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Politics GOP 2024 hopefuls walk a fine line with Trump

14:55  08 october  2021
14:55  08 october  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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In the post-Trump era, there is little room for criticism of the former president by members of the GOP. Nearly a year after the election, too many in the party still believe he was robbed of a second term. This delusion isn't just held by some supporters, but the man himself. And because of it, GOP hopefuls who seek office must walk a fine line.

  GOP 2024 hopefuls walk a fine line with Trump © Provided by Washington Examiner

Nikki Haley has been a well-respected politician for decades. As a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and then the state's governor, she has maintained a level of decency and poise that others lack. During the Trump administration, she gracefully took on the role of ambassador to the United Nations. While others in the Trump team beclowned themselves on a daily basis, Haley stuck to her job and did it well. But being so closely tied to President Donald Trump created a problem then, and now, for Haley.

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In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Haley said of her former boss, "He has a strong legacy from his administration. He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don't want us to go back to the days before Trump."

These assertions are disappointing, to say the least. For a long while, Haley existed as a constant voice of reason. Now, it appears as though she is merely playing the game for political leverage. With her sights set on 2024 and beyond, Haley is positioning herself to look politically attractive to GOP voters. These voters either support Trump outright or at least look favorably upon his influence.

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But Haley's effusive praise of Trump contradicts earlier statements. In the wake of the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, Haley told a room of Republicans, "President Trump has not always chosen the right words. He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history."

Haley, often so competent and measured, looks more like a political chameleon than ever. There may be a lot she can personally thank Trump for, but treating him as the future of the GOP ignores the recent past and present. Trump's unexpected rise to power didn't give way to a second term. This was due, in large part, to his own sabotage. More than that, his own conspiracy theories about election results helped Republicans lose in the Georgia runoffs. The wider Trump effect meant the GOP lost Congress and the White House. This can't be the future Haley wants. The only explanation for her insistence that the party include Trump is her desire for more political power.

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President Joe Biden has only been in office for nine months. His "progressive" vision for the country is already a disaster on many levels. This means the GOP should be serious about 2024. That requires looking to the future, not the past. Sure, Trump may still be on the scene in some capacity, but he should not be the template for any kind of personal or electoral behavior. His popularity should not override the damage he has done to the party and its reputation. 2024 contenders will have to decide how to approach his legacy and what doing so will mean for their own chances.

To navigate the future successfully, Republicans must close the Trump chapter, once and for all. This means growing pains. Ultimately, moving past Trump will make the party more attractive to voters of all stripes who grew tired of the nonsense.

Haley's elevated political aspirations should not overshadow her history of effective leadership and common sense. Republicans should want her style of leadership and personal character. It would be best for her and the GOP if they thank Trump for his service and move on. But that may be asking too much of a short-sighted party that's still reeling from loss.

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Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog and a columnist at Arc Digital.

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, 2024 Elections

Original Author: Kimberly Ross

Original Location: GOP 2024 hopefuls walk a fine line with Trump

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usr: 0
This is interesting!