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Why Would Nikki Haley Want the Nomination? Which Nomination Anyway?

And the Nominee Is... (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Note: I decided last week to write this blog this week. In so doing I gambled that there would be more of the same in the news but nothing drastic like the revelation of the Russian bounty on American soldiers and no American response. You never really know what to expect except that it will be something you never imagined.

As the days wind down to the Convention, once again the name of Nikki Haley is bandied about for a national nomination. That attention has followed her since July, 2015:

Haley’s decisive action to drive the final removal of the banner from statehouse grounds quickly and relatively cleanly in the glare of the national spotlight proved a well-timed audition for higher office ahead of the 2016 Republican veepstakes. Nikki Haley’s star rises as rebel flag comes down

Now here we are nearly five years later and her name is mentioned once again. But for which position on the national ticket? Haley is an ambitious adult who lives in the real world. Why would she want a position on the national ticket in 2020 anyway?

Let’s consider three scenarios.

PENCE IS DUMPED

The most common position discussed is the vice-presidential nomination as a replacement for the incumbent Vice President. For this to occur, there are several decisions which need to be made.

First is that the reelection prospects are so dire that a Hail Mary is needed. This means that the person who thinks of himself as a winner who never loses has to admit to himself that as things stand he is a loser. Remember, in his mind, he won the popular vote in 2016, too. It is in that mind that the decision will be made. Can he admit for the record that he is headed for a defeat and needs the help of someone else to rescue him?

As of now, it would seem that he is not at the point. His first reaction upon learning of a poll showing Biden with a 14% lead was to sue. By now with virtually every poll showing Biden with a 50% or more support and/or a double-digit lead, he would have to sue almost all the pollsters in America including Fox. That doesn’t appear to have happened.

He knows the polls are against him now.

He knows there was no overflow attendance and a blue sea of empty seats inside at his rally in Tulsa.

He knows that Bolton’s book portrays him as begging for it from the Chinese.

He knows that the newest scandal shows him approving of Putin putting a target on the backs of American soldiers. MORE FAKE NEWS.

There is still is no sign that he has reached a point where he will admit he is a loser and ready to throw the Hail Mary. That could change at any moment.

Second, what are the ramifications of dumping his loyal Vice President? Mike Pence has sold his soul to be the successor, not the dumped one. While there is insufficient time to write a book between the time dumped and the election, there certainly is plenty of opportunity for him to go “Bolton” and do the talk shows. True after all his “happy talk” about the coronavirus, he has limited credibility. Anything he said could be considered sour grapes because he was dumped. Is dumping him a risk worth taking?

Third, even if the decision is made to dump the loyal Vice President and take your chances on what he might say, the question still remains why would Haley take the position? She would know it is being offered to her only as an act of desperation. Who knows what else will be revealed in the weeks and months to come. After all, who anticipated his latest example of submissiveness to Putin? To expect her to accept the Vice Presidency is like asking her to charter a plane to fly over the Atlantic Ocean so she can parachute onto the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg. For an ambitious person living in the real world joining the ticket as a replacement easily could be an act of political suicide.

Based on the above, my impression, for whatever it is worth, of Haley being the Vice President nominee has more to do with writers having too much spare time to spin scenarios than a likely event.

THE LBJ PRESIDENT

What about the position of President? Would Haley accept that nomination? Lately there has been talk [Morning Joe] about a supposed candidate with no vision or agenda for the second term, who seems to be going through the motions of running. Could he just to an LBJ and announce that he is not a candidate for the 2020 election?

For this scenario to happen, the same considerations as noted above would have to occur with one addition. The addition would be the realization that even the Hail Mary with Nikki Haley wouldn’t work. When the 2020 year began, there was a reasonable expectation of reelection. Sure the Democratic Party would win the popular vote as it always does with one exception during the era of Baby-boomer Presidents. But it was still possible to win the Electoral College despite being a popular-vote loser. Lately those prospects have changed. Instead of fighting over battle ground states, the newest trend is that the battle ground states could be swept by Biden. Then the fight will be over possible purple states like Texas. Given the rapid increase of coronavirus cases in Texas (along with Arizona and Florida), the election could be shaping up to be comparable to Obama in 2008 or Bush in 1988. Those results would have been considered impossible at the beginning of this year but now seem quite reasonable. And this is before the polls digest the latest scandal with Putin. It now has reached a point where even Trumpican Senators are getting nervous about the fate of the Republican Party.

The longtime pretend Democrat and Clinton supporter couldn’t care less about the fate of the Republican Party. It’s all about him. It always is. He could decide that he wants to go out as a winner with the greatest three years of any American President ever. Why risk defeat yet alone a humiliating defeat in November? He would have no problem leaving the Party in the lurch at the last minute and walking away.

