A recent Politico piece reminded me that in 2012, Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary after a brilliant debate performance. Although Gingrich couldn’t go on to stop Mitt Romney from winning the nomination, it was a brief shining moment in his campaign.

Fast forward to 2024, and former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is the only surviving challenger in either the Democrat or Republican Primaries.

Recent polls show Haley trailing Donald Trump by 20 to 30 points in her home state. It’s time for a “Haley Mary.”

Trump isn’t going to give (nor should he) Haley a shot at a debate and the type of last-minute miracle Gingrich had in 2012. But this isn’t 2012, and technology allows for innovation that was unthinkable a dozen years ago.

In 2024, technology has advanced to the point where it may be possible for Haley to debate Trump without his participation. It could be a real debate, unscripted and without using prior video of the presumptive Republican nominee.

With AI (artificial intelligence) and hologram technology, it may be possible to create a life-sized, three-dimensional hologram of Donald Trump, which would react to a debate setting as closely as possible to the human Donald Trump.

We’re a long way from Disney’s “Hall of Presidents,” which many of us saw as children decades ago.

The music industry has used hologram imagery since the late 1990s. The technology wasn’t advanced when South Korean company SM Entertainment tried to produce a hologram concert for the boy band H.O.T. in 1998.

In 2012, people attending Coachella were stunned when 2Pac took the stage, fifteen years after his death, with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre through hologram imagery. 

The “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, was resurrected for a performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, also using hologram technology. The result was so realistic that it brought audience members to tears.

The Swedish pop band ABBA stopped performing together regularly in the 1980s, although they reunited briefly in 2021. ABBA isn’t touring, but if you’re visiting London, you can take in an ABBA virtual concert and see them as they were in their prime in the 1970s, again through holographic technology. 

Undoubtedly, the technology to create a holographic image of Trump for a debate exists. 

On November 30, 2022, OpenAI released the earliest demo of ChatGPT. By May 2023, the website received over 1.8 billion hits. GPT-4 is the most current version. Companies including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and others are each developing their version of AI chatbots.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), AI was the main theme and was everywhere, according to media consultant Fred Jacobs, President of Bingham Farms, MI-based Jacobs Media.

It would require coordinating AI with speech recognition and hologram technology that isn’t pre-programmed. That involves risk, which, of course, could backfire on Haley because it’s never been done. Glitches could make the event look silly.

It’s a high-stakes gamble, but Haley has nothing to lose. Her bid to take on Trump for the Republican nomination will likely end after the South Carolina primary. Her campaign will certainly finish a week later after Super Tuesday – unless she does something big, bold, and different.

Undoubtedly, one of the networks desperate for content would provide a moderator and broadcast the debate. It would likely result in tremendous media coverage.

There’s no doubt that Donald Trump would react, and probably not well, but in the process, create more attention to the AI debate.

At some point in the near future, somebody will figure out how to do a virtual, AI, and hologram debate with an opponent who won’t debate. Who knows, maybe Trump will debate a hologram and AI version of Joe Biden if the current president won’t take the stage with the former during the general election. 

One of the seminal books about marketing is called “Positioning: The Battle for the Mind,” by Ries and Trout.” They write: The public always remembers who does something first. Who was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? The first man to walk on the moon? Whose second? Who cares? 

Call it desperation, but Haley should be the first to conduct an AI virtual debate with Trump.

A superior debate effort helped Newt Gingrich there twelve years ago; since Trump isn’t going to give Haley the same opportunity this year, the former Ambassador and Governor needs to create her own miracle, her own “Haley Mary,” if you will.

Andy Bloom is President of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT, WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles, and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President of Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc., and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at andy@andybloom.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.

2 thoughts on “Andy Bloom: Nikki’s Haley Mary?”

  1. Andy, they already figured out how to make it look like one has voted when one apparently did not. Why waste time on the debate stage?
    Statement from the Secretary of State’s Office, Nevada, February 2024:
    “UPDATE: After working closely with Nevada’s county clerks, registrars, and their IT staff, the Nevada Secretary of State’s office is confident that all issues related to erroneous vote history have been identified and fixes are in progress. The issue was as follows: on a nightly basis, each county uploads their voter registration data to the Secretary of State’s database, which executes code to create the single statewide voter registration file that users see when they log into vote.nv.gov The legacy systems used by a number of the counties require additional steps be taken to ensure that voters who did not return their ballot do not have vote history; some of those steps were not taken, which resulted in inaccurate data.

 Our office has been validating new files from each county and moving them into production as soon as the accuracy of the data is verified. Some counties may not see updates until after the nightly file upload, but if counties have taken the appropriate steps all voter data should be accurate within 48 hours. A comprehensive report will be provided as soon as is practicable.
    Again, this is an error that relates to the code used for when a voter is sent a mail ballot and does not return it; it has no connection in any way to vote tabulation. The top-down Voter Registration and Election Management System (VREMS) project at the Secretary of State’s office will go live prior to the June 2024 election, and remove the need for these outdated processes.”

  2. There are endless examples of voter-breach-of-trust issues. CNN, June 2022: “While these vulnerabilities present risks that should be promptly mitigated [clear admission of vulnerabilities], CISA has no evidence that these [existing] vulnerabilities have been exploited in any elections,” was the CISA advisory, which the agency shared in a briefing with state and local officials. Subsequently were they promptly mitigated?!? What exactly were the PRECISE vulnerabilities and SPECIFIC mitigation steps taken?!? Do not hold your breath for actual specifics on the vulnerabilities and if they were addressed and how they were addressed.
    So, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – not to be confused with Twitter file CIS – admits there are voting machine vulnerabilities. But no one actually reviews whether the vulnerabilities have been exploited. MSM pretends. Those Nevada “audits” consisted of comparing the results printed on the machine tapes with the results reported by the central tabulator. In Nevada, during the last election, they sent out the wrong ballots and had system-wide machine errors. Those situations were written off as “mistakes.” Meanwhile there have been several voters themselves across the US that accidentally stumbled upon errors in active tabulations, and then Dems and RINOs insisted the incidents were simple software “glitches”, one-offs, nothing to see here situations, and did not affect the vote. Then MSM immediately sweeps discussion under the rug. The 2020 vote came to a screeching halt in multiple swing states at the same time – why? Broken pipes? Who knows what goes on in PA and Philadelphia? We know they plastered pizza boxes over the windows – again why? Because it was rigged, but people who say that are yelled at for being the problem. These days if you point out obvious lies you get yelled at by polite people. And in PA, this month, we have this nonsense for the AUDITOR GENERAL POSITION:
    Feb 2024… Signatures of more than a dozen Chester County Democratic voters that were apparently forged are being discovered on the nominating petitions of a party candidate for state auditor general that were filed in Harrisburg earlier this month.
    The allegedly false signatures include four elected officials, including two Coatesville council members, a West Goshen supervisor, and a sitting Chester County Common Pleas judge. At least 16 voters’ signatures have been identified as forgeries by a group of freelance investigators familiar with the nominating petition process, those involved said.
    The petitions were filed on Feb. 9 with the Department of State on behalf of Mark Pinsley, the Lehigh County controller, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for auditor general, running against a state representative from Philadelphia, Malcolm Kenyatta.
    On Wednesday, a published report stated that the name of county Judge Alito Rovito appeared on one of the 11 pages of signatures of voters supporting Pinsley.
    The problem was that Judge Rovito said she had not signed it and did not know who had.

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