She becomes the first notable candidate to challenge Donald Trump. Republican Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday February 14 her candidacy for the 2024 US presidential election. weeks. Ms. Haley had promised a “special announcement” Wednesday to her supporters in Charleston, South Carolina, the state of which she served as governor.

Abroad, the name of this dynamic and ambitious curator is intimately associated with that of the former president, whose spokesperson she was for two years. Although anticipated, this announcement is nonetheless a volte-face coming from this former head of Donald Trump’s cabinet, who declared two years ago that she would not challenge her former boss for the White House in 2024. Changing her mind in recent months, the Republican cited, among other things, the country’s economic struggles and the need for “generational change,” a nod to Trump’s age of 76. years.

“I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now”

She is the first of a long list of Republicans who are expected to kick off the 2024 campaigns in the coming months. They include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Joe Biden has said, for his part, that he intends to seek re-election in 2024, blocking any scramble for the Democratic nomination.

Ms Haley has regularly bragged about her track record of defying political expectations, saying, “I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now. ยป

Upon her arrival at the UN in January 2017, this political leader, then without international experience, clashed with her hard-hitting formulas on explosive subjects. “You don’t put lipstick on a pig,” she says of the Iran nuclear deal, which she will staunchly fight, even if it means bullying some of the United States’ closest European allies in the process. Some of her partners praise the “pragmatism” of this direct and warm woman. But for others, she is too “ideological” and “out of touch with reality” in her approaches.

Keep Trump at a safe distance

A spokesperson for Donald Trump’s foreign policy for two years, Nikki Haley will take care to keep the leader at a safe distance despite everything. As during the debates in 2018 around the appointment of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, accused of sexual assault: contrary to a large part of his camp, she calls to listen to his alleged victims.

Since the end of Trump’s term, the attacks have become much more frontal, with Nikki Haley openly criticizing the president’s post-election crusade over alleged unproven fraud. “It’s time to appoint a Republican who can govern and win a national election,” she told Fox News recently.

If elected, Ms. Haley would be the nation’s first female president and the first American president of Indian descent.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, she grew up in small town South Carolina, enduring racist taunts, and has long referenced that impact on her personal and political arc. She was an accountant when she launched her first bid for public office, beating the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House in 2004. Three terms later and with little statewide recognition, Nikki Haley has mounted a long-running campaign for governor against a host of experienced politicians.