…nevertheless she persisted. Is that the Nikki Haley agenda?

Rashmee Roshan Lall
2 min readFeb 23, 2024
Screenshot. Nikki Hale’s campaign video

Ahead of the primary in South Carolina, Nikki Haley ‘s home state, she looked into the dark heart of the polls and defiantly vowed to not be frightened.

Even though she continues to trail significantly behind Donald Trump in the polls, Ms Haley indicated she would stick with it.

She had a higher purpose and it isn’t to be picked by Mr Trump as his vice-presidential nominee. Or teeing up a 2028 run as Republican nominee for president. In fact, Ms Haley said, earlier this week at a State of the Race press conference meant to tamp down on speculation: “My own political future is of zero concern”. She is, she said, fighting for “something bigger” than herself.

What might that be? And does it matter?

The Atlantic has suggested that Ms Haley’s stubborn candidacy may be meant “to force Republicans to wrestle with the general-election risks they are accepting by renominating” Donald Trump.

But can that be called a higher purpose, other than for diehard Republican political strategists?

Everyone else may wonder if Ms Haley’s purpose in life right now may be to serve as the backup, viable choice for Republicans who suddenly find themselves missing a presidential candidate (if Mr Trump is indisposed in someway, perhaps because of an insurmountable judicial reverse in one or more of the 91 charges against him). Were such a situation to arise it may be more likely than not that the barely middle-aged Ms Haley may be able to beat the older Joe Biden.

That said, it sounds difficult to come up with a scenario in which this actually comes to pass. Which brings us back to the question: what is Nikki Haley meant to symbolise at this point in time?

Perhaps nothing, beyond dogged determination?

Or, to be an unlikely symbol of the three words that recently came to symbolise feminist grit.

“Nevertheless, she persisted” became popular in 2017 after the US Senate voted to require Senator Elizabeth Warren to stop speaking during the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general. But she went on, which caused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to say of Ms Warren: “Nevertheless, she persisted”.

So is Ms Haley. For now.

Originally published at https://www.rashmee.com



Rashmee Roshan Lall

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Writer. My novel 'Pomegranate Peace' is about my year in Afghanistan. I teach journalism at university in London