Monday, November 27, 2023

We don't normally give candidates credit for floundering erratically on hot button issues, but the NYT grades Haley on a curve


This recent article provides quite a bit more fodder for critics of the paper's coverage of the third place candidate for the Republican nomination. The first takeaway is that the New York Times is all in, fully committed to giving the former governor the most positive and supportive coverage they can manage, whether it is pumping up political skills or giving space to the most delusionally optimistic of her supporters. (Of course, they did the same with DeSantis and briefly flirted with Ramaswamy, so this may not be a long term relationship.)

 Her ascent in the polls and strong debate performances have raised hopes among Republicans hungering to end the dominance of former President Donald J. Trump that maybe, just maybe, they have found a candidate who can do so.



“There were people that don’t like Trump at all but were very skeptical that he could be stopped,” said Eric Levine, a Republican fund-raiser who leads the bankruptcy and litigation practices at Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis. “They now believe he can be stopped,” he said, pointing to Ms. Haley’s steady climb in the polls.

Mr. Levine, who initially backed Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, is co-hosting a Haley fund-raiser on Dec. 4. “His aura of invincibility is just peeled away completely,” he said.


Maybe we need to zoom in a little...


Polls show that Ms. Haley has gained traction against Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has held the No. 2 spot in national surveys all year. In Iowa, she has pulled nearly even with Mr. DeSantis, even as he has pursued an all-in strategy for that state. In New Hampshire, where she is in second place, she has been nearing 20 percent in polling averages.

Seriously, people...

As ripe for mockery as these sections are, my favorite part of the article was this.

Some business leaders say they appreciate her focus on cutting taxes and government spending. Others praise her foreign-policy chops and her search for a winning Republican message on abortion rights, on which she has sought a moderate path but recently tacked to the right by saying she would have signed a six-week ban as governor of South Carolina.
After the almost impossible task of getting past Donald Trump, probably the biggest challenge faced by a Republican candidate for the presidency is navigating this issue. You can certainly argue that, given a close to no-win scenario, Nikki Haley shouldn't be judged to harshly for some missteps, but framing this as a sign of strength takes wishful thinking into the realm of psychological disorder..

It gets even worse if you click through the link. Haley, who is already dogged by charges of RINOism, managed to hand the Democrats a huge club -- bans are politically toxic; six-week bans are political ricin -- and yet do it in such a weaselly way that it's difficult to imagine she has won over anyone from the culture warrior side. 

By the standards of the GOP race, Haley might be the the most acceptable choice for president, at least among candidates who have broken 5%, but puff pieces and positive thinking are not going to change the facts of the campaign. Barring a major health crisis, incarceration, or flight to avoid extradition, Trump has a virtual lock on the nomination. 

Anyone who is approaching the coming election hoping that this problem will just go away is lying to themselves, and the stakes are far too high for that.


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