Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Gov. Nikki Haley Was a Great VP Candidate, Until…

 

… until she gave that divisive speech after Tuesday’s state of the union. Yes, divisive. Who says divisive must be between Republican and Democrat, black and white, poor and rich? It was divisive between establishment loyalists and conservative malcontents. And it was gratuitous.

In 2008, Sen. John McCain — war hero, senator-for-life, and self-appointed Republican strategist — sought to balance his ticket by selecting a governor and hard-core conservative woman as his running mate. It energized the base and the media, though in different ways. It turned out to be a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign, largely because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time and they should have known that.

Haley is a governor, a woman, a somewhat-conservative, and likely to be on the short list for vice-presidential candidates this cycle. But everything changed on Tuesday night. Unlike Palin, Haley is ready for prime time in terms of polish and preparation, but she won’t see it again for a while. Not this cycle anyway.

There are two separate disputes raging between the establishment and the alienated ex-Republicans who feel forced to vote against Democrats each cycle. The first is ideological, and the second is about our approach to strategy and tactics. I contend that this latter dispute is equally intense and important as the ideological debate. And while Haley may be acceptable on the ideology, she’s not with conservatives on strategy and tactics. That matters.

Conservatives are long past the fiction that a Republican candidate has to talk moderate in order to govern conservative. If anything, it’s become the opposite: They tack right in the primaries and govern as moderates and appeasers. In contrast, Democrats, generally talk centrist (wink, wink) and govern as socialists and tribalists.

Republican establishment types have bemoaned this dynamic publicly, to the point where Jeb Bush announced his newfound strategy of “losing the primary to win the general,” thus avoiding the problem of having to pivot on issues when confronted by the media with previous quotes.

Many of us are at our wits end, and near apoplectic at the tendency of our elected officials and candidates to undermine what we see as the winning narrative or — at the very least — a much better one. By conceding the Democrats’ story, our party hands them the argument.

If either Bush, Gov. Chris Christie, or Sen. Marco Rubio get the nomination, he will need to select a running mate who can unify the party and energize the base (good luck with that). Haley has just disqualified herself from that role and, thus, the job.

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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Haley has put out a couple of clunkers in recent years. I forget just what, but I do recall the idea that she was probably getting a free pass from the base as she has been great on some issues, and had been a pretty good political potential. You forgive people out of pragmatism when they still might be of great value in the future. Haley’s burgeoning risk premium has just wiped out her expected value for conservatives.

    • #1
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:09 AM PST
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  2. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head here with one exception. No matter who any perceived establishment candidate picks, I doubt the base will go for it this time. I get the sense that if the top of the ticket is not someone who is going to fight the rhetorical battle to not only win the election but also do something with it, they won’t show up at the polls. I am equally concerned that if the GOP gets someone like that, then the “smart set” (and they know who they are) will be inclined to, at the very least, not campaign for the person. They might vote, but they won’t do any work to bring someone with them.

    The Party is done. The GOP is a mortally wounded elephant stumbling around looking for a final place to fall. It’s only a matter of time.

    • #2
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:29 AM PST
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  3. Franco Member
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Robert McReynolds: No matter who any perceived establishment candidate picks, I doubt the base will go for it this time.

    I agree with that. But I’m also trying to show how Haley has blundered to the establishment types  smart set by their own standards and calculations. Much of what she said was unnecessary. The Republican response was a target-rich environment, yet she thought she could elevate herself and her friends by not-so-subtly attacking the two frontrunners in her own party. Even by establishment standards, this was stupid politically, because she just took herself out of the running for VP, and there’s no disputing she was on the inside track for the job.

    • #3
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:40 AM PST
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  4. Victor Tango Kilo Member

    Her speech certainly reflected the Establishment Mindset:

    1. Trump is bad.
    2. Mass immigration is good.
    3. We sense that voters are disappointed with Republicans for not keeping our promises. So, here’s some more promises that we promise we will promise to keep this time. Promise.
    • #4
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:50 AM PST
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  5. Franco Member
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here’s Rush on Nikki and the Smart Set:

    Nikki Haley is actually the story today, in a whole bunch of different ways. There’s so much here to say about the Nikki Haley response. It’s the first time in my life I can remember the response to the State of the Union not going after the president but rather going off the front-runner of, in this case, her own party. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. And it is quite telling to note where in the Drive-By Media and in the conservative media today she’s being hailed.

    It’s quite instructive, very informative, and illustrative to find out where it is, particularly on our side of the aisle here. She is being universally praised for giving one of the best responses to the State of the Union ever…

    … For one thing, it’s almost absolute proof of what I have been saying for last couple years now, that the Republican Party’s trying to drive conservatives out of the party. But I think it’s more than that. It’s certainly that, but her speech last night sort of expanded the theme of who is and who isn’t qualified to be a Republican, and the Republican Party is still anti-conservative…

    • #5
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:51 AM PST
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  6. WI Con Member
    WI ConJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As per usual, you guys have nailed it. It will be interesting to see what the VP picks are regardless of who wins. I don’t know who/how you try to make amends at this point. I’ve been on road for work and was surprised how even Bill Bennett (he’s not on in my home listening area) was put off by Nikki Haley’s unnecessary slight.

