Others saw the situation differently, arguing that Haley’s loyalty to the administration when asked to serve will bode well for her as she seeks her own political successes.
“Nikki has remained her own person while serving the president,” said Catherine Templeton, who served Gov. Haley as head of two state agencies. “No one, regardless of how they feel about Trump now or later, will begrudge loyalty and intelligent service. I just don’t think it is an issue.”
Time could also prove a hindrance. With presidential cycles having stretched from months to several years ahead of the election itself, the competition for attention in what have recently been massive candidate fields makes it difficult to maintain visibility and favor during an extended campaign season, warned GOP strategist Terry Sullivan.
“It’s tough to stay the bright, new shiny object for an extended period of time, especially when the attention spans of voters are so short,” said Sullivan, who managed Marco Rubio’s 2016 Republican presidential bid. “She’s working very hard to position herself as the Goldilocks candidate, where she’s just pro-Trump enough and loyal enough to the president that the supporters are for it, but just independent enough so that all the Never Trumpers can hang their hopes and dreams on her nomination.”