Why Nikki Haley Isn’t Dropping Out

When Nikki Haley summoned the national media to Greenville, S.C., on Tuesday, she did something that was strikingly unusual even in this most bizarre of campaigns. She devoted an entire speech to explaining why she was not dropping out of the presidential race.

Hungry for attention, and fed up with fielding questions about why she wasn’t reading the room and the polls, her team had billed the event, tantalizingly, as a “State of the Race” speech. Speculation abounded among Republican strategists that she might finally be coming to terms with reality. Maybe, the theories went, Ms. Haley now understood that without some unforeseen act of God, there was no mathematical path for her to win enough delegates to wrench the Republican nomination from Donald J. Trump.

“Some of you — perhaps a few of you in the media — came here today to see if I’m dropping out of the race,” Ms. Haley said. “Well, I’m not. Far from it.”

Her smile said it all. Ms. Haley was enjoying herself, finally able to say what she has long thought about Mr. Trump and seemingly delighted that she had focused national attention on her message. She looked like a woman without much to lose, which people close to her said was about right.

Ms. Haley says she wants nothing from Mr. Trump. After serving as the ambassador to the United Nations, she would not be lured by any cabinet role into cutting a deal with him to end her quixotic campaign.

“Some people used to say I was running because I really wanted to be vice president,” she said in her Tuesday speech. “I think I’ve pretty well settled that question.”

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