The lines between professional wrestling and modern American politics are rapidly blurring.
Pro wrestling has its talking segments, or “promos,” where wrestlers viciously (but verbally) tear into each other. Modern American politics has primary debates.
Pro wrestling has former President Donald Trump as a WWE Hall of Famer. Modern American politics has Trump as the GOP presidential candidate frontrunner.
Pro wrestling has amateurish stunts and bad nicknames. Modern American politics… Well, you get the idea by now.
But just in case you didn’t, look no further than the recent accusation being levied by former South Carolina governor and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
The GOP hopeful (but longshot) took to X, formerly Twitter, and shared an image of what she claims was left for her at her hotel room:
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) October 1, 2023
“After a day of campaigning, this is the message waiting for me outside my hotel room…” Haley posted to X. She also used the hashtags “#PrettyPatheticTryAgain” and “#YouJustMadeMyCaseForMe.”
The accompanying image depicted an empty bird cage with a bag of bird feed sitting atop of it. A note tucked into the cage read: “From: Trump Campaign.”
For context, this X post comes shortly after Trump blasted Haley on Truth Social, following Haley’s performance at Wednesday’s GOP primary debate (of which Trump did not attend.)
“MAGA, or I, will never go for Birdbrain Nikki Haley. No loyalty, plenty of lies! ‘I will never run against our great President,’ she said,’he has done an outstanding job.’ To which I responded, ‘How nice of you to say, Nikki,’ knowing full well that her words mean nothing,” Trump said in his post.
(For whatever it’s worth, this writer personally thinks “Birdbrain” is one of Trump’s weaker verbal jousts. It’s certainly no “Little Marco” or “Rocket Man.”)
Trump added: “She even came to Mar-a-Lago with her family, ‘bearing gifts.’ Anyway, Birdbrain doesn’t have the TALENT or TEMPERAMENT to do the job. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
So, as surreal as it is to write this about American politics, that “Birdbrain” nickname appears to have inspired a Trump fan or (as doubtful as it is) campaign staffer to send an empty bird cage and some feed to a GOP presidential hopeful’s hotel room.
Or so Haley claims.
Look, proving the veracity of Haley’s claims seems pretty simple. This is a hotel, so one would assume that they could dredge up the relevant security footage, and come up with a name and face. This doesn’t exactly have to be like combing through the Zapruder cut.
But regardless of whether this was a rogue Trump operative or a self-staged stunt, this entire incident makes one thing clear: If modern American politics is professional wrestling, Donald Trump is the current world champion.
At the crux of all this bird caging is a pretty straightforward and simple issue: Donald Trump, by virtually any and all metrics, is the prohibitive favorite to emerge from the GOP primary as the Republican presidential candidate.
His rivals will do whatever they can to smear him and knock him down a notch — even potentially frame his side as deranged birdcage deliverers.
But will it work?
RealClearPolitics currently has Trump polling at a commanding 57.6 percent. His next closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is polling at a much more modest 13.7 percent.
Haley, meanwhile, trails DeSantis and is polling at a paltry 5.6 percent.
Now, is the best way to make up that cavernous gulf of a difference between herself and Trump to attack him, be it on social media or the debate stage?
Early returns from similar strategies (See: Chris Christie) suggest, no, that’s not the way to go.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.