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: