Tag Archive for 'Nikki Haley'

Will Nikky Haley be the first female President of US?

Marie Claire interviews the Republican governor of South Carolina:

Welcome to the world of Nikki Haley, who, at the age of 40, is currently the youngest-serving U.S. governor; South Carolina’s first female chief executive; and one of a tiny sorority (six out of 50) of current U.S. women governors. Aside from Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, she is only the nation’s second governor of Indian extraction–no small thing in a state where the Confederate flag still waves in the capital.

Yet Haley—born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Punjabi immigrants who settled in Bamberg, South Carolina (population: 3,300)—is emblematic of a new, diverse generation of Southern politicians. Though she endured discrimination as a child (she was even disqualified from a local beauty pageant on racial grounds), she overcame bigotry to get elected, at age 32, to the South Carolina state legislature. A Tea Party favorite, she’s already being name-checked as a possible presidential contender come 2016. More:

For Indian-American politicians, the “What are you?” test

From Salon:

She Anglicized her name, became a Christian, and was heralded as a Mama Grizzly by Sarah Palin — and now Nikki Haley is the overwhelming favorite to be the next Republican governor of South Carolina.

“You learn to try and show people how you’re more alike than you are different,” Haley, who was born Nimrata Randhawa into an Indian Sikh family, admitted to the New York Times earlier this year.

Bobby Jindal, raised in an Indian Hindu family in Baton Rouge, changed his name and converted to Catholicism. Now, Louisiana’s Republican governor is regarded as a potential candidate for his party’s presidential nomination.

When asked by “60 Minutes” last year if they follow any Indian traditions, Jindal and his wife insisted that “we were raised as Americans, we were raised as Louisianans, so that’s how we live our lives.”

There’s no doubt that the religious conversions of Haley and Jindal, the two most prominent Indian-American politicians, have powerful personal and spiritual roots. But it’s also inarguable that being Christians with Anglicized names has made it easier for them to create bonds with the overwhelmingly white and deeply religious voters who dominate Republican politics in the South. More:

Nikki Haley and the new racial face of the American South

Nikki Haley is poised to join Bobby Jindal as conservative Indian Americans running Deep South states. Tunku Varadarajan at The Daily Beast on how they’re exploding racial attitudes—and why the Dems don’t get it.

Nikki Haley, née Nimrata Randhawa, is almost assured of the Republican nomination for governor of the state of South Carolina. And if she does win her runoff on June 22, she is almost certain to be elected governor in November, which would give rise to the remarkable fact that two deeply conservative Southern states—South Carolina and Louisiana—will be home to governors of Indian descent, one the son of Hindu immigrants, the other the daughter of Sikhs.

What explains the success of Jindal and Haley in their respective states? In posing this question, I hint, of course, at the South’s lingering reputation for racial intolerance; and who can deny that the two states in question have not always been at the forefront of America’s historical striving for racial amity?

One answer is that these two politicians are consummate conservatives in a milieu that rewards political conservatism, and that their success is a validation of their ideology and intelligence. Their ethnicity, in other words, is an irrelevance. This view was expressed, in effect, by a friend—a law professor in Tennessee—when I asked him why he thought Indian-American conservatives were doing so well in some Southern states: “There are lots of Indians in the South, and they work hard and do well. Why wouldn’t people like ‘em, especially when they work hard at politics and espouse conservative, capitalist, pro-family views?” More:

Nikki Haley’s big step

Nikki Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, now finds herself one of the Republican Party’s brightest rising stars. Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, she was always called Nikki, which in Punjabi means means the “little one.” Shaila Dewan and Robbie Brown in The New York Times:

BAMBERG, S.C. — Nikki Haley, the favorite to become the first governor of South Carolina who is neither white nor male, has always challenged established norms with her own brand of moxie.

As a girl, her parents — the first Indian immigrants this small, working-class town had ever seen — entered Nikki and her sister in the Little Miss Bamberg pageant. The judges of the contest, one that crowned one black queen and one white queen, were so flummoxed that they simply disqualified Nikki and her sister, Simran — but not before Nikki, about 5, sang “This Land Is Your Land.”

Ms. Haley, 38, upended things again last week after a sharp-elbowed primary that included allegations of marital infidelity and pitted her against the lieutenant governor, the attorney general and a congressman. Ms. Haley, a state legislator, received 49 percent of the vote, but faces a June 22 runoff with Representative Gresham Barrett, whom she beat by more than 25 points Tuesday. And this from a campaign that was so underfinanced that it had to sell yard signs at $5 apiece, Ms. Haley said.

Now, she finds herself one of the brightest rising stars in the Republican Party, a Tea Party favorite, a Sarah Palin endorsee and the subject of national attention.

“I love that people think it’s a good story, but I don’t understand how it’s different,” she said in an interview Friday, in a voice with a faint watermark of Southern drawl. “I feel like I’m just an accountant and businessperson who wants to be a part of state government.” More:

More at: http://www.nikkihaley.com/