Nikki Haley Sucks and Is Also Inadvertently Hilarious

The GOP presidential hopeful—tied in 2nd place behind Trump—had a banner week of head-scratching, puzzling, and admittedly hilarious gaffes.

Nikki Haley Sucks and Is Also Inadvertently Hilarious

Nikki Haley is such a uniquely, nauseatingly awful politician because she insists on play-acting as the reasonable adult in the room. In reality, she’s said she would ban abortion if she could, she wants to defund schools that teach whatever she deems to be “critical race theory,” and, as of Thursday night, she seemingly suggested she wants us all to be depressed. More on that shortly!

It’s truly been a banner week for head-scratching, downright puzzling, and admittedly side-splitting gaffes from the presidential candidate, who’s roughly tied in second with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis behind former President Trump for the Republican nomination. One poll this week put Haley in front of DeSantis, which has me wondering if the Republican base is just enthused by weirdos??? (Their pick for 2016 and 2020 would certainly suggest that this is the case.) Because… let’s go over how Haley kicked off 2024 this week, shall we?

First, an excerpt from her 2012 memoir, Can’t Is Not an Option, went viral on Twitter, and it’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen in a while. In the excerpt, Haley writes that one day, she looked at her husband William Michael Haley, long called “Bill,” and decided that he “just [didn’t] look like a Bill.” When he told her his full name—William Michael—Haley decreed that he “looks like a Michael” and henceforth, that was his name. No muss, no fuss, and no more Bill. When you pull back all the layers of oddity to this little tale, there’s admittedly something kind of charming about a husband so deferential he’d let his wife rename him—an adult man—as one would a dog you adopt off the street. If only her politics weren’t so awful, then I could almost appreciate this heaping of Alpha energy. In any case, charming story or not, it leaves me with a lot of questions: What’s wrong with “Bill”?? How does one simply “look like a Michael”?? And… Haley really likes to rename people, doesn’t she?

I am also laughing at Haley’s latest attempt to defend her awful statements from last month, in which she declined to identify slavery as the core cause of the Civil War. In a CNN town hall on Thursday night, when asked about rival Chris Christie calling her “dumb or racist” for her comments, Haley conceded that she “should have said slavery right off the bat.” But she denied being racist. Her evidence? “You grow up and you have—you know, I had Black friends growing up. [Slavery is] a very talked about thing,” Haley said. “We have a big history in South Carolina when it comes to, you know, slavery, when it comes to all the things that happen with the Civil War, all that.” Ah, yes, the “Black friend” card—the trump card for casual racists whenever they’re gently, politely confronted for an offensive comment they’ve made. Someone in the Republican field—which features the likes of former President Trump and DeSantis, who’s supported public school curriculum that teaches the “benefits” of slavery—was bound to play this card eventually. And in true #GirlPower fashion, Haley pulled it first in 2024.

Finally, that brings us to Friday, as the internet collectively scratches its head at Haley’s Thursday night tweet, “We have to deal with the cancer that is mental health.” One first reading it, I was deeply confused. On second read, it sounds like Haley is calling mental health—or perhaps just a culture that takes mental health seriously—a “cancer” to be “dealt with,” which I can only assume means she’s running on a platform of untreated mental illness for all…? It’s hard to even riff off of this when I have no real sense of what she’s saying. (Though my best guess is she was trying for something like “mental health crisis.”)

So, that was Nikki Haley’s first week of headlines in 2024. The Iowa Caucus is just 10 days away and Haley is in the news for renaming her husband, touting her Black friends, and comparing mental wellness to a cancer that must be expunged. You’re doing great, Nikki!

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