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The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Photos: Nikki Haley holds presidential campaign in Needham ahead of Super Tuesday

As twilight descended upon the Sheraton Needham Hotel on Saturday, hundreds of local supporters packed the venue, eager to witness a pivotal moment in Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign in Needham. It was just three days ahead of the Massachusetts GOP primary. 

The campaign stop had many influential political figures in attendance, like retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, showcasing the momentum of the former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor’s candidacy in Massachusetts. 

During her Needham visit, Haley discussed immigration policy, abortion laws, and other key issues for the presidential election, urging supporters to turn out and vote on Super Tuesday. Haley criticized Massachusetts’ handling of the immigration crisis, drawing a comparison from her tenure as governor, where she noted, “We passed the toughest immigration law in the country.”

Days after a controversial Supreme Court ruling in Alabama—the case that recognized frozen embryos as children, imposing liability on IVF clinics for their accidental loss under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor law—Haley focused on abortion law at the campaign event.

“Can’t we all agree that no state law should say to a woman who’s had an abortion that she’s going to jail or getting the death penalty?” Haley said. “This is a personal issue.”

Haley highlighted the importance of accessibility to in vitro fertilization, advocating for policies that ensure IVF remains within reach for aspiring parents. 

“We need to do whatever it takes to make sure IVF is accessible for every parent that wants it,” she said.

Andrew Moss, a self-described independent voter in favor of moderate policies, echoed the sentiment of many in attendance. Moss, whose disillusionment with extreme candidates made him yearn for a pragmatic leader, sees Haley combining reason and unity. 

“It’s her approach … her policies that resonate with me,” Moss said. “But more importantly, she represents a beacon of hope against the untenable choices we’re often presented with.”

Evan Fontana, whose political journey from Democrat to Republican mirrors the shifting allegiances within the American electorate, lauded Haley for her balanced stance on pressing issues—from the national deficit to immigration. 

“Leadership is about balance, about navigating the fine line between competing ideals,” Fontana said, pointing to Haley’s tenure in South Carolina and at the United Nations as examples of her adept governance.

Jackie Lapuck, standing at the crossroads of indecision, voiced a sentiment that resonates with many regarding divisive issues such as abortion. While in Haley’s words, Lapuck found a glimmer of bipartisan appeal—focusing on foreign policy and the urgent need for across-the-aisle solutions. 

“It’s a challenging landscape where finding a candidate that aligns perfectly with one’s values is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack,” Lapuch said. “Yet, Haley’s vision transcends these divisions.”

The prospect of Haley declaring an independent candidacy stirred a mixture of opinions. In supporting the cause for a third-party breakthrough, Moss believed that Haley should seize the moment and redefine the political landscape. 

“Imagine the possibilities of dismantling the monoliths that dominate our political system,” Moss said. “Haley has the potential to not just split the Republican Party but to reshape American politics altogether.”

Fontana, wary of the strategic ramifications of such a move, highlighted the pragmatic obstacles facing third-party candidates. With Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dropping his Democratic primary bid and vying for the independent votes, Fontana cautioned against underestimating the challenges of splitting the electorate. 

“It’s a gamble,” Fontana said. “One that could inadvertently pave the way for our least preferred outcomes.”

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  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu hugs Nikki Haley as he welcomes her to the stage on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at the Sheraton Boston Needham Hotel. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

  • A child sits on his father’s shoulders, holding a sign in support of Nikki Haley. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Nikki Haley supporters watch the campaign event live from outside the venue, with roughly 50 supporters not being able to get into the venue due to capacity constraints. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc chats with Nikki Haley supporters on the sidelines of a campaign event, where he was the first to come out and introduce his support for Haley. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Nikki Haley supporters walk into the Sheraton Boston Needham Hotel, waiting for the campaign rally to begin. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

  • Supporters hold signs in support of Nikki Haley as they wait for her to take the stage. (Feixu Chen/Beacon Correspondent)

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About the Contributor
Feixu Chen
Feixu Chen, Staff Photographer
Feixu Chen (he/him) is a junior journalism major from Shanghai, China. He serves as a Staff Photographer at the Beacon. He loves traveling and listening to live music. When you can't reach him, there's a good chance he's on a plane heading somewhere.

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