American presidential election: Nikki Haley, first candidate to challenge Donald Trump for republican investiture

The former governor of South Carolina and former UN ambassador emphasized her origins in “proud daughter of Indian immigrants”. She hopes to take advantage of the wait -and -seeing of other competitors.

by Piotr Smolar (Washington, correspondent)

Like a good student, Nikki Haley gave her copy before the others. A smooth copy, checking all conservative conservative boxes. By confirming his candidacy for the republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, Wednesday, February 15, during a first meeting in South Carolina, the former governor of this State is the first to enter the arena against Donald Trump.

Without ever pronouncing the name of the former president, Nikki Haley, 51, launched an appeal to republican activists, gathered around her in Charleston. “If you are tired of losing, put your confidence in a new generation,” she said. His impertinent proposal: “Mandatory mental competence tests for politicians over 75 years old.” Joe Biden and Donald Trump are would respectively 82 and 78 years old if they were elected in 2024.

Building against “defeatism and socialism”, Nikki Haley insisted on his origins and his personal history. His first campaign clip begins on the railway road which shared the small town of Bamberg, in South Carolina, between white and black districts. “I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Neither black nor white. I was different.” In her speech, the candidate stressed that “America is not a racist country”. Can the synthesis between diversity and patriotism seduce?

Nikki Haley will immediately chain with two trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, key states at the start of the primary cycle. “May the best win!” She says. Elected governor twice (2011 and 2014), after having overcome hostility from the local republican apparatus, Nikki Haley believes himself to be able to thwart the forecasts on a confrontation between Donald Trump and the governor of Florida, Ron Desantis.

“In the countryside, she is tenacious, nobody can go beyond it, explains Rob Godfrey, who was one of her advisers during her two local mandates. She seated himself in restricted circles where the voices must be snatched One by one, and she managed electrified crowds. Former President Trump has never faced a candidate with his past and his assets. This should create an interesting dynamic. “

” The American version of Margaret Thatcher “

Quickly campaigning, Nikki Haley hopes to take advantage of the wait -and -seeing of other competitors. “I think Nikki Haley is the American version of Margaret Thatcher [ex-Prime Minister British],” said South Carolina to the House of Representatives. Nikki Haley also relies on a potential interest of voters from minorities, the GOP being dominated by white male figures. Finally, it represents a form of sophistication, in its appearance and its speeches, which distinguish it from the extremist stars from Trumpism to Congress, like Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia). It remains to be seen whether this point is an asset or a handicap.

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/Media reports cited above.