Journal, was a disagreement over the company’s potential decision to seek bailouts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At least some board members and executives were surprised by her abrupt announcement at a delicate time for the company, people familiar with the matter said. The company ended up not seeking government aid for itself and instead issued $25 billion in bonds to shore up its finances through the pandemic and the 737 MAX crisis,” the outlet reported.

Now, granted, there’s only one president who’s ever resigned when times got tough — and times were indeed so tough for him that America wasn’t terribly sorry to see him go.

There are also few offices in the world that could be considered a promotion over president of the United States; the only one that comes to mind offhand is pope, and Haley isn’t Catholic. (Yet, anyway.)

However, if your former political director is describing you as a serial quitter on national TV, does that speak well of your ability to rally the base?

She can’t even rally the people in her direct orbit into believing in her. That alone should be a warning bell that maybe this isn’t the person to erase huge polling deficits with just a month and change before the first contest — no matter how much she talks about never losing an election. There’s a first time for everything, after all.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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