Nikki Haley has been the talk of the town lately, and not just towns in South Carolina. Folks in Washington are taking note of her and the attention she is getting following the horrific shootings at a Charleston church last month.
The shootings have been described as hate crimes perpetrated by a white supremacist who displayed a Confederate battle flag in his pre-shooting statements online. As a result, sentiment and urgency to remove that flag from display at state facilities reached a fever pitch. Nikki Haley, who had previously opposed removing the flag, did an about-face in the wake of the tragedy, supporting the flag's removal.
Haley's willingness to let go of a viewpoint that has been dogmatically held by many in her state seemed to set her apart as more principled than most see other lawmakers. Her sincerity in declaring that she honestly could not defend that flag anymore to her own children was a breath of fresh air to voters.
Now Haley is seen as a potential force to be harnessed for the brewing GOP presidential primary. South Carolina has proven to be a pivotal state in GOP primaries of the past. But some look to Haley personally as potential running mate material.
"She’d be on anybody’s list,” Mike Huckabee said. “She’s done a terrific job in South Carolina.”
It is reasonable to assume that candidate Huckabee has his own eye on Nikki Haley.
Don't want Nikki Haley as VP.
— Force Ghost Obi-Wan (@ForceGhostOB1) July 5, 2015
“She could play a pivotal role in [women’s issues, education reform and long-term immigration policy] and in the future of the party,” Republican strategist Juleanne Glover said. “She’s an American success story with a biographical narrative that lends itself to a larger, inspirational story. Friends who know her well have always been evangelical about her potential. They are not surprised.”
That biographical narrative Glover speaks of includes the fact that Haley was the first female governor of South Carolina, but is also the child of immigrants. Born Nimrata Randhawa, her parents were immigrants from India.
However, some in South Carolina are still wary of Haley. The now-popular governor has had to face scandals in recent years. If she were to be chosen as a potential running mate for a leading candidate, those scandals would no doubt have to be addressed.
— Jennifer (@jpeery59) February 17, 2013
— mike forte (@oscalope) January 30, 2015
Haley faced accusations of an affair with Will Folks, a political blogger and former campaign staffer. Folks gave details of his alleged liaisons with Haley.
Nikki Haley was also named in a divorce suit as one of three “other women” S.C. State House lobbyist Larry Marchant was alleged to have had affairs with.
If she is to be taken as a serious contender on a national level, Nikki Haley will have to find a way to put these allegations to be once and for all. While they may be old, the people of South Carolina have not forgotten them.
Blogger Will Folks on alleged Haley affair: 'Nikki climbed on top of me, rubbing her crotch back and forth' http://t.co/R9AWtd4gEe
— BonnieBlueGirl (@BonnieBlueGirl) July 9, 2015
Two sign affidavits saying they had affair with Nikki Haley, but Haley won't bite (Updated) http://t.co/7zQRJd0L4N
— Dave McW (@DaveMc99TA) June 23, 2015
Before Confederate Flag controversy, Gov. Nikki Haley was known for her affair w/ a gay Republican. http://t.co/CjZW8pqJEI
— Darby (@Mdarbyreid) June 23, 2015