After keeping a careful distance from Trump, Nikki Haley is all in

For Ms. Haley, an Indian-American Tea Party activist who became a two-term governor of South Carolina known better as a voice of moderation on racial issues in the South, the reaction to her tweet about Mr. Cummings was a rude reminder of how she risks losing the Trump base when she puts distance between herself and the president.

Mr. Trump, aides said, wanted to respond to her himself, but was talked out of doing it. Instead, Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser who is close with Vice President Mike Pence, shot back at Ms. Haley in a tweet that was sanctioned from the top. “THIS is so unnecessary Trump-PENCE2020,” Ms. Conway wrote, an allusion to the rumors that Ms. Haley had been positioning herself to replace Mr. Pence on the ticket in 2020…

“It is Trump’s party today and, more likely than not, it will be Trump’s party 10 years from now,” said Kevin Madden, a political strategist and former adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. “Trump will cast a long shadow over the party’s profile and will be a litmus test for the party’s most active base voters for years to come.”