Home Politics Watching the Tail of ‘Haley’s Comet,’ and More – “The Sunday Political Brunch” December 17, 2023

Watching the Tail of ‘Haley’s Comet,’ and More – “The Sunday Political Brunch” December 17, 2023

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Watching the Tail of ‘Haley’s Comet,’ and More – “The Sunday Political Brunch” December 17, 2023


Sunday, December 17, 2023

 

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Nikki Haley PHOTO: File

Another interesting week in the world of politics. We like to talk about the rising stars in politics, and the fading sunsets of political careers. But what about a fast-moving comet?  Let’s “brunch” on that this week.

 

“Who Can Actually Beat Biden?” – A recent poll adds credence to one of the leading political theories these days. I have said often of late that former Gov. Nikki Haley (R) South Carolina would be former president Donald Trump’s running mate, should he again win the GOP nomination. The Messenger-Harris Poll has Haley beating President Joe Biden by four points if she were the Republican nominee. The same poll has Trump beating Biden by seven points. If you pair the two Republicans that polls say can both beat Biden, you may have the winning ticket for 2024.

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“So, What Are Haley’s Assets?” – Presidential tickets have historically been about ideological and geographic balance. In 1960 you had what they coined, “The Boston-Austin Axis.” The liberal Northeaster Sen. John Kennedy (D) Massachusetts, with the more moderate-to-conservative Southern Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D) Texas. In 1980 you had the more conservative Gov. Ronald Reagan (R) California with the more moderate Massachusetts native George H.W. Bush, who was an Ivy League blueblood with a long resume in government. In both cases, the partners clashed in the primaries (and never really liked each other), but “kissed and made up” for a November win. It’s a constant pattern in American politics. Yes, Trump can win the deep South without her, but Haley can help him elsewhere.

 

“What’s Haley’s ‘Added-Value?’” – She’s a woman. She’s a minority, Asian American. She’s a business owner. She has legislative experience as a member of the South Carolina House, and executive experience in two terms as governor. And she has solid foreign policy experience as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She’s a daughter of immigrants, she’s a mom, and a wife, and just as the saying goes, she “checks a lot of boxes.” She is more moderate and more independent than Trump. They have been allies at times and at odds at other times. She chastised Trump for January 6th, but during a debate in August 2023, she said she would support Trump as the Republican nominee even if he was convicted of crimes. Polling indicates she is popular among suburban women, a key voter block that could determine who wins key swing states. I predict Nikki Haley will be the first female U.S. president. When? Someday.

 

“How Are Things Trending?” – The “trending” question has almost become cliché in the world of politics and commercial marketing as well. But it’s a “real deal” phenomenon in the fields of politics, sports, dining out, or hit music. Another word for it is simply, momentum. Nikki Haley got even more juice this week when Gov. Chris Sununu (R) New Hampshire endorsed her in that state’s bellwether “first in the nation” primary on January 23rd.  The Sununu name in New Hampshire is like the Kennedy name in Massachusetts, and Bush in Texas, as it represents multi-generational politics. Chris’s dad is former Gov. John H. Sununu, who also was White House Chief of Staff. His brother John E. Sununu served in the U.S. House and Senate. Haley has gone from 6 percent in New Hampshire in July, to 18 percent today and is solidly in second place now behind Trump, albeit by 26 points.

 

“Biden House Impeachment Inquiry Vote” – Along mostly party lines, the U.S. House voted Wednesday to authorize an investigation into an impeachment inquiry of President Biden. This all stems from whether presidential son Hunter Biden got preferential foreign business deals when his dad was vice-president. You’d be hard-pressed to believe that the same last name did not hurt the younger Biden from getting lucrative foreign deals, but whether his dad actually “put a finger on the scale” to make deals tip Hunter’s way remains the central question. As I always say, politics is as much about math as it is about ideology. Yes, in theory, House Republicans have the votes to impeach Biden. But, in the Senate, there are 49 Republicans to 48 Democrats (with three independents who caucus with Democrats). You need 67 votes to convict and expel a president and the math is not there to make it happen. The idea though is to damage Biden at the polls in November 2024.

 

“Trump Gag Order to U.S. Supreme Court” – Donald Trump is making a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether a federal gag order against him is enforceable in one of his criminal proceedings. Trump, who has called the various court filings against him a “political witch hunt” and that his inability to respond violates his right to “political free speech.” This will be fast-tracked by the high court which has a 6-3 Republican appointee majority, half of whom were appointed by Trump. Will they make a ruling based on the “rule of law” or will they be flexed by partisan political pressure? Oh, to be a fly on the wall during their internal debates! Special Counsel Jack Smith is also asking the Supreme court to fast-track Trump’s legal claim of immunity for actions he took while in office. Of course, the big legal question this week is where will Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani find the $148 million dollars to pay two poll workers a court  says he defamed in Georgia?

 

“A New York State of Mind” – This week the New York State Supreme Court ordered the legislature to redraw the state’s Congressional District Map. So, you say, “New York’s a ‘Blue State,’ what’s the big deal anyway?” Well, there are a couple of marginal “swing” districts in the state that are currently held by Republicans, which could flip Democrat. One is in Upstate New York, and another is the Long Island seat that was held by now expelled Rep. George Santos (R) New York. Remember that nationwide, all Democrats have to do is flip five House seats in 2024, and the Speaker’s gavel turns blue. This is a big development.

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the seven Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and the entire Washington, DC media market. He is also a MINDSETTER™ contributing political writer and analyst for www.GoLocalProv.com and its affiliates.


 

 

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