Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Nikki Haley plays up femininity, plays down feminism in her 2024 pitch

By 37ci3 Jan 14, 2024



IOWA CITY, Iowa – He’s campaigning in sweaters that say, “He who dares wins.” He repels the attacks of his opponents like the smallness of “men”. His heels, he said, were made to kick.

But when Nikki Haley asks voters to help her make history, she says that’s not the case that history.

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, “Imagine if you could make history right now” He told Iowa voters over the weekend ahead of Monday’s first GOP caucuses through Cedar Falls. “I am not talking about the history of the female president. I am talking about the history that we will eventually right the ship in America. We will finally fix it.”

It’s a tricky balancing act best understood through the lens of a candidate who has built a cross-party coalition with different ideas about how to prioritize their gender.

“I had a heart-to-heart with a couple of the players,” said Polk County resident Paul Samson, 48, who coaches the women’s softball team and has gone from supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to backstage. Haley. “I have a chance to elect a woman to the presidency.”

Both the candidate and the campaign know that her status as the only woman in a field of male candidates is an asset to some voters — 43 percent of his supporters In Iowa, they said they would vote for President Joe Biden against Republican candidate Donald Trump and make a commitment to others. After all, he is campaigning for the Republican Party nomination, where many voters hate “identity politics” and reject the concept that they will choose a candidate based on their gender.

“I vote on the issues,” Forrest Levielle of Iowa, who will support Haley, told NBC News. “I’m a registered Republican … You vote for the issues that we think are the best candidates for us.”

He added that he had thought about Haley’s potential to break the last glass ceiling in politics, but “it doesn’t matter to me.”

The NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom request Sunday’s release showed Haley in second place in Iowa with 20 percent, four points ahead of DeSantis, but 28 points behind Trump. In New Hampshire, where independent voters are expected to give him another boost, he is closer to Trump in recent polls.

While Haley, who could choose to caucus with Republicans on Monday, has courted independents and Democrats, DeSantis allies have compared her to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — a longtime GOP foil — in ads here.

Will Rogers, a former chairman of the Polk County Republican Party who plans to caucus for Haley, added that Clinton’s line of attack was “sexist,” adding, “Next thing you know, she’s going to be called Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi of South Carolina.” .”

Clinton distanced herself from her gender in her failed bid to win the Democratic nomination in 2008, going up against Barack Obama, who often spoke of history without making race an overt part of his appeal. In 2016, Clinton won her party’s vote when she embraced feminism, but lost to Trump in the general election.

Her history as the first woman to be nominated for president by both major parties — and the narrowness of her loss — helped convince a high crop of Democratic women to run for president in 2020. Ultimately, the Democrats chose a man named Biden to run against Trump that year.

Rogers believes that Haley’s gender is more of an advantage than a negative for Iowa voters, who elected women — Kim Reynolds and Joni Ernst — to the governorship and one of the state’s two Senate seats.

“Have we moved into a post-gender political world? I’m not suggesting that at all,” she said. “I think we’ve moved to a place where women can be expected to be strong leaders with an important voice in politics.”

As for how this affects Haley in his campaign, Rogers said that gender is one of his ways he was able to distinguish himself from the group with certain groups of voters.

“That gives him some advantages with undecided voters,” he said. “And maybe it’s attractive to — I would call it non-traditional Republican voters.”

Former Rep. Mary Bono of California says she would like to see a woman win the presidency, but no. by gender.

“I don’t believe people should vote for that,” Bono said. “I believe a leader will rise to the occasion and then it will happen.”

That’s why he plans to endorse Haley after watching Republican primaries for the past year.

“Nicki rose from this evil,” Bono said in a phone interview. “He can do that and that in itself will prove to people that he is a strong leader.”

Haley’s campaign is fraught with communication tensions with voters who want to be a part of making history and those who don’t. That could lead to some unexpected rhetorical turns on the campaign trail. In a now-familiar representation, she focuses voters’ attention on women’s empowerment—making a social policy point of protecting girls.

“We need to raise strong girls because strong girls make strong women and strong women make strong leaders,” she said earlier this week in Ankeny. “And when you have biological boys in girls’ sports, none of that happens.”



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