The Morning Briefing: Somebody Should Tell Nikki Haley That She Didn't Win the Super Bowl


Top O’ the Briefing

Happy Monday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Bezzefritzhe delighted passersby with his ability hate yodel any lyrics from 1950s movie musicals. 

Since Sunday night is a work night for me, I didn’t opt for the imbibing of the Super Bowl beer. We will soon know if a Super Bowl party and comfort food hangover is a thing. Oh, the chili. Even though I’m a huge fan, I don’t do a lot of sports stuff here in the Briefing, but I will share this: 

I like to combat winter with extra helpings of whimsy.

This seems hard to believe, but it’s been almost a month since we’ve kicked things off here at the top with some ribbing of Nikki Haley. As long as she is hanging around, I would be shirking my duties if I didn’t use this platform to mock this most delusional of presidential campaigns. 

Haley’s insistence that her continued presence in the race isn’t mere folly was understandable for a while. Even candidates with the slimmest of chances can talk themselves into believing that their viability is far greater than it ever was, is, or will be. Politicians at that level have huge egos, after all. Surround them with a bunch of money people who feed them with a steady diet of, “Yes, you can!” and they can coast along for a while without letting reality intervene. 

As long as the money keeps flowing, a candidate can stay on the campaign trail. Super rich political donors have gobs of money to throw at longshot candidates who might give them a return on their investment. Nikki Haley has the added bonus of being funded by some Democrats who want her to stay in the race simply to badmouth Donald Trump. 

The GOP electorate isn’t as on board with that idea as the former ambassador would like to think. Chris recently wrote about the lates polling on that: 

Republican voters have been thinking about it, too, and a new Daily Mail/TIPP insights poll reveals what they think about the Haley Train chugging on. 

“Republican voters by a huge margin say former South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley should drop her bid for the GOP presidential nomination, as her chances of catching up to front-runner Donald Trump are ‘negligible,'” TIPP reports. “Fully 57 percent of registered Republican primary voters say Haley should exit the race, our poll shows. Less than a third say she should keep running; another 13 percent said they were not sure.”

A whopping 70% of voters surveyed say “yes” or “maybe” to Haley leaving the race. It’s hard to ignore that kind of response. 

Despite the fact that Trump has had a comfortable lead in primary polling from the get-go, I understand that not everyone in the GOP is a huge fan of his. We seem to be reaching a point where even the people who are the most lukewarm — or even cold — about Trump are beginning to understand that it is time to start shoring things up for November. 

I’m quite perplexed when I see conservative writers publish articles that apply conventional election wisdom and rules to the 2024 United States presidential contest. Trump and the Republicans gave conventional wisdom a major hit in 2016. The Democrats flushed it down the toilet in 2020. 

In almost any other election, it would be normal to indulge a candidate in the primaries who had the cashflow and self-confidence to keep going until voters were finished having their say. 

Now more than ever though, there is a strong case for acknowledgement of the inevitable and the coalescing of support behind who we all know will be the nominee. 

The Democrats’ legal harassment of Donald Trump is not a valid reason for fence-sitting or indulging fantasies about alternative candidates. 

Many writers on both sides of the aisle have noted that Trump is running as a de facto incumbent this year. That is one big reason that he’s held a commanding lead in the GOP primary polling since last year. It’s also the best reason for Nikki Haley to pack up the campaign offices and stop stringing along her volunteers. 

Her harsh anti-Trump bent in recent weeks indicates that she isn’t angling for a job in his administration if he gets back to the Oval Office. That means she’s just hanging around to undermine him as loudly as she can for as long as she can. Whether the more sensitive in the GOP electorate want to admit it or not, that means she’s just undermining the party.

Nikki Haley can either decide to be honest about that, or she can keep auditioning for a CNN gig. 

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