By Sushil Kutty
Here in India, women are in all sorts of emotional quandaries including wondering if women’s reservation isn’t humiliation of sorts for women who think they’re already empowered and, therefore, what’s this euphoria for, forgetting that it’s not just women in the third world who need a leg-up but also women in advanced countries like the United States where somebody like Nikki Haley is bent on breaking the glass ceiling, that Hillary Clinton could not, and become the first woman President of the United States, ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris who is in line if President Joe Biden stumbles or mumbles his way out of a job.
Nikki Haley is being hailed as having proven in recent days that she can beat not just POTUS Joe Biden but also has the potential to beat her former ‘Boss’ Donald Trump, at least in opinion polls. People are flocking to Nikki Haley town-halls and they have begun to accept her as a viable POTUS candidate, perhaps the best suited after witnessing the competition from close quarters.
A latest poll shows Nikki beating President Joe Biden among all in the Republican field including Donald Trump who otherwise is way ahead of everybody among the Republican contestants in the primary field. So, Nikki is there but yet not there. Haley also holds attention because she’s neither white nor black and because she does not try hard to be anything but herself.
Also, Haley has a pretty well chalked out political career so far. She isn’t Harvard or Yale, none of the Ivy League stuff the usual rung of US Presidential Candidates trot out at the drop of a question or two. Nikki was an accountant before she stood for Governor of South Carolina and won. Nikki Haley has never lost an election so far and that, say some, is a record hard to beat.
Haley says she is in the race for President to win and is not hoping to be asked by Donald Trump to be his running mate, like Kamala Harris got to become Joe Biden’s Vice President after dropping out of the Democrat field in 2020. This time, there are two Indian origin POTUS candidates – Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Haley and Ramaswamy have been sniping at each other for weeks and they’re poles apart in style and substance. While Nikki Haley is the ‘elder sis’ and ‘Mom’ type, Vivek Ramaswamy, at 38, jostles hard to be the young entrepreneur filled with hard to imagine ideas galore. Vivek is the fast-talking one while Nikki gives herself time to build an all-inclusive narrative. Nikki gives the impression she’s in the wrong party.
And she has some pretty catchy one-liners, like for instance, “If you want something done, ask a woman”. And she creates her own “a moment”. Like in CNN’s most recent poll, in which she beat Joe Biden by the widest margin among all Republican primary candidates – even Donald Trump. In the first GOP presidential debate, Haley “won on brains and experience”.
The fact is, in their obsession to see Trump out of the race, humiliated and sent packing, the anti-Trump CNN and other like-minded media outlets have found in Nikki Haley somebody they believe has the potential to beat Donald Trump considering all his legal and other troubles. Like somebody wrote “give Haley her chance”. And Haley is neither isolationist nor populist, which makes her a dangerous adversary.
Also her stock line is “I’ve always spoken in hard truths.” A tagline which rhymes with that of Vivek Ramaswamy who limits the word count with the single word ‘Truth’, which he believes is the “simple bromide” that makes him stand out in the crowd. In the next GOP debate, scheduled for September 27, Haley will be facing among others, Donald Trump, the US President who had made Nikki Haley the United States’ ‘UN Ambassador’, a high-profile job which had put her in the global limelight. Will Nikki Haley break the glass ceiling? (IPA Service)