• Meredith E. Milton

OPINION: Nikki Haley Should Run For President In 2024.

Described by her peers as forthright, articulate, poised, and a talented politician—Nikki Haley is already considered a front runner for the GOP nomination for the 2024 Presidential election. With a rather impressive resume, Haley appears to sit well with both sides of the aisle.

In 2004, Haley ran for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives' 87th District where she went on to win the primary and then the general election. The primary victory was a monumental win for Haley for two reasons. First, her opponent was incumbent Republican Larry Koon, who happened to be the longest serving member of the House at the time— so major victory there. And secondly, the win gave her the opportunity to be the first Indian-American person to hold office in the State of South Carolina. Talk about a trail blazer.

Quickly into her time in office, her peers witnessed her character and leadership, and elected her chairman of the State House's Freshman Caucus. Following this, she was once again praised for her leadership and chosen to serve as majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly. In 2006 and 2008, Haley won her reelection campaigns and life was good.

That said, life continued to get better for rising political star Haley when she once again paved the way for minorities in politics through her monumental Gubernatorial win in 2010. During her third term in the House, Haley announced she was going to make a run for Governor of her home state of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks) in 2010. Quickly after announcing her run, she was endorsed by some of the big players at the time—Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin to name a few—which ultimately assisted her in sealing the deal and being elected Governor of South Carolina.

This win too was monumental as were her House victories. As the new Governor of South Carolina, Haley was the first female to be elected Governor of South Carolina, and additionally the first person of color to be elected to that office. Once again, talk about a trail blazer.

In 2014 Haley won her reelection bid for another four years as Governor of her home state, however life changed in 2016. Quickly following the election of Trump as President in 2016, Governor Haley was announced to serve as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Because of this, Haley had to resign from her second term as Governor to take on her new roll. Once confirmed by the Senate, Ambassador Haley was the first non-white female cabinet member official in the Trump administration. Continuing her reputation as a stand out politician.

During her time as the US Ambassador (2016-2018), Haley made the position a true stepping stone to the Presidency; although it is not normally seen to be such. This position truly gave her the high profile experience she needed in combination with invaluable foreign policy experience. Through this position, Ambassador Haley distinguished herself by being a relentless defender of Israel, and America loved it.

In 2018, Haley submitted her resignation letter to to the President, detailing her support of term limits and a rotation of people in office. She noted that as of 2018, she had been in public office for fourteen straight years, and was longing for her time as a private citizen once again. Additionally, and most important to this opinion, Ambassador Haley mentioned that she would not run for office in 2020. That said, 2024 could be on the table.

When it comes to the likelihood of Ambassador Haley having a successful run for the GOP nomination and maybe even the presidency in 2024— I say the chances are high. It is plausible her largest opponent for the GOP nomination would be Vice President Pence, but I think she could give him a run for his money.

On the issues, Haley sits well with both sides of the aisle. An interesting poll from April 2018 showed that Republicans approved of her by a margin of 75 percent, and even the Democrats approved of her by 55 percent.

She appeals to the Right because she is a down home, southern girl who supports the 2nd Amendment, is pro-life, cares about the education system, and votes along party lines. Additionally, she is very well known to be a supporter of Israel and the death penalty.

Ambassador Haley appeals to the left because she supports term limits and is a daughter of immigrants. Furthermore, Haley comes from a mixed faith background of Sikh and Christianity (which she converted to for her husband). That being the case, she has the appeal to faiths other than Christianity. Additionally, Haley's husband is a military veteran and an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard, so the military vote—on both sides of the aisle—is there.

All of this to say, if Ambassador Haley were to win the GOP nomination, it would be a major step in the right direction for politics. Do I think she would go on to win the election? I'm not sure yet, but all I know is she has a fantastic shot at the nomination and securing that alone would be HUGE. Winning the GOP nomination and being the first female to make a run for president (even if she lost) would shatter the glass ceiling surrounding who gets to sit in the Oval Office. Needless to say, people already have merchandise going in support of her (hopeful) run in 2024. Haley has yet to say she going for it in 2024, but also has yet to shut the door on the opportunity.

Whether she ever officially runs for President or not, Ambassador Haley has proven herself to be forthright, articulate, poised, and a talented politician. She has been a trail blazer, in particular, for women in politics in the state of South Carolina, and I am hopeful she will continue to do so for women across the country by making a run for the GOP nomination in 2024.

Meredith E. Milton is an Opinion Contributor for The National Times.