Nikki Haley: A Broken Record

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are not necessarily parallel to the views of Bellarmine College Preparatory.

written by our collaborators at Bellarmine Political Review

by Neil Alappatt ’26

© New York Times

On a historic Valentine’s Day in 2023, at precisely 6:48 A.M., the American people woke up to chocolates, roses, corny Target Valentine cards, and the sound of Nikki Haley’s voice telling them to “Get Excited!” And no, it’s not what you think. Nikki Haley has cried about a lot of things in her tenure in politics, but if announcing her presidential campaign on Valentine’s Day at 6 in the morning isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is.

Now, of course, this campaign announcement wasn’t entirely unexpected. After serving as South Carolina’s Governor from 2011–2017, and then serving as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from 2017–2018 as well as participating in Former President Trump’s cabinet, President was the obvious next step for this fierce competitor. And being fierce was the one recurring trait in her campaign video. While subtly calling out every other candidate as a bully, she focused on the fact that she, “doesn’t put up with bullies.” But what’s really funny is that before she announced her campaign, she asked President Trump, another one of her so-called “bullies,” and asked for permission to do so. But hey — asking your bully for permission before doing anything is really the trait the American people want to see in their President.

But Presidents are one of the biggest things that Haley advocates against; currently with President Biden, but more importantly back with Trump as well. The New York Times reports on February 14th, 2023, Haley denounced Trump in the 2016 Republican Primary Races, describing his actions as

“everything I [Haley] taught my children not to do in kindergarten.”

But like a broken record, as soon as Trump was elected as President, Haley changed her tune. Haley was called to action as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and served on Former President Trump’s cabinet. She promised not to outwardly criticize Trump, but to restrain her comments. And yet, like a broken record, she was doomed to keep repeating herself. Haley enlisted herself in a cycle, oscillating from reprimanding the 45th President to praising him. She ultimately resigned from her post in 2018 — on her own terms, but not the best ones. In short, on her Presidential Campaign website, there’s no mention of her time in the Trump administration.

However, Former President Trump isn’t the only politician that remains in Haley’s sights, as she criticizes the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, otherwise known as “Meatball Ron”. Now, in the current status quo, one would hope that our society would shy away from trusting anything said by a man nicknamed “Meatball Ron”; however, Haley chose to take this cue in the opposite direction, commenting on DeSantis’ policies in a less than popular way. According to Independent News on February 18th, Haley discusses Governor DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” essentially stating that public schools cannot teach children younger than 3rd Grade about gender or sexual orientation. In a controversial move, Haley remarks that no child in any grade in any elementary school should be taught anything about gender or sexual orientation.

But now that we’ve looked at Nikki Haley’s cries for help, let’s look at her future plans regarding the Biden Administration, or what she coins a “cry for help.” Politico enumerates on February 21st, that Haley controversially called for mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75, an implied dig at President Biden and her onetime boss, Former President Trump. It is unmistakable that Haley harbors an enormous lack of confidence in and questions the competency of President Biden, but more importantly the man she praises and asked permission to run from, Trump. Consequently, let’s take “solace” in the fact that Haley, in her quest for the presidency, at least seeks the approval and advice of those she deems incompetent.

The surprise, however, occurred when The Hill administered a couple of flash polls proving that nearly 77% of Americans approve of Haley’s mental competency tests. While this isn’t indicative of support for Haley’s campaign, we would be astray as to dismiss the possibility of these approval ratings being indicative, rather, of the current and previous presidencies, both of which were headed by our oldest presidents to date. And yet, there are two possibilities when it comes to Haley’s electoral prospects. First, she fades into the background amidst a fierce debate between Trump and DeSantis. Or rather, she becomes the compromise the Republican Party and the people have been looking for.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day;” however, when looking back at Nikki Haley’s career, we’ve finally found the exception to that rule. In every choice Haley has made, from denouncing Trump to choosing to work with her sworn enemy in his Presidential Cabinet, her greed has left her making choices that only go back on her previous ones. Considering the competition Haley’s up against, from Trump to DeSantis to Hutchinson and the swarm of others waiting in the wings, it might be wise to add a Hail Mary or two to her campaign strategy.