But there would be consequences to such actions. The Trumpican Senate which prevented him from being removed from office would no longer protect him. I am not saying he would be impeached and convicted in his last few months. But all protections would be lost if he announced he wasn’t running again. He would be at risk for investigations by people out for blood.

And who would be the nominee then? Anyone with the Trump taint would be doomed in November. If the party wanted to save itself, prepare for 2024, and hope for the best, it would need a presidential candidate who could insult, mock, and demean Putin’s Pence as the Democrats will. Even then the likelihood of success would be minimal. So if the LBJ withdrawal occurs, why would Haley even try to pick up the pieces to salvage the election? In some vain hope that she will be remembered for her sacrifice and be nominated again? In 2024, it will have been76 years since Stevenson was nominated in consecutive campaigns and lost both. Even if the Party is abandoned at the last minute in July or August, I don’t see how it is in Haley’s interest to fill the void.

THE NIXON PRESIDENT

The Howard Baker moment has passed. Suppose the current Russian scandal proves the worst nightmares about an American President selling out his country [and for what in return?]. It is hard to imagine given the time constraints the Trumpican Senators supporting any drastic action against him. And leaving office early means loss of immunity at both the New York State and federal level.  Even Barr might grow concerned if the LBJ or Nixon precedents were followed. In fact, he may grow concerned anyway.

In conclusion, as of 6:45 PM June 29, 2020, when this blog was posted to the IHARE website, I do not expect to see Nikki Haley as a candidate for Vice President or President in 2020 with the caveat that at any given moment anything could happen which would cause me to change my mind.

Wishful Thinking and the Tulsa Truth

A Blue Wave Coming (Matt Barnard/Tulsa World via AP)

We all engage in wishful thinking. It is one way to remain optimistic, to keep up one’s spirits, to have hope. It is also the proverbial Wiley Coyote running off the cliff – it works until you look down. Then SPLAT!

25th Amendment

Mike Pence has been a source of wishful thinking. When this administration began there were a series of blogs in History News Network (HNN) about him. They had to do with his activation of the 25th Amendment to end the current administration almost immediately. In a series of posts to  HNN, this contributor carefully explained how the 25th Amendment worked. But the analysis did not stop there. It was followed by a meticulously detailed description of every individual who would be involved in the implementation of the 25th Amendment to discharge the President and have the Vice President becoming the Acting President. The analysis demonstrated that the votes were there to make it happen. The writer confidently predicted that it would happen. If the current administration wouldn’t be the shortest on record it would be close to it. Obviously the 25th Amendment maneuver didn’t work or even happen unlike the Impeachment ploy. It should be noted that this writer also had confidently predicted that the 2016 elections would result in a Democratic victory with over 330 Electoral College votes and possibly over 350. All of this was pure wishful thinking. It gave the appearance of sound research while being based on absolutely nothing substantive. As you might expect, I don’t read this blogger anymore. The again that writer has refrained from making predictions and sticks to anodyne summaries of the past.

Michael D’Antonio

Recently Michael D’Antonio decided to engage in some wishful thinking. His article “Time for Pence to jump ship?” was posted on not HNN but CNN (June 11, 2020). D’Antonio wrote:

With a schism forming [in the Republican Party], the time is ripe for a high-level official to make the dramatic break that would signal that someone is ready to stand as the leader of the post-Trump Republican Party. I would nominate for this job, Vice President Mike Pence. Unprecedented? Pretty much. But the Trump era is unprecedented too, and Pence signaled, when he agreed that he would be Trump’s running mate, that he’s willing to do the unexpected.

Here we can observe three examples of wishful thinking:

1. That there still is a Republican Party – the Republican Party no longer exists except in name. Actual Republicans like Romney in the Senate and some governors are few and far between.

2. That there will be a post-Trump Party after 2020 – unless his health really takes a turn for the worse he will not leave the stage especially after defeat. And if Eugene Debs ran for President from jail, so can a convicted person today.

3. That Vice President Brown Nose is willing to do the unexpected.

D’Antonio compounds his wishful thinking with the following:

Pence should weigh the merits of declaring he won’t be vice president for a possible second term….Behind that mild-mannered persona lurks a savvy and opportunistic politician…. Conditions are perfect, in other words, for Mike Pence to observe that either he needs to spend more time with his family or believes the President would benefit from the excitement that would come were he to run with a fresh face — perhaps former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — beside him. Pence could resign, saying Trump is just too loyal to fire him, and graciously make a path for himself to become the new leader of the GOP come the defeat of the Trump-Haley ticket in November.

