Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley stated during her concession speech in New Hampshire Tuesday evening that she wasn’t ready to hang up her presidential aspirations yet, informing the American people she was staying in the race, despite two massive losses, including one in Iowa. Say what you will about her politics, you have to give her an “A” for effort. Though one has to wonder when it will become clear to her that she really does not have much of a path forward now.
“I have news for all of them. New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation,” Haley said to her supporters following the state’s primary. “This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go, and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina.”
Nikki Haley: "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory tonight…New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina." pic.twitter.com/ZyEIYGrZWH
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2024
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Unfortunately, hours earlier, voters in New Hampshire told Haley the exact same thing: Yes, she wasn’t going anywhere. That idiom has two different meanings, however. In Haley’s case, she was putting Republicans on notice that she was sticking around despite a double-digit loss in a must-win state. In New Hampshire’s case, voters were telling her that, fine, but she wasn’t going anywhere near the GOP nomination — considering that, if she couldn’t make it there, she couldn’t make it anywhere.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Andy Sabin — a New York-based metals magnate who had previously said Trump wouldn’t get an “[expletive] nickel” from him during the 2024 race and who had donated to Haley previously — said it was time for her to get out of the race.
Just the day before, Sabin made an appearance saying, “You know what Custer’s last stand is? She must win in New Hampshire. Not come in second by two points or one point. In order to be a viable candidate, she must clearly show that she’s a winner.”
After failing to pull out a victory in New Hampshire, Sabin spoke with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, where he suggested Haley listen to wisdom given by legendary country music star Kenny Rogers.
“Do you know who Kenny Rogers is?” Sabin kicked off his comments. “‘You have to know when to hold ’em, you gotta to know when to fold ’em. You gotta know when to walk away.’ It’s time for Nikki Haley to walk away.”
The 1978 Kenny Rogers hit “The Gambler,” for the unfamiliar, essentially took the form of life lessons that can be learned from a game of poker: Namely, if the cards aren’t in your favor, it’s time to fold. Beyond that, I don’t know how I could make it more obvious — unless, of course, you’re a sanguine Haley consultant, in which case there’s no way I can make the parallels obvious enough.
Honestly, this is pretty sound advice.
Haley has made it clear she’s an establishment girl. Her strategy has been to employ liberal tactics like making herself look like some kind of “girl boss” or play up on her ethnicity with claims she was picked on in school “for being brown.” Her policies are looking more and more watered down. We’ve been down this road before and it’s nothing but stagnation.
Sabin then revealed he would be interested in backing her and even donating to her campaign if she ran in 2028, but not now as she has no path to win.
“There’s absolutely no upside to her going to South Carolina, and there’s a tremendous downside,” he told Cavuto. “She’s down by 31 points now — that’s the last I heard in South Carolina — she’s got two senators and a governor supporting Trump.”
“Look, if you can’t win your own state, there’s no reason to go on … There’s no upside,” he added. “She’s surrounded by consultants and staff, they don’t want to lose their paychecks, so they tell Nikki Haley what she wants to hear, not what she should hear.”
He then said that what Haley needs to hear is that, at this point, there’s no way to win and that if she goes to her own home state and experiences a massive loss, it could kill her political future.
He’s got a point. Will Haley listen?
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