Haley 'might consider' DeSantis as her VP


The Iowa caucus is only a little more than a week away and you can almost smell the desperation in the air among all of the GOP hopefuls who don’t have a last name that rhymes with “thump.” But you have to give them credit for hanging in there and continuing to swing for the fences. In one of the latest examples, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley gave an interview to NBC News and the Des Moines Register yesterday. She remained upbeat and optimistic about her chances, but there was a curious moment when she was asked if she would consider Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as her running mate. She went as far as offering a definite “maybe” under certain conditions but insisted that her plan is to beat Donald Trump on her own, and if DeSantis wanted to come along for the ride, she would “welcome that.” The latest polling strongly suggests that this is a purely hypothetical scenario, however.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said she would “maybe” consider Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as her running mate, saying, “If he wants to join forces with me, I welcome that,” in a joint interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register on Friday.

Haley’s comments come as the two Republican presidential candidates have been trading attacks on the campaign trail as they seek to become the primary alternative to former President Donald Trump, who has maintained a wide lead in the polls.

“I am going to defeat Donald Trump on my own. That’s the goal that we have. If he wants to join forces with me, I welcome that,” Haley said when asked about the prospect of joining forces with DeSantis to beat Trump. “But right now, we’ve got a race that we feel good about. We’ve got a surge. We’ve got momentum.”

It’s worth noting that DeSantis sat down for a similar interview the previous day. He was similarly asked if he would consider joining forces with Nikki Haley. His blunt response was, “For what?” So if nothing else, Haley is currently being the more gracious of the two I suppose.

Is any of this going to matter in the end? I still respect the right of all of these hopefuls to make their case and vie for the nomination, but Donald Trump still seems to be sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. The latest polling has him at 52 in Iowa. In other words, assuming those numbers hold up, even if Haley and DeSantis teamed up and every one of their followers came along, they would still lose. They would pick up some delegates along the way and things can always change as the race plays out, but it would be a long-shot score for the ages if it happened.

We’ve recently heard some of the usual 11th-hour optimism from the non-Trump contenders. Ramaswamy claims that the polls are way off and he’s going to pull off an upset. Haley insists she is surging and that she has momentum. DeSantis keeps hoping that voters are about to wake up and see that he’s the most electable candidate. It’s true that the polls do get things wrong sometimes. But we’ve never seen them get it this wrong if one of those three winds up winning in Iowa.

I can understand why Haley and DeSantis are talking the way they are. Ramaswamy too, for that matter. Nobody wants to look like they’re playing for second place or carving out a space to be the running mate. (Even if that’s really what they’re doing.) Both of these contenders have strong cases to make and would likely be in a tight contest if Donald Trump had simply decided to go home and wash his hands of politics. Haley has legislative and gubernatorial experience, along with some foreign policy credentials from her time at the UN. DeSantis has one of the more successful records of any current governor to point to.

But none of that seems to have put a dent in Donald Trump’s lead in any noticeable way. And he’s not just leading in Iowa. He’s just shy of 50 in New Hampshire and he’s above 50 in South Carolina. Unless those numbers change radically, it’s difficult to see how Haley justifies staying in the race if she can’t even close in on Trump in her own home state. Trump is trouncing DeSantis in Florida at 60 as well, so the same question applies. But who knows? I’ve been wrong before. Let’s let the voters of Iowa have their say and then we’ll circle back and see where things stand.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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