The 2024 presidential election is looming large on the horizon, and the United States' authoritarian adversaries are keenly observing. This election is being perceived as a crucial turning point for challenging the Western-led international order. This piece critically reviews the foreign policies of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, offering an alternative perspective on the upcoming election.
A Review of Trump's and Biden's Foreign Policies
Trump's national security team had taken significant strides in countering China, an achievement that cannot be overlooked. However, Trump's actions post-presidency have raised concerns about his leadership capabilities. Similarly, Biden's administration has maintained some of the previous administration's policies on China and Taiwan, exhibiting an understanding of the ongoing struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. Yet, his handling of international challenges, such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, has seemingly signaled weakness, encouraging adversaries to seize opportunities.
Nikki Haley's Potential Presidential Candidacy
The author posits former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, as a formidable presidential candidate. Haley's foreign policy credentials, executive experience, and firm stand against authoritarianism are lauded. The Koch brothers' political network has endorsed Haley, offering her both organizational muscle and financial support in her potential battle against Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
A recent New York Times/Siena Poll indicates Haley's potential to beat President Biden in six battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The Role of the Koch Brothers' Political Network
The Koch brothers' political network, Americans for Prosperity Action, has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars to help the Republican Party move beyond Trump. This endorsement offers Haley a considerable boost as the campaign enters the final seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Simultaneously, Haley's campaign is gaining traction, with her team projecting a rising trajectory. Her recent town hall event in South Carolina drew around 2,500 attendees, reflecting an increasing interest in her as a potential Trump alternative.
The Future of the Republican Presidential Nomination
The race for the Republican presidential nomination appears to be over before it has started. Nevertheless, one critical question remains unanswered: Can Republicans get out the vote? To overcome Trump's popularity, his rivals, primarily DeSantis and Haley, need two things: for the polls to be wrong about voter turnout and superior voter mobilization operations. The impending primaries will provide the answer.