Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will replace vice president Mike Pence on the Republican ticket in 2020, according to Democratic strategist Paul Begala. The former advisor to ex-president Bill Clinton made this bold prediction on Monday during a forum sponsored by American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C.
Except it wasn’t a prediction. The ex-host of CNN’s Crossfire actually “guaranteed” U.S. president Donald Trump would dump Pence for Haley this summer during the national conventions.
“This is not a prediction, it’s a certainty,” he said. “On Thursday, July 16 – that’s the date the Democrat gives his or her acceptance address – on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago. He’s going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms.”
“You watch,” Begala said. “Guaranteed.”
This “guarantee” was music to the ears of attendees at AIPAC – one of many pro-Israeli groups that have embraced Haley’s ascendancy on the national stage.
Begala further argued Trump had laid the groundwork for dumping Pence by tapping him to lead the federal government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic.
“Trump put Pence in charge of coronavirus to throw him under the bus,” Begala speculated.
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The speculation surrounding Pence and Haley was all the buzz at the CPAC 2020 gathering in Fort Washington, Maryland last week.
That’s not surprising considering it has driven headlines for months, although when we last addressed the chatter it seemed as though Haley had ruled out being on the ticket in 2020 … preferring to stake her claim for the top of the ticket in 2024 instead.
That is consistent with our assessment of her intentions.
“We continue to see Haley eschewing the vice presidency,” we wrote back in June. “First, she does not need it to become a credible presidential contender in 2024. Deserving or not, she is already there.”
Moreover, we believe there is a fatal flaw in Begala’s logic regarding Trump, Pence, Haley and the coronavirus. Basically, if Pence were to botch the handling of the epidemic to the extent it warranted his replacement on the 2020 ticket, that would mean America was likely experiencing dire health and economic consequences related to the virus (beyond what we have seen already).
And to be clear: There is no way in hell Haley would ever consider joining the 2020 ticket unless Trump’s reelection was a sure thing …
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