Is Nikki Haley the Future of the GOP?

Alexandra Berardelli ’25

As a woman in the unique political scene in the United States, I sometimes find it difficult to keep up with politics and my political voice. More than ever, at least since I’ve been around, women have begun to make their way into higher political offices, with  Kamala Harris driving it home as the first female Vice President of the United States. And so, as a woman trying to make her voice heard in several different spheres, women must be in positions of power for the betterment of the whole state. With the next presidential election less than two years away, it is time for potential nominees to enter the prime-time spotlight and begin the bulk of their campaigns. As the “pre-season” has started, anticipated nominations for the presidency are rolling in. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have several potential candidates, but there is a quickly-popularizing candidate who can potentially lead the GOP in the next election: Nikki Haley. 

Nikki Haley is a name you’ll want to know very well. The 51-year-old politician and mother of two from South Carolina has established herself as a prominent political figure after serving three terms in South Carolina’s House of Representatives, being their first female governor, and serving as the US ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration. Perhaps, her next stop will be the White House. Haley was born to two immigrants from India and began her professional career in accounting after graduating from Clemson University. During her political career thus far, Haley has targeted several policies, some typical views of the Republican party while others are pretty ambiguous to the public. She is not nationally favored on issues concerning immigration reform, abortion laws, and the protection of the second amendment while remaining consistent in education reform and the economy. I see these as weaknesses in her pursuit of national favor in my own beliefs and morals and know that there are plenty of points for criticism from both parties. What is ultimately striking about Haley as a potential candidate is her finesse to work outside the socially-defined boundaries of the Republican party. Despite working under the Trump administration and formerly having close ties with the former president, Haley has openly condemned Trump and his affiliates for the events of Jan. 6. So, through this and other attitudes, like removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina, she has the potential to be the face for the nation. 

Haley claims that she can be a driving force for the future of the United States, being the fresh leader that the US needs to grow stronger. Every election, regardless of size, Americans are looking for a leader who understands Americans, their needs, and how to go above and beyond to meet these needs for the health and safety of many. Even if we can’t foresee the negative and positive consequences, I know we’re all on the same page to protect ourselves and the country we inhabit. The country is more than polarizing bipartisanship, and more and more people of our generation understand this. Haley herself understands that the Republican party, which she proudly represents, comes off too cold at times and doesn’t want to come off like that very often. 

And so, Haley nominates herself to be the start of a new generational change, something that she has mentioned many times throughout her recent news outings. As a woman who will be entering the professional realm in a short number of years, I now have more fears than hopes in terms of possible success, no matter how much I know I can achieve something. But, regardless of whatever side, it brings me some comfort to see a young woman targeting our generation, with the anticipation that many children in the next generation, especially young girls and women, will be inspired and feel empowered to seek out such powerful offices. In spontaneous discussions with my female peers at the college, we concluded that there should be a woman in the White House soon. There is room in the next administration for someone like Nikki Haley to work with the Democratic Majority in the Senate. It is long overdue. I anticipate that many will underestimate her ability, especially with the threat of Trump’s run for reelection. Although I was unable to vote in the last presidential election, I look forward to being a part of the future of our country. And while the race to the White House is still yet to commence, I will not undermine the strength of Nikki Haley, regardless of party association and majority opinion. Nikki Haley has not announced her official run but is anticipated to make that historical announcement in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 15, 2023.

Image credits to Getty Images.

Categories: Opinions

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