Why Trump should share his presidential ticket with Haley

Why Trump should share his presidential ticket with Haley

Why Trump should share his presidential ticket with Haley
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the Hudson Institute in Washington, May 22, 2024. (AP)
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Former South Carolina governor and one-time Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has once again captured the nation’s attention with her announcement last week that she would be voting for former President Donald Trump in the November election.
This revelation at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington marked a significant development in Haley’s political journey since she exited the race for the Republican nomination in March. Her decision reflects a broader narrative about party loyalty, policy priorities and the complex dynamics of intraparty relationships.
At the conservative think tank, Haley said: “As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who’s going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account, who would secure the border, no more excuses. A president who would support capitalism and freedom, a president who understands we need less debt, not more debt.” Despite their contentious past, this statement provided a framework for understanding her decision to endorse Trump.
Haley’s shy endorsement of Trump was not without its reservations. When she ended her presidential bid, she notably refrained from endorsing Trump outright, instead challenging him to earn the votes of those within the Republican Party and beyond who were skeptical of his leadership. “Trump has not been perfect on these policies, I have made that clear many, many times, but (President Joe) Biden has been a catastrophe,” Haley remarked, encapsulating her pragmatic approach to the 2024 election.
Her remarks highlight a critical aspect of contemporary American politics: the balancing act between personal convictions and party loyalty. For Haley, supporting Trump is a strategic choice driven by her broader policy goals and the perceived failures of the current administration.
Haley’s journey in the GOP race was marked by increasing tensions with Trump. As the last significant contender against him, Haley did not shy away from criticizing the former president. In the final weeks of her campaign, she ramped up her attacks, describing Trump as “a disaster” for the Republican Party. Such criticisms underscored her commitment to her policy priorities and her willingness to challenge the status quo within her party. Despite the fierce rivalry, Haley’s eventual decision to partially endorse Trump underscores the often-pragmatic nature of political alliances. Her support is rooted in a broader assessment of policy alignment and the strategic imperatives of party unity as the GOP prepares for the general election.
Haley’s position is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it signals a consolidation of support within the Republican Party, which is crucial for presenting a united front against the Democratic incumbent. Secondly, it reflects the ongoing negotiations within the party between Trump loyalists and those who are more critical of his tenure but still align with broader GOP principles.
Her position also highlights the challenges Republican leaders face in navigating the complex terrain of Trump-era politics. Balancing personal convictions with the strategic need to support the party’s nominee is a delicate task and Haley’s decision is emblematic of this broader struggle.
In the high-stakes world of political campaigns, intraparty rivalries can become as intense as the battles against the opposition. When two candidates from the same party vie for the nomination, the dynamics often shift from camaraderie to confrontation and then back to reconciliation afterward.
Candidates tend to highlight their unique positions on policy issues to stand out, emphasizing ideological differences and visions for the party’s future. They demonstrate resilience and readiness for the general election by demonstrating the ability to withstand and respond to attacks. Critiquing rivals’ weaknesses helps sway undecided voters and solidify their own support base by drawing contrasts. 

Haley’s decision to partially endorse Trump underscores the often-pragmatic nature of political alliances.

Dalia Al-Aqidi

Once the primary race concludes and a candidate secures the nomination, the focus shifts to party unity. The losing candidate typically publicly endorses the nominee, signaling for their supporters to rally behind the party’s chosen leader. Emphasizing common ground and shared values, they reaffirm their commitment to the party’s broader mission. Participation in the winner’s campaign through joint appearances and fundraising helps mobilize supporters and strengthen the nominee’s position. Private meetings to resolve lingering tensions foster mutual respect and understanding.
A notable example is the 2008 Democratic primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. After a fiercely contested race, the defeated Clinton endorsed Obama and became a vital supporter, even serving as secretary of state in his administration. This transition from adversaries to collaborators was pivotal in consolidating party support and achieving electoral success.
Intraparty rivalries clarify positions, test resilience and prepare candidates for the general election. The shift toward unity through endorsements, shared goals and active support demonstrates the party’s strength and cohesion, ensuring resilience against external challenges.
In his first public comments following Haley’s statement, Trump warmly welcomed his former rival, acknowledging the shared vision that now unites them. On Thursday, Trump said: “Nikki and I share the same ideas and the same thoughts. We had a nasty campaign; it was pretty nasty. But she’s a very capable person and I’m sure she’s going to be on our team in some form. Absolutely.”
Trump’s acknowledgment of the “nasty” campaign reminds the public of the intensity of their previous rivalry. Yet, his affirmation of Haley’s competence and potential role within his team highlights the pragmatic side of political alliances. This gesture is about reconciling with a former opponent and harnessing their skills and influence to strengthen the party’s position.
But what role could Haley play?
While Trump faces crucial decisions about his campaign team, the former US ambassador to the UN is a compelling choice as his running mate for several reasons. Her diverse background and experience can attract minority communities and women, expanding the Republican base and appealing to swing voters. Haley’s tenure as governor and UN ambassador showcases her strong executive and diplomatic skills, complementing Trump’s experience and creating a balanced team.
She also shares Trump’s views on national defense, secure borders, economic freedom and pro-business policies, ensuring a unified policy platform. Her experience on the national stage and communication skills make her an effective campaigner. She can connect with diverse audiences and advocate for conservative values.
Most importantly, Haley’s pragmatic style resonates with independents and moderates, bridging the gap between the party’s base and the broader electorate, which is crucial for winning battleground states.
Choosing Haley would symbolize a bridge-building effort, fostering greater cohesion within the Republican ranks and presenting a united front to voters. She represents the future of the GOP, positioning the party for long-term success and ensuring it remains vibrant and forward-looking.
Haley is a strong candidate for vice president and her selection would enhance party unity, while positioning the GOP for future success. This all makes a compelling case for her inclusion as Trump’s running mate.

Dalia Al-Aqidi is executive director at the American Center for Counter Extremism.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view