NBC’s Chuck Todd Drops Brutal Truth About Haley’s Campaign: ‘Gadfly’ Candidate

NBC’s Chuck Todd Drops Brutal Truth About Haley’s Campaign: ‘Gadfly’ Candidate

Well, it finally happened on Super Tuesday: Nikki Haley won an honest-to-goodness state.

No, it wasn’t just the District of Columbia this time. The former South Carolina governor barely carried the state of Vermont — a non-competitive state for the GOP, where Phish fans, Bernie Bros and neo-hippies of all sort run the joint.

In a state with an open primary system and no real incentive for Democrats to vote anyway, Haley barely eked out a victory late in the night. It was the only one on a not-so-super Super Tuesday for the Haley campaign, which didn’t even send its candidate out in front of the cameras to celebrate her taking home a real live state.

The win came too late to do anything for Haley’s campaign, as word spread Wednesday morning that she planned to bow out of the race.

But NBC News’ Chuck Todd had already seen enough anyway.

For Todd — host of “Meet the Press” and certainly no fan of former President Donald Trump or his candidacy — the main result of Super Tuesday voting was that Haley was, in his word, reduced to a “gadfly” primary spoiler candidate. What Todd called the “SEC” primaries had seen to that.

While Haley may have been marginally competitive in coastal states, Todd noted, there were also a number of states in the middle South that were voting — states where schools belong to the SEC, or Southeastern Conference, in college athletics.

“If you can’t do well in the SEC in Republican politics, you can’t do well in Republican politics,” Todd noted before bringing up Haley’s numbers.

First, the Lone Star State: “She can’t crack 20 [percent] in Texas,” he said.

“How about in Oklahoma? She’s just — she’s under 20 … Here we are in Arkansas, she’s sitting at 22 percent. How about Tennessee? She’s not even at 20 percent.”

Indeed, in all of those four states, as of Wednesday morning Eastern Time, NBC News showed her at under 20 percent, with 92 delegates to former President Trump’s 1,057. (A total of 1,215 is needed to win the nomination.)

Thus, in Todd’s eye, Haley has been reduced to a colorful sideshow.

“This is gadfly level of results, right?” he said. “In some of these races, when an incumbent governor is being challenged by a gadfly state rep or state senator, this is the split in a primary like that.”

Outside of SEC country, things didn’t look too much better, either. Think gadfly on steroids, but still gadfly.

“Tonight was the first time it looked like a sitting incumbent was trying to win the nomination,” Todd said.

“Trump is winning by margins that almost rival the margins that Biden is winning by, and he is facing gadfly candidates,” he added.

Those candidates include Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, who seems content to further abase himself by playing out the process even though his one major challenge to Biden in New Hampshire failed, “spiritual guru” (read: air-headed crystal-gazer) Marianne Williamson — who dropped back into the race after briefly dropping out due to an unexpectedly good (but still pretty bad unless you’re just a gadfly looking for attention) result in Michigan — and “uncommitted” or some other form of protest vote.

In other words, despite all of Haley’s considerable resources — $82.8 million from outside sources, according to USA Today, more than either Trump or Biden — she’s basically doing about as well as a virtually unknown legislator, a ditzy spoon-bender (or whatever) and “none of these candidates,” if you add it all up.

Heck, sometimes she even loses to “none of these candidates” — like she did in Nevada, when she went unchallenged in the state’s primary and somehow still lost, then called it “rigged.”

In today’s accelerated news cycle, where a year’s worth of information feels like it can be crammed into a day, Haley’s campaign feels like a fast-forward version of the career of Harold Stassen. When Stassen first ran for president in 1948 as a Republican, after serving as governor of Minnesota, he was a serious challenger, but lost the GOP nomination to Thomas Dewey. He then went on to challenge for the nomination eight more times through 1988, each time more embarrassing than the last.

Over the course of 40 years, Stassen went from being a promising politician to the butt of jokes and a gadfly candidate.

To her dubious credit, Nikki Haley has managed to do the same thing in six weeks. Good work.

She does have one edge over Stassen, however: She’s alive. Stassen died in 2001.

Her hopes for the presidency at this point, however, are not.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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