A Never Again Trumper’s Take on Haley’s Event

Nikki Haley thanks Virginia campaign chair Susan Allen for her introduction this afternoon.

By Steve Haner

We’ve already voted, but my wife and I were in the Henrico County crowd today to hear Nikki Haley make her case for support in Tuesday’s Virginia GOP primary. Early voting continues through Saturday, but if you wait until Tuesday and come to Henrico’s Maybeury Elementary, I’ll be there asking which ballot you want. Identify yourself as a reader and I may sneak you two….

Remember, it is an open primary. No party registration is required, a fact that clearly irritates former President Donald Trump. He whined about it on WRVA this morning as he was interviewed by adoring host John Reid. But isn’t the point picking a candidate who can win in the general election, not just a party primary? Independents decide elections.

Here is Richmond’s NBC 12’s story, including Haley’s full speech. I had to search on the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s website to find this story on today, but later saw it also had speech excerpts posted.

The ballroom the campaign used was well-chosen and packed, perhaps 400 supporters (and 50 press). Considering it was 1 p.m. on a work/school day with little notice, it was a strong turnout. And she has a good stump speech. She doesn’t get the crowd roaring like the other guy. But it was a very cogent, powerful argument, focused on issues and electability, equally targeting President Joe Biden and Trump.

She made lots of mentions of her husband since the Motormouth in Chief chose to mock her husband’s National Guard deployment. Being from a service family, that was a huge turnoff for me, just as was his insult eight years ago to John McCain. Deep down, Trump thinks those in the military are chumps  Nobody in his family ever wasted time on that endeavor.

I like how Haley addresses the abortion issue. It is now a state issue, she said, and we have to let the states go in the direction their voters want. But there should be no punishment for women who make that choice, no punishment for doctors who do abortions or who refuse them, no restrictions on contraception; and both her children were conceived with fertilization treatments, so she won’t be restricting that either. I can see that message working in November.

She correctly pointed out that the Senate probably will never have the 60 votes for a firm federal policy either way, pro or con. I appreciated her line about how we need to stop demonizing the other side and start humanizing the issue, but the partisans on both sides of this issue won’t lose their bile. Hate is addictive.

Is she on an impossible mission? Trump is afraid of Haley’s potential strength in parts of Virginia. He should be. Right after Haley announced she was coming to Richmond, the Trump campaign quickly arranged a visit for him Saturday night. Being Saturday at the Convention Center, he’ll have a great crowd, and the Antifa mob on the street will play right into his messaging. But we know who they want to see the Republicans nominate so they can win easier.

And to further steal Haley’s spotlight, Trump called into John Reid’s WRVA morning show today. That segment not being enough, a campaign staffer then got another crack at the mike for 20 minutes or so in the next hour. For an incumbent who has received more press coverage than any candidate in history, his numbers so far show real weakness, LBJ in 1968 level weakness.

Reid is giving Haley airtime tomorrow in the 8 a.m. segment.

The assumption that all Haley’s voters will end up pulling the lever for Trump in November is wishful thinking. I will not. I will not vote for Biden, who is wrong on just about every major policy and is not fit to do the job anymore due to age. If there is a third choice who is not a liberal, that person I will consider. Joe Manchin had my attention, the anti-vax fanatic Robert Kennedy does not.

The reasons for disliking Trump are numerous, but I will say this about him. He tells you what he will do and then does it, whether you like the idea or not. If he is talking about massive new tariffs and a wave of protectionism in a second term, expect it. If he is saying he will ignore the coming crisis in Medicare and Social Security and just punt again, expect that too. Past results are an indication of future performance. Ukraine will be toast (and to be fair, so will Gaza).

Which brings us to January 6. Somebody send this on to John Reid, who just doesn’t understand why so many of us are Never Again Trumpers. What Trump did on January 6, 2021 (and he remains proud and unrepentant) he will do again in a heartbeat if he thinks it will work. Had Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi died that day, all Trump would have cared about is that the certification votes were prevented. He set the whole thing up and cheered it on until it clearly had failed.

Then he told the mob to go home, and it did. Like a switch flipping. He was in charge. Period. He will do it again if given a chance. Past results are an indication – perhaps a guarantee – of future performance. He will have pardoned his loyal troops, and they will be standing by their Truth Social accounts. They need to stay in jail, and in my perfect world, the Antifa mobsters would still be serving their 2020 terms in the next cells.

So no, not with my vote he won’t. Nor will he get my money to pay his fines and lawyers, which I consider the actual reason he is running. See you Tuesday. Wear a “Banned Permanently” shirt if you have one. I couldn’t get one today.