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Nikki Haley
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I caught Stephen Colbert’s interview of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on The Colbert Report. This was the first time I’ve seen Haley interviewed in a non-news program or press briefing, and had very much the same reaction when I had seen Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. First, it was a bit disarming to see Haley (or for that matter, any Asian American) speak with a Southern accent (this includes a cousin who went to middle and high school in Texas). Haley come across as a very eloquent, approachable, down-to-earth person.

As the first woman, non-white elected and I believe youngest (age 38) elected governor of South Carolina, she has broken a lot of barriers. I can’t say that politically, I am a fan of Haley – she’s a Tea Party favorite that is friends and endorsed by former Vice Presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Ironically, Haley supported establishment favorite Republican Mitt Romney in the South Carolina presidential Republican primary – so she’s somewhat practical (from a political survivalist standpoint). Haley repeated that she was not interested in being Romney’s pick for vice president.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised that Haley has aspirations for the national stage in the future. She just published her book, Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story. That’s always a sign of high political aspirations. And I later saw her being interviewed in ABC’s Nightline segment, where she does talk about some of the discriminatory experiences in the past while growing up in South Carolina.

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