In a roller-coaster primary contest involving two unsubstantiated
allegations and a nasty ethnic slur
, Nikki Haley
the Republican nomination for
South Carolina governor. Trouncing Rep. Gresham Barrett in the runoff
race, Haley is now the front-runner for the governor's mansion. Her bid
was bolstered by the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the
burgeoning Tea Party movement. Now her conservative admirers are
celebrating her rise while political observers note the changing face of
- The GOP's Rising Star, notes Chris Cillizza at The Washington
Post: "Haley's easy victory in the state's gubernatorial runoff Tuesday
is sure to establish her as the newest rising star in the GOP ranks and a
coveted 2012 endorser. Not only does Haley look different than the
stereotypical Republican -- she is an Indian-American woman -- but she
is also the favorite to be the next governor of a state that will play a
very large role in selecting the 2012 presidential nominee."
Strategy Worked, notes Jeff Zeleny at The New York Timse:
"Haley, 38, rose in the polls by promising to break an entrenched
network that has dominated state politics for decades. She portrayed the
unsubstantiated charges of sexual affairs as retaliation for taking on
- A Moment of Genuine Tea Party Pride, writes
Dan Riehl: "We haven't felt this good
about an election result since our own Mushy Massachusetts Republican
Scott Brown won the 'People's Seat' long squatted upon by the seemingly
immovable late Senator Teddy Kennedy in last January's special election.
Unlike Brown, whose election we fervently promulgated, even as we are
not always happy with his RINO-esque votes, Nikki Haley is a true fiscal
conservative who gets our Shining-City-Upon-a-Hill juices flowing."
Forget the Mark Sanford Factor, writes Ben Smith at Politico: "There's an
important underlying story there as well: Though Mark Sanford kept his
politically toxic self away from Nikki Haley's campaign, she's very much
his protege and her campaign was partially his project. And, quite
apart from the GOP hunger for diversity, she stands to be a national
figure for some of the reasons he was: She's a very, very conservative
figure who will immediately be at war with members of both party in a
legislature that likes to spend."
- Kudos to the Tea Party, writes
Peter Ferrara at The American
Spectator: "Leading this American renewal is the increasingly brilliant
Tea Party movement, which is rapidly disproving all the fears regarding
its emergence of a year ago. Rather than dividing the conservative, free
market vote, or chasing the Republican Party off an extremist cliff, in
race after race it has demonstrated an uncanny ability to coalesce
around the most conservative candidate that can win."
Start Counting Chickens Yet, writes Mako Yamakura at the Detroit News:
"If a single bit of Folks' story breaks true, expect immediate reminders
and the real mud to flow... The
State set the tone , reporting an undisclosed consulting payment to
Haley for 20% of her very modest income at the time. And claims of
transparency is hard to promote when $40,000 goes undisclosed from a
total of $130k earned by the fam. It's a warning, now, not a mudsling.
The GOP nominee is by far the better choice, even Will begrudgingly
approved. But more than that, the image so painstakingly created by the
GOP has a flaw, if exposed, could really wreak havoc."
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