    I’d be open to Rubio as VP because it would signal to the GOPe that:

    A). They are in the backseat this year-make no mistake about it

    B). If they want to preserve the viability of Rubio (or other GOPe Certified politico), they will have to play along with (hopefully) Cruz’s agenda.

    • #6
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:52 AM PST
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  7. Pencilvania Inactive

    I am stunned that the Republican rebuttal speech was essentially used to belittle Republicans.

    After her speech I looked on Facebook and a reliably Democrat acquaintance wrote only “I’ve never seen anyone give a speech through clenched teeth before.” That’s the total success all her Republican self-deprecation had. Other than infuriating conservative voters.

    • #7
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:57 AM PST
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  8. Yeah...ok. Inactive

    Wont the VP be from some swing state?

    • #8
    • January 14, 2016, at 4:58 AM PST
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  9. BrentB67 Inactive

    Jeb Bush announced his newfound strategy of “losing the primary to win the general”,

    In the first regard he appears to be doing quite well.

    • #9
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:12 AM PST
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  10. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Franco:

    Robert McReynolds: No matter who any perceived establishment candidate picks, I doubt the base will go for it this time.

    I agree with that. But I’m also trying to show how Haley has blundered to the establishment types smart set by their own standards and calculations. Much of what she said was unnecessary. The Republican response was a target-rich environment, yet she thought she could elevate herself and her friends by not-so-subtly attacking the two frontrunners in her own party. Even by establishment standards, this was stupid politically, because she just took herself out of the running for VP, and there’s no disputing she was on the inside track for the job.

    Maybe, but I happen to think they TOLD her to do it.

    • #10
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:12 AM PST
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  11. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Yeah…ok.:Wont the VP be from some swing state?

    No I suspect that the GOP is all in for identity politics now, not regional politics. There must be a woman on the ticket in their mind and there must be some sort of minority at the top of that ticket. The GOP has abandoned any notion of appealing to the people with ideas and instead have decided to play the Democrats’ game. They are going to lose big if they try.

    • #11
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:15 AM PST
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  12. Pencilvania Inactive

    I believe she said, on the Today show or some other morning show, that Paul Ryan & Mitch McConnell saw it, and she was happy they let her do ‘the speech she wanted to do.’ There you go.

    • #12
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:16 AM PST
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  13. Victor Tango Kilo Member

    BrentB67:

    Jeb Bush announced his newfound strategy of “losing the primary to win the general”,

    In the first regard he appears to be doing quite well.

    I feel like at this point, Jeb would be better off if he dropped the charade and ran as an open, proud, Establishment moderate. Voters might respond favorably to his authenticity.

    • #13
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:21 AM PST
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  14. Franco Member
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    V the K:

    BrentB67:

    Jeb Bush announced his newfound strategy of “losing the primary to win the general”,

    In the first regard he appears to be doing quite well.

    I feel like at this point, Jeb would be better off if he dropped the charade and ran as an open, proud, Establishment moderate. Voters might respond favorably to his authenticity.

    I thought that was exactly what he’s doing!

    • #14
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:28 AM PST
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  15. Mr. Dart Inactive

    The funniest thing is that she wouldn’t be governor if not for Sarah Palin.

    Nikki was running 5th in a 5 person primary race in 2010. I remember it well because I was supporting her and resigned to the fact that she would lose. Three weeks before the election Sarah Palin came to Columbia and endorsed her. She had already been endorsed by Mitt Romney, Jenny Sanford and a few other notables and the needle had never moved. Palin’s endorsement took her from worst to first. She got 49% in a field of 5 and won her run-off without a sweat.

    Her first term had one hiccup among lots of success. The second term has largely been one of a politician who knows she’ll (likely) never stand before the voters for statewide office again. She’s term limited as Governor, Tim Scott will be Senator as long as he wants to be, and there is no sign that Lindsey Graham is quitting to spend more time with his family.

    • #15
    • January 14, 2016, at 5:32 AM PST
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  16. MoltoVivace Inactive

    It was a remarkably stupid speech.

    She spent the entire time validating Obama’s agenda, lecturing the voters over Republican failures, and telling us to shut up. I’ve never seen something so ridiculous and self-serving in my entire life. I would say the people of South Carolina should be ashamed of themselves for electing this dunce, but I can’t blame them. It would seem that politicians with brains and principles really are rarer than gold.

    I cannot even begin to fathom what was going through her head, and I can’t be bothered to try to explain it anymore. Do you hear the bell, Establishment? It tolls for thee.

    • #16
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:21 AM PST
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  17. Lazy_Millennial Member

    Robert McReynolds:The Party is done. The GOP is a mortally wounded elephant stumbling around looking for a final place to fall. It’s only a matter of time.

    I agree with everything you said until this line. We’re in a much stronger position than we realize. Our divisions, while passionate and deep, are only on a few issues. If Trump or Bush wins the nomination, yes we’re done. But if Rubio or Cruz wins, the contrast with Hillary or Bernie will make the losers “come around” quick.

    Honestly, this election cycle is eerily reminiscent of 2008. The incumbent party has gotten a solid chunk of what they wanted, are pissed, and are campaigning as if they’re not in power. They’re also campaigning in fantasyland. The opposition party, meanwhile, is bitterly divided between candidates, with very few genuine differences over policy. One candidate on the right is going to win the nomination, and hopefully choose the runner-up as his running mate. Assuming it’s not Trump or Bush at the top of the ticket (and assuming Trump doesn’t run 3rd-party), the “losers” will hopefully rally when they realize the fantasy they’re up against.

    • #17
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:30 AM PST
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  18. ctlaw Coolidge

    Franco: In 2008, John McCain, war hero, Senator for life, and self-appointed Republican strategist, sought to balance his ticket by selecting a woman, a governor and a hard-core conservative as his running mate. It energized the base, and it energized the Democrat media, too. It turns out to have been a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time, and they should have known that.

    I’m not so sure about the “turns out to have been a blunder” part. I think, we would have suffered greater downticket losses if McCain had picked the 2008 equivalent of a 1976 Bob Dole and de-energized the base even more than his you have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency speech did.

    • #18
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:33 AM PST
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  19. Franco Member
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ctlaw:

    Franco: In 2008, John McCain, war hero, Senator for life, and self-appointed Republican strategist, sought to balance his ticket by selecting a woman, a governor and a hard-core conservative as his running mate. It energized the base, and it energized the Democrat media, too. It turns out to have been a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time, and they should have known that.

    I’m not so sure about the “turns out to have been a blunder” part. I think, we would have suffered greater downticket losses if McCain had picked the 2008 equivalent of a 1976 Bob Dole and de-energized the base even more than his you have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency speech did.

    But McCain’s goal was to win the Presidency, right? He needed the base to win. The downticket races was a nice booby prize but it was inadvertent. Unless he had already thought/realized he was going to lose anyway.

    And by now, the downticket argument is moot, seeing how they have performed as a majority.

    • #19
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:44 AM PST
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  20. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    I reminded me of Chris Christie’s ‘My Mother Loves Me’ keynote speech at the last convention, in both cases the speaker’s JOB was to eviscerate the Democrats and instead we saw some horrible cross between ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ . Was there a deck of cards backstage?

    ‘Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human bring I’ve ever known in my life.’

    • #20
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:44 AM PST
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  21. ctlaw Coolidge

    Franco:

    ctlaw:

    Franco: In 2008, John McCain, war hero, Senator for life, and self-appointed Republican strategist, sought to balance his ticket by selecting a woman, a governor and a hard-core conservative as his running mate. It energized the base, and it energized the Democrat media, too. It turns out to have been a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time, and they should have known that.

    I’m not so sure about the “turns out to have been a blunder” part. I think, we would have suffered greater downticket losses if McCain had picked the 2008 equivalent of a 1976 Bob Dole and de-energized the base even more than his you have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency speech did.

    But McCain’s goal was to win the Presidency, right? He needed the base to win. The downticket races was a nice booby prize but it was inadvertent. Unless he had already thought/realized he was going to lose anyway.

    And by now, the downticket argument is moot, seeing how they have performed as a majority.

    Sarah Palin did not cost McCain the presidency or even harm his electoral result. The only way one can get around that is in a fantasy word where McCain was so conservative that he energized the base all by himself and could then afford to pick 2008’s equivalent of a 1980 GHWB. Only in that world, could you say that a Palin was a detriment.

    • #21
    • January 14, 2016, at 6:58 AM PST
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  22. Franco Member
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wow. My writing is so much better when I’m promoted to the main feed. Thanks !

    • #22
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:03 AM PST
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  23. Mr. Dart Inactive

    ctlaw:Sarah Palin did not cost McCain the presidency or even harm his electoral result. The only way one can get around that is in a fantasy word where McCain was so conservative that he energized the base all by himself and could then afford to pick 2008’s equivalent of a 1980 GHWB. Only in that world, could you say that a Palin was a detriment.

    I know several people, including a lifelong Democrat, who only voted for McCain because of Sarah Palin. Nobody has ever told me they would have voted for McCain but didn’t because of his VP choice. Purely anecdotal evidence, of course, but true as far as it goes.

    • #23
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:15 AM PST
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  24. Johnny Dubya Member

    It turned out to be a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign, largely because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time and they should have known that.

    If Sarah Palin was “not ready for prime-time”, then neither is Donald Trump. Aside from their resumes, I see more similarities between Palin and Trump than differences, certainly with regard to style. They both:

    • Are addicted to media attention,
    • have tabloid-worthy personal lives,
    • speak in a way that makes them at least appear to be shallow thinkers,
    • say outrageous things,
    • insult their opponents, and
    • relish being politically incorrect.
    • #24
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:23 AM PST
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  25. Mate De Inactive

    Johnny Dubya:

    If Sarah Palin was “not ready for prime-time”, then neither is Donald Trump. Aside from their resumes, I see more similarities between Palin and Trump than differences, certainly with regard to style. They both are addicted to media attention, have tabloid-worthy personal lives, and enjoy being politically incorrect, saying outrageous things, and insulting their opponents.

    Sarah Palin was a largly unknown governor when she was selected for the Vice-Presidential ticket, all the reality show and Fox News punditry came after the fact when she decided to capitalize on her noterity and I don’t blame her either.

    • #25
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:38 AM PST
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  26. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Franco: If either Bush, Gov. Chris Christie, or Sen. Marco Rubio get the nomination, he will need to select a running mate who can unify the party and energize the base (good luck with that). Haley has just disqualified herself from that role and, thus, the job.

    I would agree that she disqualified herself from that role, but not necessarily from the job.

    If Bush gets the nomination (really big If) I do not expect him to try to throw a bone to conservatives. His message to the Right will be “Hey, I’m more conservative than Hillary so you have to vote for me.” He could look at Haley’s skin color and sex and think, “This will show everyone that I am not like those racist, sexist Tea Party types”.

    • #26
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:52 AM PST
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  27. Mate De Inactive

    You know what these more establishment types need to do, stop looking at polls and reading various op-eds from journalists or listening to pundits from urban areas. Go find a legion hall, some trucker diner, church hall pot luck dinner or something like that. Make no announcements, bring NO media, no lackeys or yes men. Just go and talk to regular folks. Normal average americans and get their take on what direction the country is going. Maybe then they will understand, why the base is so ticked at them and why they are supporting Trump or Cruz. Maybe then they will get it.

    • #27
    • January 14, 2016, at 7:59 AM PST
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  28. Ontheleftcoast Member

    I have a certain sympathy for McCain. Not much sympathy, but a certain sympathy. He’s an old guy and he’s not physically vigorous, with limitations from the torture he was subjected to.

    His VP options were:

    • another old geezer (too risky, the VP’s job is to be on deck if the President is unable to serve)
    • a vigorous younger man (but then every time they’re together on a platform or on screen the subconscious message is McCain is the lesser man)
    • an attractive, vigorous younger woman (because an old man needs power to get the hot young women, so the subconscious message of McCain together with a younger woman is “McCain is powerful”)

    Combine that with the desideratum that the VP should be a governor because McCain has been at the Senate trough for decades, and there weren’t too many choices.

    But once he had chosen Palin and realized he hadn’t made a good choice, it was despicable to throw her under the bus the way he did.

    • #28
    • January 14, 2016, at 8:00 AM PST
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  29. TG Thatcher

    Ontheleftcoast: ” … an attractive, vigorous younger woman (because an old man needs power to get the hot young women, so the subconscious message of McCain together with a younger woman is “McCain is powerful”)”

    I hadn’t consciously noticed that – but you’re right. (I feel silly for missing, then, what’s now so obvious).

    • #29
    • January 14, 2016, at 8:10 AM PST
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  30. ctlaw Coolidge

    Mr. Dart:

    ctlaw:Sarah Palin did not cost McCain the presidency or even harm his electoral result. The only way one can get around that is in a fantasy word where McCain was so conservative that he energized the base all by himself and could then afford to pick 2008’s equivalent of a 1980 GHWB. Only in that world, could you say that a Palin was a detriment.

    I know several people, including a lifelong Democrat, who only voted for McCain because of Sarah Palin. Nobody has ever told me they would have voted for McCain but didn’t because of his VP choice. Purely anecdotal evidence, of course, but true as far as it goes.

    I love it.

    This shows what different social circles we travel in. In the circle of my morally superior, self-described moderate/independent, acquaintances, many say the reason they did not vote for McCain was Palin. They are all lying. A couple of them probably would have voted for McCain-Lieberman, but that’s about it.

    The Palin canard is a hindsight justification to avoid taking responsibility for what their beloved Obama did.

    I know nobody who voted for McCain due to Palin. The closest was me and I would have voted for him anyway.

    • #30
    • January 14, 2016, at 8:13 AM PST
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