Amherst, New Hampshire
The theory that Donald Trump will pick Nikki Haley as his vice president refuses to die — in spite of increasingly overwhelming evidence that he won’t.
Haley, for one, is adamant that it will not happen. Today, at a meet-and-greet with voters in Mary Ann’s Diner in Amherst, New Hampshire, a voter floated the idea. She grimaced and said, “I’ve never said. That’s my opponent saying that… I don’t want to be anyone’s vice president. That’s off the table.”
She could change her mind, of course. Political do, and analysts will keep saying that Haley would help Trump appeal to aspirational suburban women and so on. But Trumpworld loathes Haley and Donald Trump Jr. has been reassuring fans that he will stop his father from nominating her.
Outside the diner, some defiant Trump fans were standing around with their pick-up trucks and MAGA flags as a stereo blared out Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
They told me that they wanted Trump’s former spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Vivek Ramaswamy, who has just ended his presidential run, to be Trump’s VP.
Like most Trump voters, they feel sure Haley is backed by dark globalist money — “I’ve it’s rumors that it’s BlackRock,” said one. Trump would make those people pay if re-elected, they insisted. “It’s time for the these to be held accountable,” said Richard Griffith, a septuagenarian landscape architect.
Will they boo Haley when she walks past, I asked. “No no,” said Richard. “We’re not activists. We’re just leaving, actually.”
Inside the diner, there were a few Haley admirers, mostly the conservative Democrat and Independent New Hampshirites you hear about so much about. But Haley had to beat her way past a much bigger crowd of journalists to talk to them.
That’s a good metaphor for her campaign. The media, desperate for some drama or just any sense of a contest, are eager to promote her. But even in New Hampshire, the state she’s expected to do best in, Haley’s campaign can’t quite generate the buzz she needs. That’s why the question, inevitably, turns to whether she might conceivably still be Trump’s vice president as he endeavors to broaden his appeal ahead of November. The answer, it seems, is no.