In an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt has wildly speculated that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley may be in the race to become a vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 2020. He reiterated his belief saying President Donald Trump was keen for long to cut Vice President Mike Pence.
Nikki Haley had hit the headlines with the launch of her memoir "With All Due Respect", in which she had alleged that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wanted her to join them in a sort of coup against Trump in the interests of the nation.
"She wants to be vice president," Schmidt told host Willie Geist. Schmidt, who opposed the trump administration and renounced his GOP membership in June 2018, said that Haley is moving to please Trump at a time when it matters most and knowing well that Trump has problem with women, especially the suburban women. Trump is "entirely transactional; loyalty is a one-way street," he pointed out reiterating that Haley book was entirely motivated to position herself close to the President in the next administration.
Schmidt spared her allegations against Tillerson and Kelly from being "particularly credible" but they are indicative of her political aspirations to move into the corridors of the White House. Moreover, Mike Pence is not serving the interests of President Trump as he would have envisioned, said the former campigner for George W. Bush.
"I think Mike Pence is probably hanging out back there thinking, 'Hey, I've got a 1 in 365 chance at picking the day that Trump's going to dump me from the ticket and put her on,'" said Schmidt, quickly pointing out that Haley "would serve immediate political interests in a way that Pence can't."
After their fiasco, Trump fired Tillerson in March, 2018, while John Kelly resigned in December, 2018. However, Haley has won the final loyalty test on Tuesday with her book that received overwhelming support from the President, who took to Twitter to say "Good luck Nikki!"
Soon after, Haley was on every channel reinforcing her loyalty to Trump and speaking out against the ongoing impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. "Impeachment is literally the worst punishment you can do to a public official, and here you've got a situation where there was no investigation and the aid flowed as it was supposed to," she said on NBC's Today. "In every instance that I dealt with him he was truthful, he listened, and he was great to work with," she told NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, actually fits the bill of Vice President for Trump, who is keen to enlist the support of a massive chunk of the community. He flew down to join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Houston in September to enlist the support of more than 50,000 audience at the 'Howdy! Modi" event. Leaving aside inner differences, Indian-American community showed unprecedented solidarity when their own ilk is in a political fight.
The American Community Survey 2017 stats and surveys on Indian-Americans during the general elections of 2016 showed that Trump was not a preferred choice for many of them. There are roughly 4 million Asian-Americans (or Indian-Americans) in the United States, constituting 1.3 per cent of their total population. The National Asian American Survey (NAAS) shows that 77 per cent Indian-Americans voted for Clinton and 16 per cent for Trump in 2016. While 31 per cent Indian-American respondents were strong Democrats, the number of strong Republicans was just 4 per cent.
With the nominees of the Democratic Party such as Kamala Harris turning quite critical of the Modi government, especially his policy on Kashmir, might irk the Indian-American community, which is overwhelmingly behind Modi and his party. Since Nikki Haley has emerged the sole Republican voice on Impeachment or any foreign policy, winning her side for Trump would mean cutting the vote bank of Democrats considerably.