While today’s news was dominated by the bombshell report that Donald Trump’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might either be fired or resigning, another major discovery made headlines as well.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin reported that there may be one Republican who could challenge Trump in 2020, and it’s someone from his own cabinet – U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Rubin wrote:
She might start planning ahead just in case Republicans come knocking on her door looking for a primary challenge to Trump in 2020 (if he’s still in office). In the near term, she should get ready to quit. She has maneuvered for nearly two years with hardly a political scratch, outlasting numerous Cabinet officials.”
Rubin stated that Haley’s ability to make statements that appeal to both Trump’s fanbase and his critics could give her an edge that the president can’t compete with. One example of this was Haley’s comments on Face the Nation yesterday, when she addressed the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Haley said:
First of all, I think it’s very important that accuser — that accusers are heard and that their story is heard, but I also think the accused needs to be heard.”
In addressing Haley’s talent for appeasing both sides, Rubin wrote:
In some ways, she is the ideal foil for Trump. Trumpists cannot accuse her of being a #NeverTrump heretic, while anti-Trump voices would concede that she did a solid job at the U.N. and didn’t provide cover for Trump’s egregious conduct.
Trump cannot very well criticize her personally or ding her performance, which he has regularly praised. Trumpists are some of her biggest fans. She can, however, signal that she wants to turn the page on Trumpism, returning to Republicans’ free trade, pro-immigration, saner traditions.”
Rubin also pointed out that Haley has kept a respectable distance from Trump – remaining close enough to give him advice yet far enough to fact-check him and position herself as a more credible player in his administration. Rubin said:
Haley has had the advantage of physical distance from President Trump. She has also let anyone who will listen know that she stands up to her boss.”
If Rubin’s right about Haley and she decides to run, Trump could be in big trouble.
Featured image via screen capture