Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the U.N. who is widely seen as a White House hopefully, is destroying her brand with her mimicking of Donald Trump, according to a new analysis.
Longtime centrist Democratic strategist Ed Kilgore wrote in New York magazine that Haley is "one of those Republicans often considered 'reasonable' by Democrats and independents; she’s sometimes floated as a congenial face for a post-Trump GOP."
Kilgore noted her "headline-grabbing stunt" of saying President Joe Biden should "step down" during an appearance on Fox News Radio's "Guy Benson Show."
"Haley’s message is that Biden is a danger to this country and its values, not just the leader of the other major party. It’s not what you’d expect from a pol who normally knows how to keep her balance. But Haley has certainly moved back and forth across the lines of respectability before," Kilgore wrote.
Kilgore described Haley's origin story as a GOP leader.
"Coming out of the extremist Jim DeMint–Mark Sanford wing of the South Carolina GOP, Haley first won the governorship as a Sarah Palin protégée who managed to turn scurrilous sexual allegations against her into a political asset. Her uneven record as governor (one lowlight was a State of the State Address in which she told out-of-state job creators who accepted unions to take their money and shove it) was obscured by her famous call to take down the Confederate flag at the statehouse in 2015, long after any real courage was required to do so. This overdue gesture instantly made her a national figure, and her identity as an Indian-American woman made her attractive to Republicans seeking diverse figures willing to articulate old-school conservative ideological views," he wrote.
Kilgore noted Haley briefly stood up to Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection, but quickly backtracked and said she would support his expected 2024 campaign.
"Her explosion of shameless demagoguery on Fox News may be part of her own comeback bid in a party where nastiness toward the Democratic president and vice-president is a unifying theme," he wrote. "Haley needs to calm down and leave the red-meat-purveying to future days on the campaign trail if she wants to do the same. Trump will eventually go away, then the face of the post-Trump GOP may need some dignity."
Read the full analysis.
The wife of a Washington state prosecutor was busted -- again -- for using racial slurs on social media.
Lesley Anne Haskell, the wife of Spokane County prosecutor Larry Haskell, typed out the N-word and repeatedly referred to herself as a "proud White nationalist" on the right-wing Gab platform, which has become a cesspool of bigotry, reported the Inlander.
Haskell reacted to a New York Post story, "MSNBC’s Joy Reid: Conservatives would trade tax cuts to ‘openly say the N-word,' by declaring the TV host was "the true definition of the word" -- which she typed out -- and frequently interacts with prominent white nationalist accounts and expresses similar views.
"Our race is dying, we need to make more White babies!" Haskell wrote in one post.
Even her profile name, Beauseant_Deux_Vult, appears to be a white nationalist reference to the crusader war cry "Deus Vult," which is Latin for "God wills it," and "Beauseant" was the banner of the Knights Templar that has been invoked by Norwegian mass shooter Anders Breivik and other extremists.
"Here I am proudly posing with some Proud Boys," Haskell wrote in another post, which does show her posing proudly with members of the right-wing militant group.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has expressed serious concerns about Haskell's social media posts in the past, after they first emerged in 2015, and he said the newly revealed posts are "totally inappropriate.
"The Spokane GOP does not agree with Lesley Haskell’s politics," Knezovich said. "The GOP does not support her. There is very little association between her and the GOP whatsoever."
Haskell slurred George Floyd as a "scumbag drug addict" and lamented the convictions of the police officer who killed him, as well as two white men who gunned down Ahmaud Arbery, but her husband declined to say whether he agreed with her views.
"The Inlander recently made me aware of social media comments attributed to my wife, which the Inlander finds concerning," Larry Haskell said in a statement. "In a right shared by everyone, I fully recognize my wife's right to express her thoughts. In a previous discussion regarding my wife's social media postings, I stated such were hers, and hers alone. I acknowledged that she is a strong-willed person who will speak her mind. I do so again in this instance."
Emergency crews were at the scene of a bridge collapse in Pittsburgh on Friday morning, hours ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to the region, where he was set to tout the benefits of his federal infrastructure law and other administration achievements.
According to the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, the bridge, which carries Forbes Avenue over the Fern Hollow Creek in the city’s Frick Park, collapsed Friday morning with vehicles, including a Port Authority bus, on the span. The bridge, between South Braddock and South Dallas Avenues, is a central artery to the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Shortly before 9 a.m, the Tribune-Review reported that 10 people had been injured, none life-threatening, and three people had been taken to hospital. Because they necessitate detours and road closures, presidential visits typically snarl traffic in host cities.
Biden is set to visit a research lab in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood, the Post-Gazette reported Friday. Gov. Tom Wolf is slated to appear with Biden during his visit, according to an advisory from Wolf’s office.
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