Nikki Haley -- Three Sentences to Beat Trump
Ambassador Haley Is Nobody's Lunch Meat
“She’s gonna get smoked.” That’s Chris Christie’s off-mic take on Haley’s odds of beating Trump for the nomination.
Christie gained my respect for calling Trump what he is — a traitor to our nation, a traitor to our allies, a traitor to his supporters, and, above all, a traitor to himself.
But Christie is no political soothsayer. No one is. The term upset was first popularized in 1912 when an unknown horse named Upset beat an unbeatable horse named Man-of-War. Political upset is so common, it’s virtually an oxymoron. Trump’s 2016 election was, itself, an upset. So was his 2020 defeat. Or consider Victory in Iowa! It’s a pretty good predictor of political oblivion.
Hence, Christie was mansplaining in declaring Haley “smoked.” Nikki Haley, after all, is poised to make history. Chris Christie, in contrast, is already history. Were Ambassador Haley anyone’s pastrami, she wouldn’t be the one candidate left that can beat Trump. As her debate performances showed, Haley is better equipped to handle barbs from Donald Trump than any of the also rans.
But how can she beat Trump? By repeating three sentences.
“President Trump Has Betrayed Us”
Haley doesn’t need to spell out Trump’s betrayal. She just needs to constantly say those five words. Since everyone voting in the primaries has been betrayed in their own way, everyone will relate.
Trump supporters — You know, Haley’s right. Trump didn’t build a Great Wall. He built a Not-So-Great Wall, which is letting millions in. And Mexico didn’t pay for Trump’s Little Wall. Plus Trump kissed Putin’s ring. And he kissed Kim Yong Un’s ass. He ran up a humongous federal debt. He gave the rich huge tax cuts. He gave us peanuts. He failed to repeal Obamacare. He dishonored John McCain, an extraordinary military hero, when he, himself, dodged the draft. He didn’t stop China’s expansion in the South China Sea. He didn’t stop Iran’s nuclear program. He left our soldiers to die for four years in Afghanistan. He’s now caving on abortion. His storm troopers desecrated the Capital. He wants to be my dictator? The hell with that. Do I want my kids looking up to this person?
Uncommitted Republicans — He’s better than his bark, but, let’s be honest, he’s 77 and about to have his 6th birthday. Teddy Roosevelt said “Talk softly and carry a big stick.” Trump can’t shut up for two minutes and wants to stick it to our allies. Could be a Russian agent. He sent that mob to the capital. They would have strung up Pence and scores of others. Five Capital police — people like us with families — died from his “Stop the Steal” BS. Blood on his hands. Never apologized. Calling these convicted criminals “hostages” when we have real hostages in Gaza? His “wall” is a joke. Ran massive deficits. Covid vaccines were his big triumph, but 300,000 plus died for not using them. Trump’s partly at fault. He waffled on their use. Can’t work with Democrats. May lose to Biden. Far tool old, angry, mean, and nasty. His oval office will likely be rectangular with a small window. Do I want my kids looking up to this person?
Independents — Trump claims he was a better President than Washington and Lincoln? What is this man smoking? Two impeachments, 91 criminal counts, wants to be a dictator, wants retribution, wants to end NATO, will hand Ukraine to Putin and Taiwan to China, over 30,000 documented lies, has surface knowledge about his surface knowledge. Clear and present danger to our democracy and, worse, our national security. Do I want my kids looking up to this person?
“I’m the Only Un-indicted Candidate Running for President.”
Haley’s point spread over Biden is four times that of Trump’s. Plus, half of voters are independent. How likely are they to vote for someone who faces up to seven centuries in jail? Trump’s national security violation court case is scheduled to start May 20th. It could produce 450 years of jail time. His federal election conspiracy case is set for March 4th. It could put him behind bars for 55 years. His Georgia election conspiracy case will being on August 5th. It carries a potential 76.5-year sentence. Then there’s Trump’s 34-count indictment for falsifying New York business documents. That trial is slated to commence on March 25th. It’s not clear how much jail time a conviction would entail. Likely more than four more years. Then there’s Colorado and Maine, who’ve banned him from the ballot for organizing an insurrection.
Haley needn’t cast judgement. She can simply say, “Ask yourself whether we Republicans can win with a candidate facing 700 years in jail. And, no, self-pardoning is not in the cards. So, please, don’t let Trump lose us yet another election. Three straight is enough. A vote for Trump is a vote for Biden. We Need a Winner, Not a Whiner.”
Something of this sort will get even die-hard Trump supporters to realize he’s a lost cause.
“Fixing American Requires Solutions, Not Slogans”
Visit donaldtrump.com. The first thing you read is, "THEY’RE NOT AFTER ME, THEY’RE AFTER YOU …I’M JUST STANDING IN THE WAY!”
Gee, I don’t think the two federal and two state prosecutors are after me. I didn’t store state secrets in unlocked rooms or organize fake electors to steal the election or sit back as people tried to lynch the Vice President. Nor do I recall falsifying New York business records.
The next thing you see is a pop-up window asking for money. No disclosure that it will likely be used to pay his small army of lawyers. Next comes an invitation to join the MAGA movement with various dollar buttons to choose. Close the window and your greeted by ads to buy Trump swag. Finally, we get to what passes for substance in the Trump campaign — five slogans pledging to do what he said he’d do back in 2016 and essentially no specifics.
As for Nikki Haley’s site, it looks like something a 10th grade threw together in an afternoon. And it actually is less substantive than President Trump’s. Haley needs to immediately post two platforms — one covering foreign and one covering domestic policy.
She needs to start with the truth — Our country is in terrible military danger and economic trouble. Haley doesn’t need to provide the answers to each problem. She does need to provide potential answers. And she needs to post potential answers on her website. The only way Haley will get smoked is if she smokes herself — if she doesn’t do her homework to the point where she knows precisely what’s wrong and some very precise ideas on how to fix it.
This is readily done. I just interviewed Stanford economist, Michael Boskin, on Economics Matters — the Podcast. His new co-edited book, Defense Budgeting for a Safer World, has a Who’s Who of defense experts specifying, chapter after chapter, specific steps needed to restore our military. Haley just needs to repost their views on her website.
As for domestic policy, she’s free to crib my book, You’re Hired. It contains my platform when I ran for President as a write-in candidate for President in 2016. The book has remarkably simple fixes for achieving fiscal solvency, transforming and, thereby, saving Social Security, reforming healthcare, fixing taxes for real, ending Wall Street’s heads we win, tails you lose banking system, ending poverty as we know it, equalizing education, and more.
To Sum Up
Haley has a clear shot. But she needs to go after Trump’s soft and massive underbellies — his betrayals, his indictments, and his lack of even cursory knowledge of the issues.