This news site is a big fan of Occam’s Razor, an interpretive device which holds that “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”
In other words, don’t overthink things. The least complicated explanation is probably the correct explanation. Of course, Occam’s Razor is often wrong. People (especially in politics) routinely go to elaborate lengths to conceal, misdirect, obfuscate and otherwise deceive – knowing most people will probably wind up choosing the least complicated hypothesis.
In the seven days since U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley stunned Washington, D.C. by announcing her impending resignation from the cabinet of U.S. president Donald Trump, there has been no shortage of speculation as to what motivated her decision – and what the future may hold for the former South Carolina governor.
Initially, speculation centered around Haley being appointed to the U.S. Senate by Henry McMaster – the man who inherited the governor’s office from her back in January of 2017. Wait … wouldn’t there need to be a vacancy in order for McMaster to appoint Haley to the Senate?
Yes … and many believe one is coming.
According to Palmetto political theorists, U.S. senator Lindsey Graham is being eyed as a possible replacement for attorney general Jeff Sessions. There has also been speculation that U.S. senator Tim Scott is unhappy in his current role – and wants to return home to South Carolina as soon as possible (perhaps to embark upon a career in the ministry).
If either of them were to step down for any reason, McMaster would appoint their replacement on an interim basis.
Neither scenario is the stuff of Occam’s Razor, though … and even if Graham or Scott were to step down, we do not believe McMaster would appoint Haley as a replacement. He would be far likelier to gift the seat to mega-donor Bill Stern, a wealthy Columbia, S.C. developer and longtime leader of the results-challenged S.C. Ports Authority (SCPA).
Again, though, all of this assumes a vacancy …
(Click to view)
(Via: U.S. Senate)
While we were initially intrigued, we are no longer buying the speculation surrounding Graham (above) – especially after his dramatic performance during the contentious confirmation hearings for U.S. supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. In assailing Kavanaugh’s Democratic detractors with righteous indignation, the 63-year-old Central, S.C. native presented himself as a fire-breather who is running for reelection in a bright red state – not a moderate seeking an appointment in hopelessly divided Washington, D.C.
Graham further stated after the Kavanaugh hearings that he had “zero interest” in becoming a member of Trump’s cabinet – underscoring the likelihood of him seeking reelection in 2020.
The other hot rumor regarding Haley is that she might wind up on Trump’s ticket in 2020. A pair of White House sources have definitively debunked this theory, however, as it would require the unceremonious jettisoning of vice president Mike Pence.
“Pence isn’t going anywhere,” one source at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue told us.
Not yet, anyway …
Polls have shown Haley to be a tremendously popular national figure (whether she deserves the acclaim or not). Adding her to the 2020 ticket would solve a host of problems for Trump – especially in the aftermath of the bruising Kavanaugh hearings.
Hell, Haley would have been an attractive vice presidential prospect before her stint at the UN.
Would Haley take the job, though? Or is she more likely to bide her time and run for president in 2024?
We believe the latter scenario is more likely …
Also, the timing of Haley’s resignation had more to do with her present than her future, it would appear.
Haley soared on the national stage during the first year of the Trump administration because she was the de facto secretary of state. When Trump removed Rex Tillerson and replaced him with Mike Pompeo, however, Haley’s star began to dim considerably.
Pompeo – and to a lesser extent national security advisor John Bolton – denied Haley the limelight she craved on the international stage, relegating her to second (sometimes third) fiddle on foreign policy matters.
And Haley – like Trump – plays second fiddle to no one.
“Having achieved great visibility as the US ambassador to the UN, she might at some point have to consider resigning from her post to give her the space to decide on a possible presidential run,” CNN’s Stephen Schlesinger noted back in the spring, arguing that neither Pompeo nor Bolton would give Haley “further free rein at the United Nations.”
They didn’t …
In addition to being fitted for (another) choke collar, Haley recently became a target of leaks aimed at exposing her lavish ambassadorial lifestyle – and possible ethics violations associated with various gifts she received while in office.
Now Haley has her space … and her free rein back.
And can accept whatever gifts anyone wishes to give her …
Our view? There is nothing “possible” about a future presidential run when it comes to Haley: She is running for president … today. The only question is when the erstwhile #NeverTrumper pulls the trigger.
We believe her calculus will lead her to run in 2024 – but there is still an outside chance she considers running in 2020. After all, the War Party is 100 percent committed to her – and the only thing keeping her from running against Trump is the relative health of the U.S. economy.
If 2019 brings a recession, though, all bets are off …
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