Nikki Haley on Principles & Values
We were the first Indian family ever to live in Bamberg. In a time & a place that only knew black & white, we didn't fit either category. We weren't dark enough to be black or pale enough to be white. We were brown. That difference--our difference--was an inescapable fact. We coped the only way we knew how: We went into survival mode. We clung to one another tightly. We worked hard. We were respectful to our neighbors. We tried to fit in.
Still, I can't remember a time when I went somewhere with my parents and people didn't stare. "What's that on your head?" they would say. Walking into a restaurant meant hearing people whisper. Walking by a store meant seeing people point.
I can honestly say that I was never embarrassed. I was, however, very sad. My dad is one of the best people I know. He's honest and optimistic. And he loves this country in the way that only a man who gave up a life of comfort and prestige elsewhere can. When I was little, the stares and comments he would evoke instilled in me a kind of quiet sadness. When I was older, it was quiet anger.
I converted to Christianity because the teaching of Christ spoke to me in a way that I could understand and that would help me live my life--the life I wanted in mine and Michaels's marriage and raising of our children.
To me this was all very personal. As a newcomer to politics, it came as quite a shock to me that my faith journey was something that would be dissected by political opponents on the campaign trail.
Michael and I were married in the Christian faith. Our children were baptized as Christians. We attend church regularly. It was and is central to our lives.
I came to the South Carolina house in 2005 having already broken a rule. I had unseated the longest-serving legislator in South Carolina history--a real good old boy. Luckily, I had company. Nathan Ballentine had unseated the majority leader. Nathan and I were the skunks at the garden party. No one wanted to be near us.
At the meeting of the Republican caucus, the incumbents patted one another on the back like old friends, while we stood off to the side, not sure what to do. We had defeated their friends, and we were feeling it. We knew it would take time for them to get to know us and for us to prove ourselves.
In the end, over 500 contributors from 45 states supported the campaign. Their contributions were small, averaging just over $100. But the boost they gave our morale was worth more than the money. We were hearing from people all across the country who wanted to send the message that they didn't care if their politicians were Republican; they cared if they were conservative.
So we made an ad with just that message. It began with a black-and-white image of Gresham Barrett flashed on the screen: "Bailouts." Then Andre Bauer: "Stimulus spending." Then Henry McMaster: "Career politician." And then it proclaimed, "South Carolina can do better." Then the ad pivoted to upbeat music and color footage of me talking to supporters. The tagline called on voters to "Join the Movement."
That was the message we were trying to get across: We could do better. We could do better than the establishment candidates, better than the spend-and-stick-the-taxpayers-with-the-bill mentality that had run Columbia--and Washington, DC--for so long.
Many were asking what they could do to help us fight it. Others said it only made them support me more. But if the people weren't playing along with the politics, the press was a different story. After showing some initial restraint, they lost all control. The media began to camp out in front of campaign headquarters.
We put out the statement. I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false. These attacks --and those sure to follow--are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters.
We had given up on the press's attempting to bring any credibility to their process of reporting the "news." We woke up the next morning expecting another ugly story to be splashed across the front pages. But there wasn't one. Good for them, I thought. They're not playing the game. Then something interesting happened. The Bauer campaign sent out a press release saying it had fired the lobbyist, who had been its paid consultant up until that day.
Jake Knotts is a self-described "redneck" with a reputation for...let's just say "blunt" language. As far as I was concerned, he was the poster boy for everything that is wrong with South Carolina politics.
His comments would go national. At a time when I wanted people to feel good about our state, he was an example of why we've been regarded as a bunch of uneducated, backwoods racists. That was the saddest, most regrettable thing about the senator's bigoted remark: Jake Knotts doesn't reflect the views of most South Carolinians, but here he was, reinforcing everyone's worst stereotypes and prejudices about our state.
Haley was born and raised as a Sikh. On September 6, 1996 she married Michael Haley in both a Methodist church ceremony and a Sikh gurdwara. Haley identifies herself today as a Christian, but also attends both Sikh and Methodist services out of respect for her parents' culture. She sits on the board for Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church.
The Tea Party movement is a populist conservative social movement in the United States that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the stimulus package; te healthcare bill; and the TARP bailouts. The name "Tea Party" refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the source of the phrase, "No Taxation Without Representation."
|Other governors on Principles & Values:||Nikki Haley on other issues:|
NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)
Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Solis(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D)
HI: Abercrombie(D) vs.Djou(R)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hoefling(R) vs.Culver(D)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D) vs.Baker(R)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Boren(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Schwartz(D) vs.Critz(D) vs.Wolf(D)
Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry