Nikki Haley to launch 2024 presidential campaign on February 15

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce her candidacy for president next month, according to multiple reports. 

Multiple outlets reported on Tuesday that Haley, who is also a former Republican governor of South Carolina, will declare she is running on Feb. 15, which could make her the first official challenger to former President Trump for the GOP nomination. 

The Post and Courier, which was the first to cover the news, reported that an invitation to an event for her announcement will soon be sent to her supporters. The event will reportedly happen at the Charleston Visitor Center in the state’s largest city. 

A member of Haley’s inner circle confirmed her plans to The Post and Courier. 

Haley said in an interview on Fox News earlier this month that she would be running to oust President Biden from office and bring in a “young generation” of leaders to Washington, D.C., if she chooses to do so. 

Haley reportedly called Trump during the weekend to tell him that she was considering running for president. 

Haley is one of several former Trump administration officials who may jump in the race, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence. 

Recent polls have shown Trump to be a clear favorite in hypothetical GOP primary polls. Haley tied for fourth with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) with 3 percent in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey earlier this month.

Will Trump start attacking her now, as he is doing to DeSantis, or will he wait a bit and let her get past her formal announcement?

What Haley’s announcement will do is open up the field of candidates. Right now, Republicans who are considering a run are hanging back. No one has wanted to be the first one in the pool battling Trump. Haley, though, is confidently saying that she has never lost an election and doesn’t plan to start now. Haley was a member of the Trump administration as the ambassador to the United Nations where she did a good job of promoting Trump’s America First agenda.

The long knives are out for Nikki Haley from others. Mike Pompeo, a potential candidate, slams her in his new book for leaving the Trump administration after two years. He and Kellyanne Conway both say she wanted to replace Mike Pence as Trump’s vice-president in 2020.

There are several potential candidates cooling their heels in the background right now. Besides Pompeo, there is Mike Pence, and Ron DeSantis. Tim Scott’s name has been floated, too. That would be a little awkward. Haley appointed Scott as South Carolina’s first Black U.S. senator when she was governor. Haley was the first female governor of South Carolina. Now she has visions of being the first female president. She would also check off the identity box of being a woman of color. We know she will take on criticism because of that, though, because we have already seen it. Progressives trash minorities who are conservatives.

When Haley left the Trump administration and moved back to South Carolina, a non-partisan (wink, wink) group gave Politico an unredacted copy of the 2019 IRS filing for Stand for America, the non-profit advocacy group she founded. The leak was for the purpose of putting the names of Haley’s big donors out for public consumption. That happened last August. It was early opposition research.

It’s still early. There is plenty of time for others to make their decisions. Some real long shots are making noise, like Governor Asa Hutchinson and former Governor Larry Hogan. Also, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu is toying with the idea of running. I like the idea of a former governor in the White House.

The elephant in the room is Ron DeSantis. I feel certain, at this point, that he will run. He’ll wait, though, until after the Florida Legislature finishes its current session. Don’t look for him to declare his candidacy until late April, or May.

In 2021, Haley said she would not run for president if Trump did in 2024. She’ll be asked about that statement a lot now. She told Bret Baier that she has reconsidered because we need the next generation of leaders to move forward. She can point to her phone call with Trump to talk to him about her possible candidacy. He essentially gave her his blessing to run, if she needed that.

I think Trump’s only real competition will be DeSantis. Like I said, it’s very early.

Stay tuned.

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