Would a Haley endorsement be helpful in 2016?

Forgot to pass this on yesterday…

The Washington Post writes that Nikki Haley, while committing to no one, seems likely to support Jeb Bush in 2016:

Back in 2010, when the governor of South Carolina was merely “Nikki Who?,” running behind in a four-person Republican primary with her top supporter mired in scandal, Jeb Bush gave her some advice.

“Everything had blown up and I was trying to figure out what to do,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview Saturday with reporters from The Washington Post. “I just asked what he thought I should do, and he said, ‘You know, consultants are going to tell you to stay on the phone and raise money. But what I’ll tell you is go out and touch every hand you can.'”

Haley followed Bush’s counsel, and the rest is history. Later that year, after she was elected, she called Bush, a former Florida governor, for advice on setting up an administration. Then when she tackled education reform, she called again. “Can you save me a couple of steps?” Haley recalled asking Bush. “He said, ‘If you do anything, make sure your kids can read.'”

Now it’s Bush who will be seeking Haley’s help. As he weighs a run for president in 2016, South Carolina is poised to again be the first primary in the South, and Haley figures to be one of the state’s prized endorsers.

In the interview, Haley said she has no plans yet to back any candidate. “I think what I’ll do is watch,” she said. But Haley was particularly complimentary of the governors in the emerging field, including Bush….

Our governor backed the Establishment candidate last time around, and it didn’t turn out so well — which MAY have had something to do with her support.

While I was worried that something weird was in the air, when I had to get up in front of a bunch of people in Key West and predict what was going to happen in the 2012 SC primary, I said SC would do what it always does, and back Mitt Romney (the closest thing we had to a Bush in that contest).

Well, I missed it, which may be why I haven’t been invited back to speak to that particular group since then.

South Carolina did something I had not seen it do in the past six election cycles, that is to say, the ones I had been in position to observe closely: It went with a red-meat-throwing insurgent rather than the Establishment guy.

Before that happened, I had noticed that an unusually large number of leading GOP figures had been lining up behind Newt Gingrich. When I asked one of them, after the vote, how that happened, he gave me a number of reasons for it. And one of them was that a number of top Republicans didn’t want to see the governor be “queen of the May,” reflecting in glory from having her guy win.

All of that said, I think the ground has shifted since then. More Republicans than ever seem reconciled to having Nikki Haley as their leader, and most profess to like the situation. And some of her greatest detractors — think Bobby Harrell — are gone from the scene.

So I’m thinking the Haley endorsement might be a good thing to have this time…

9 thoughts on “Would a Haley endorsement be helpful in 2016?

  1. Doug Ross

    SC didn’t back Romney because he’s a Mormon and a pseudo-Yankee. South Carolinians are dumb like that. Jeb won’t carry that “baggage”. Haley will read the tea leaves and see who has the best chance of winning nationally to increase her slim chances of being on the ticket.

    I seriously hope the nation is tired of the Bush family. W is hopefully enough of an anchor to drag Jev down and leave things open for some new blood. Paul or Walker would be a good start. Christie is DOA like Guiliani was.

  2. bud

    Rand Paul is mostly a hapless re-tread of his dad. He’s racking up some baggage of his own with the plagiarism and comments about the civil rights act. He does have a strong following among the Ayn Rand crowd though.

    I have to say Walker should be attractive to the mindset of your typical GOP voter with his union busting record and adamant refusal to say anything about evolution or global warming. To acknowledge either is probably the kiss of death with Republican voters. Could hurt in the general though.

    Bush does have the name problem. Or perhaps it’s not really a problem at all. Since Republicans tend to vote for the guy whose turn is next that name could be the devise to claim that mantel. Perhaps a Haley endorsement would give him the necessary nudge to win in SC and eventually move forward. Right now I’d have to have him as the favorite.

    Hard to imagine how Christie can overcome his Samsonite outlet full of baggage. His performance so far suggests he doesn’t really want it.

    As the runner up in 2012 Santorum could be a formidable candidate. He would have to battle it out with Mike Huckabee for the theocrat vote, a faction that is probably smaller than it was in the past.

    Then we have all the various flavors of objectivist/libertarian candidates: Ben Carson, Rick Perry, etc. (already mentioned Paul) These folks have little chance in the long run lacking the deep pockets of the plutocrats and to a lessor extent the theocrats.

    Then we have the lone wolf among the imperialists, Lindsey Graham. This faction seems to be in decline as the GOP’s OL wing grows in numbers and influence. Graham is likely to be among the first out once he opens his mouth to a war-weary nation about still more foreign mis-adventures.

    This is an extraordinarily weak bunch, all with more weaknesses than strength. But I’ll offer the first of the bud odds which everyone has been eagerly waiting 🙂

    Bush – 15%
    Walker – 12%
    Paul – 10%
    Santorum – 10%
    Christie -8%
    Huckabee 8%
    Perry -5%
    Graham -4%
    All others -17%

      1. Juan Caruso

        Bud omits Lindsey Graham. Does he know something we do not, or does he not know something we suspect?

        As to a Nikki endorsement of Jeb, it is inconsequential beside a Bush family history that still includes “Read my lips: no new taxes.”

        Yet, a Haley endorsement could easily sway some of an estimated 100,000 voting-age Sikhs now resident in the U.S.

          1. Juan Caruso

            Mea culpa! What I learned from this error:

            Graham was subconsciously deleted as a “does not belong” in this list.

            In deference to Bud’s summation that “This is an extraordinarily weak bunch, all with more weaknesses than strength.”, Public Policy Polling revealed yesterday:

            “Republican voters nationally actually have one elected official they like better than any of their potential choices for President- Benjamin Netanyahu has a 57% favorability rating. Huckabee at 56%, Carson at 54%, and Walker at 51% come closest but none of them are liked by as many voters in their party base as the Israeli Prime Minister.” –

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