It’s hard not to laugh when reading this. After all, D’Antonio is the author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success and co-author with Peter Eisner of The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence. He is a serious, reputable person. His opinions are sought on talk shows. Technically, he has made a case on paper of the merits of Vice President Brown Nose taking a bold dramatic action that would thrust him into a leadership position post-2020 elections. But in fact, what D’Antonio wrote is pure unadulterated wishful thinking.

The proof was shown a few days later on June 15, 2020. The headline for The New York Times tells the tale:

As Cases Rise, Pence Promotes a Misleading Claim About Testing.

The article recounts how Pence “encouraged governors on Monday to adopt the administration’s claim that increased testing helps account for the new coronavirus outbreak reports, even though evidence has shown that the explanation is misleading.”  Not surprisingly, the false claim was the same on previously made by the President and which would be repeated in Tulsa. Stop the testing means stopping the number of cases of new infections means the deaths decrease.

There is no sign of bold dramatic action. There are two ways the D’Antonio scenario could work. One is if he became convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no way the ticket was going to win, he could abandon ship for his own survival. Second, if he got wind that he was going to be dumped for Haley, he might bow out first. But either way, he still would be Vice President until January and still perform as a Brown Nose. The result will be he sold his soul for nothing.

Trumpicans and the Coronavirus

Tulsa exposed the wishful thinking of Trumpicans. Consider these examples:

1. “This coronavirus is a little bit hyped. The media hypes things,” Anonymous.

If only FAKE NEWS knocked off their hyped reporting, there would be no talk of 120,000 dead and they would not be dead either…or the deaths aren’t really from the coronavirus anyway. Who knows how this unidentified electrician from Seattle is able to live in an alternate reality. The whole thing must be a hoax.

This second example lends credence to Trumpicans thinking it is a hoax.

2. “It’s all fake. They’re just making the numbers up. I haven’t seen anybody die, not from coronavirus. I don’t know anybody who’s got it,” said Mike Alcorn, Wichita, Kansas.

3. “I’ve been watching this closely over the last four months or so, and the numbers just don’t add up,” said Jeff Eskew, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

4. “[The virus] is a scare tactic more than anything. And I just don’t believe all those deaths are coronavirus,” said Donald Fanning, Wichita Kansas.

Do you see any global warming in your backyard? I don’t see any global warming in your backyard. It’s all fake, it’s all made up.

How can you even blame China for a hoax? How can China be at fault if it’s all fake? That’s like saying the Bolton book is a complete lie but the lies are classified so it shouldn’t be published.

Remember, Trumpicans like mainland Chinese only get their news from the government propaganda machine. What are the odds on Fox showing how much better Europe has done then the United States in reducing the number of coronavirus deaths? What are the odds of Fox showing how much better countries from around the world have done in stopping the coronavirus? What are the odds on Fox showing the rise in coronavirus deaths in Trumpican states because it is not a New York problem anymore?  The Trumpican wishful thinking on the coronavirus will continue until Trumpicans start dying in droves and they all do know someone who died from it. I suspect, that little by little more and more Trumpicans will learn to live in the real world because it will become more and more difficult to live a lie.

THE TULSA TURNING POINT

I am going to go out on a limb with my wishful thinking. Tulsa was nothing like it was hyped to be or I expected it to be based on the hype. Tulsa may signal the turning point. For weeks now, Little Donnee Wanney has been the equivalent of a caged animal who hasn’t been feed. He was starved for the energy of a raucous crowd that would ignite his election campaign and power him to victory in November. Without the energy of Trumpicans he is just a tired irritable old man who has trouble walking down a ramp or raising a glass of water with one hand. With their energy he becomes the Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. There is no Plan B. He has no vision except that he be the center of attention and be re-elected so he can stay out of jail. If the defining characteristic of his campaign in 2016 is removed from him, he has nothing left but hissy fit tweets from his White House bunker. A crowd of over 6000 when 19,000 indoor and 40,000 outdoor were expected doesn’t cut it. Where were all the people! Have they seen the light?

Tulsa is more than just a campaign event. True he can use it to take credit for making the country aware of a holiday that has been celebrated for 155 years. That is no small achievement. But Tulsa may be more remembered as a Toto moment. The curtain has been pulled backed. He looks not just like a loser to Biden but weak and wrong on everything: coronavirus, the economy, China, race, the courts, his niece, and his finances. Right now it seems as if the refs will have to throw a red flag for piling on just to save him. The military is not going to support him if he loses the election and claims “foul.” Even Barr seems to have his limits. President One-Term won’t want to leave the White House, but who will be left to help him remain there? All the adults are gone, the only ones left are loyalists and the son in-law. It will be easier to get him to leave the White House following an election defeat than I previously had thought. Perhaps Brian Williams is right to have started a countdown.