Nikki Haley is the name on the lips of possibly every Republican primary entrant right now, and that's a lot of men.
When South Carolina governor Nikki Haley shifted her position from not being interested in the Confederate flag issue to advocating fiercely for its removal, she caught the public eye.
“This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state,” Haley said.
Americans found Nikki Haley's honesty in the wake of the Charleston church shootings refreshing. It did not take long for her name to be floated as a possible running mate for whoever wins the GOP primary.
"She’d be on anybody’s list,” Mike Huckabee said. “She’s done a terrific job in South Carolina.”
Now the man who brought Sarah Palin into the 2008 race alongside John McCain is weighing in. Steve Schmidt is a GOP strategist who has also made a name for himself as supporting equal rights for gays.
“Nikki showed leadership in this instance," Schmidt says, "and she represents a new Republican face in the South. She speaks to the growing diversity of Republican elected officials in executive office, and she’s been a very effective governor in the state of South Carolina, and certainly, she’s going to be a person given serious consideration.”
But Schmidt acknowledges that Nikki Haley has chinks in her political armor.
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
“Her knowledge of world affairs and national security remains untested and unknown at this point,” Schmidt admits.
One might look back at how the Sarah Palin experiment fared for John McCain in 2008. Palin's "knowledge of world affairs and national security" were also "untested and unknown," but Schmidt brought her into the Big Game anyway.
How does Schmidt feel about that decision today?
"My judgment was influenced by an ambition for victory, trying to figure out a way to win the race," Schmidt has said. "There is no question she helped to energize the campaign and to catapult John McCain into the lead. But the result was the nomination of someone who was fundamentally not qualified to be in the national command authority. That supersedes any short-term or long-term political advantage. Obviously, I have great regret over that."
There may be a place for Nikki Haley in the GOP primary, but maybe not as a running mate. South Carolina has proven to be a pivotal state in GOP primaries of the past. For a GOP candidate, having Nikki Haley in your corner may be very handy. Whether she should be on your ticket is another matter.
Don't want Nikki Haley as VP.
— Force Ghost Obi-Wan (@ForceGhostOB1) July 5, 2015