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Nikki Haley In 2016? Don’t Laugh …




Last November we wrote an article explaining the thinking of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s political consultant and pollster, Jon Lerner.

“He’s convinced (Barack) Obama will be reelected,” one of our sources said of Lerner, adding that the Maryland-based pollster was “grooming (Haley) for 2016.”

A big part of that effort?  Haley’s busy political calendar – which has taken her all over the country during her first two years in office.  Then there’s the “Savannah River Sellout,” in which Haley sold South Carolina’s economic interests down the river for a prime time speaking slot at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

With Obama reelected, the presidential grooming of Nikki Haley is now in full swing – although her national itinerary has been curtailed of late by an unprecedented state-level security breach at one of her cabinet agencies.  Still, the national press continues to soak up the aura surrounding Haley – and GOP leaders eager to nominate a non-white, non-male in four years are aggressively touting her as one of the early contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

“If President Obama’s re-election proved anything, it’s that the GOP once again failed to connect with young voters, Latino-Americans, and women,” one Haley backer told FITS recently. “In order for the Republican Party to regain the White House, it needs to break traditions and actively pursue these non-traditional constituencies – which is exactly why South Carolina governor Nikki Haley could be the breath of fresh air the Republican Party desperately needs.”

Translation?  All national Republicans need to do in order to reverse their recent string of electoral setbacks is nominate a candidate with dark skin and lady parts.

Picking up the narrative, CBS political reporter Brian Montopoli listed Haley on his “early look at the 2016 GOP presidential contenders” – behind U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“The 40-year-old, Indian-American governor of South Carolina is an unflinching conservative with Tea Party support who also just happens to be a woman and a minority,” Montopoli writes of Haley.

Wait … an “unflinching conservative?”  Haley?

And “Tea Party support?”  Maybe nationally … but not in South Carolina.

Montopoli does acknowledge that Haley “faces a reelection battle in 2014, and she’s no sure thing,” echoing what we reported earlier this month.  He also touches on the concern surrounding Haley’s perpetual self-promotion.

“Some in her state complain she has focused more on promoting herself on the national stage than benefiting the state GOP,” he notes.

Or governing …

Here’s the bottom line, though … Haley will never, ever, ever, ever EVER survive the sort of vetting that goes with becoming a major  party presidential nominee.  And we’re not just talking about the sex stuff, we’re talking about the scandals that pre-dated her 2010 election – most notably that lavish lifestyle she enjoyed on a modest income during the previous decade.

Also a prerequisite to Haley becoming a legitimate national contender is winning the Palmetto State in 2014 – which is looking increasingly unlikely in the wake of her latest scandal.