The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa (1972-01-20) January 20, 1972 (age 40) Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michael Haley
Children 2
Alma mater Clemson University (B.S.)

Nikki Haley came to office as Governor of South Carolina as a TEA movement favorite known for her record of fiscal conservatism, a record she accumulated as a state representative.

That record is one which has yet to be tested as an executive officeholder but she remains a promising conservative who is leading a state which has an approximate 10% unemployment rate and is by many, considered to be under direct attack of the federal government. As such Haley and her state has challenged everything from South Carolina’s plight for voters to provide identification before voting, to their enforcement of anti-illegal immigration laws, and even the state’s right to work laws.

This puts Nikki Haley on the frontline of many of the hot button, conservative issues and that in turn makes her a prominent name to be considered for Vice President. However, Haley has really yet to cement her reputation as a fiscal conservative and with less than two years in office, it can be said that there are better choices to go with. Especially when you consider the fact that South Carolina is not likely to vote for President Obama. And at the moment, Governor Haley is not the most popular politician in her state. Recent polling indicates South Carolinians were evenly divided on if they approved of the way in which Haley was doing her job.

Another bump in the road deals with the unanimous agreement by members of the South Carolina House of Representatives’ House Ethics Committee to take a closer look at an ethics complaint against Gov. Nikki Haley. The complaint alleges Haley used her position as a House member to lobby and then vote on bills to benefit employers. But she still remains a potential candidate for the long list of vice presidential options. It is also worth noting that Nikki Haley was a prominent early supporter of Mitt Romney who even though he lost the state’s primary to Newt Gingrich, is certainly appreciative for her help.

Between her personal story as the daughter of Indian immigrants and her being the first woman Governor of South Carolina, she would bring to the G.O.P. ticket an interesting demographic which Republicans must considered.

Pros:

  • Helps Romney with the T.E.A. activists that he needs on his side.
  • Helps Romney energize the Southern base.
  • Aides Romney with the women’s vote that he needs help with.
  • Haley’s fiscal conservatism helps underscore Romney’s command of economic issues and the federal budget deficit.
  • The potential to make history as the first woman vice President carries a degree of excitement around it that the Romney campaign could use a touch of.
  • Nikki Haley is a strong and energetic speaker.

Cons:

  • Haley is not seasoned.
  • Lacks any foreign affairs credentials.
  • Is not as popular in South Carolina as she was in her first year in office.

Overall Assessment:

While Haley is a politically attractive and definitely qualified candidate for Vice President, she fails to bring to the table as much gravitas to the ticket that several other male or female prospects do. And while her brief tenure in office has proven her to be a rising star, now is probably not the time when her star should rise to the second highest office in the nation. But the Romney campaign must still consider Nikki Haley for the job.

She is strong on many of the issues that Romney needs to stronger on, including the issues of abortion, and limited government. He also needs to be sure that voters with T.E.A. Party sentiments do not sit on their hands on Election day and Nikki Haley can go a long way in winning them over at the voting booth.

Of all the potential female running mates that exist for Romney, Haley is probably one of the best. She is a safer choice than several others and Romney likes playing it as safe as possible. So Nikki Haley will probably make it to the short list of candidates but in the end, she is not likely to make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 1227

Legislation (Sign)

March 29, 2012

More Key Votes

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Nikki Haley On The Issues

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Nikki Haley Endorses Mitt Romney for President

Bookmark and Share   Several weeks ago, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared to a reporter that she would be endorsing a businessman for President.  At the time that could have really only one of two people……Herman Cain and Mitt Romney.  But seeing as how Mitt Romney was one of those people who came out early in 2010 and endorsed Nikki Haley for Governor, then subsequently worked hard for her in the state, odds were that she did not mean Herman Cain.

Today, that was confirmed.

In an early morning interview on Fox News, the popular Governor of the increasingly important early primary state made it official and declared her support for Mitt Romney for President.

In her endorsement, Haley praised Romney as being a business leader who understands the economy, knows how to create jobs, and has the vision and ability to turn our nation around.  Governor Haley said that while no candidate is perfect, Romney happens to be the best person for the times we are in.

The endorsement is probably the most significant one to be bestowed upon any of the Republican presidential candidates to date and deals a pretty big blow to his competitors, especially frontrunner Newt Gingrich.

In addition to being a favorite influential figure within the TEA movement, a group of people Romney needs help with, Nikki Haley is a very popular Governor of the Palmetto State and in addition to her giving Romney some TEA Party credentials, her support gives Mitt Romney unprecedented access to the state Party organization of South Carolina.  While Haley’s endorsement of Romney does not constitute an endorsement by the South Carolina G.O.P. or any of its county organizations, it does essentially put the Governor’s controlling share of the state Party apparatus behind Romney.  Such organizational support will help make a big difference on primary day in South Carolina.

Currently, South Carolina is where Newt Gingrich has his largest campaign organization.  it is there that Newt is hoping to pull off a win that will bring clarity to any mottled decision that comes out of Iowa and New Hampshire and catapult Newt to a win in Florida and the upper hand in the nomination process.

While this is certainly not out of the question, Haley’s endorsement of Mitt Romney did just make the question mark much bolder.

One thing this endorsement certainly does though is show how the early strategic groundwork of Mitt Romney’s long campaign for president is beginning to pay off.  In the year’s leading up to this year’s election, Romney had been criscrossing the country to support candidates all over on the state and county level in their own election and reelection efforts

So this endorsement comes as no surprise to Romney. It has been known that it was coming for more than a year now.  It is an endorsement that Romney planned for long ago when he supported Nikki Haley in her primary contest for the gubernatorial nomination and when his PAC, Free and Strong America PAC donated to Haley’s campaign.  It was all a part of a Romney strategy that was created long ago.

What is interesting though is the timing of the endorsement.

It comes on the heels of last night’s Republican debate in which Newt Gingrich seemed to have stolen the thunder.  Having Haley endorse him this morning was designed to try to take some of that thunder back.

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Dennis Miller Signals a Surge in Endorsements for Herman Cain

Bookmark and Share  Although comedian, actor and radio talk show host Dennis Miller made no secret tha he was fond of Herman Cain’s presidential  candidacy, he had not endorsed him.  Until now.

Today Miller used his nationally aired radio program to officially endorse Herman Cain for the Republican nomination for President.  Click here to listen to clip. In addition to that, Miller is slated to headline a fundraiser for Cain in Los Angeles.

Earlier in the day, there there were a serious of Twitters from bothCain and Miller that went as follows;

Dennis Miller Show
How proud would I be to have Herman Cain as my President? http://dennismillerradio.com/b/Cain-Versus-Unable/144162840843406213.html @THEHermanCain
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Herman Cain
I’d like to thank @DennisDMZ for his support. I look forward to working with him as we continue our journey to the White House!
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Dennis Miller Show
Here’s an idea for Herman Cain’s next bumper sticker: “Cain Versus Not Able.” Herm’s up next at http://dennismillerradio.com/site @THEHermanCain
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Herman Cain
Love it! RT @DennisDMZ: Here’s an idea for Herman Cain’s next bumper sticker: “Cain Versus Not Able.”

Whether Miller’s endorsement of Herman Cain is a sign that others will now be confident enough to publicly declare their support for what has been cosidered a longshot campaign , is not fully known yet.  But one certainty is that Cain’s big victory by a wide margin in Saturday’s Florida Republican presidential straw poll, has put Cain on the map and established him as a contender.

Many see Cain’s straw poll victory as a sign of disatissfaction with the political establishment of both major Parties.  From this consultant’s point of view, that is true.  However, the fact that people would use Herman Cain to send this signal says much about Herman Cain himself.  In the recent straw poll, Cain won more votes than the second and third places, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney did.  Such a vote total is based not just on sending a message, many of those votes went his way because many of those people also believe in Herman Cain.  They believe that he can at the very least bring some of the common sense to Washington, D.C. that the political establishment lacks.

What Herman Cain now needs to do is convince establishment voters that he is more than a vessel being used to signal disatisfaction.   He must demonstrate that he is not just the flavor of the day.  Not long ago Mchele Bachmann was the flavor of the day when she won the Iowa straw poll.  That got her as far as a dead last finish in Florida’s straw poll.

In addition to having to detail his policies on everything and be prepared to defend them against the scrutiny that his new success will bring, he could also use the support of an established politician, especially one that is respected and appreciated within the TEA movement.  Such an opportunity might be in the making with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley who recently indicated that she will be endorsing a person with business experience.  Such a comment could play in to the theme that mitt Romney is attaching to his own candidacy, but it could also be a reference to Herman Cain who has never held elected office but has successfully run several private sector interests and associations.

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