Best of the worst: Nikki Haley gains “success”

Story by Clementine Evans
Copy Editor

Illustration by Heejoon (Joon) Lee
Staff Illustrator

The 2024 race started with several Republican candidates including Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and the only likely female candidate: Nikki Haley. Haley has been a compelling candidate in this election, arguing on behalf of anti-immigration, pro-life, and standing in opposition to Medicaid, Medi-Cal, and the Affordable Care Act. 

Haley can be considered a more desirable candidate for the demographic (of Republicans) she is trying hardest to appeal to when she is compared to Trump and all his flaws and mishaps. For Republicans, she could be considered the lesser of two evils. Haley is appealing for so many Republicans because as they shift away from backing Trump, she represents a lot of traditional conservative values, which is the biggest part of her platform. 

The Grand Old Party (GOP) has gone through numerous candidates for the upcoming election, none of whom lasted long enough for the real race to begin. Current president Joe Biden and Trump, though similar in age, stand on opposing sides of pretty much every issue. Haley, on the other hand, is over 30 years younger than Trump and Biden. She does, however, stand on the same side as Trump on several issues. 

Although Haley is on the opposing side to left-leaning policies and issues, one of her most vital assets has been coming in handy during her campaign: her gender. Being a woman allows her to empathize (and be empathized) with other women. However, identifying as female does not (and has not) guaranteed her a win. Men will continue to see her as just a woman, not a politician. 

Haley also has guts. She has stayed in this race longer than anyone has anticipated, despite people telling her to drop out, including the Republican National Committee (RNC) insisting that the party rallies around Trump. She has continuously challenged Trump to debates, showing her supporters, as well as MAGA supporters, that he is unwilling to face her. Haley has also pointed out several times Trump’s mental errors: confusing her with Nancy Pelosi; thinking the world was going to enter World War II, when he supposedly meant World War III; accusing him of not talking about things that do not actually matter; and saying that he has been “his own worst enemy.” 

Haley has remained competitive in the race, unflagging in her efforts to win the presidency. Haley is standing strong, insisting that she is “not going anywhere.” She has stayed in the race far longer than other candidates like DeSantis and Ramaswamy, outlasting fellow Republican candidates. As Trump continues to attack her, she stands her ground, making voters see her as brave, bold, and unfailing in her efforts to win approval.  

Despite her moxie, Haley is nowhere near perfect. Her stances on policies that would help more people than not are frankly ridiculous: Fighting immigration is hypocritical, as she is the daughter of immigrants, calling for “closing the US border;” opposing abortion and a woman’s right to choose limits her own rights; and falsely connecting transgender girls playing sports to upticks in teenage suicide is utterly incorrect.

Haley’s campaign has proven courageous and tough, but she still cannot appeal to all voters in order to gain the support she desperately needs to potentially win this election. Her recent polling throughout the country has proved embarrassing. In the Nevada primaries, she received only 30.5 percent of votes, being overtaken by the 63.2 percent of “none of these candidates” option ballots. Losing to no one is frankly humiliating. The fact that people are voting for no one over her correctly illustrates her place in the campaign trail and the extent to which her policies are flawed.

The race for the White House continues with candidates who are less than ideal. There is no such thing as a perfect nominee or a perfect president. Haley has risen to the position of being the best of the bad choices. She has moxie to continue in the race and stand strong on her issues, defying core values of the GOP. All three candidates do not embody all of what their respective parties hoped for, and not what the American public envisioned. The US is being forced to settle for one of three imperfect candidates, all having flaws that they cannot change. But, the most powerful seat in the world should not be sat in by someone who should be in a nursing home or someone who is Plan B.

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