I hadn’t seen South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley on camera until we found this video of her today addressing a hungry pack of reporters eager for any morsel about her alleged affair with political consultant turned blogger Will Folks. As a result, I didn’t realize what a consummate pro she is. She’s something to watch. Collected, sharp-witted, and always a smile, but not plastic. She’s got the makings of a national politician, were it not for the current messiness.
She has quite the personal story, too. She was born Nimrata Randhaw in South Carolina to Sikh immigrant parents. She became an accountant, married, and had two children. In 2004, she knocked off the longest serving member of the South Carolina House to win her seat, becoming the first South Asian elected to public office in the state.
She denies the affair, and he hasn’t produced proof of it yet. So I’m withholding judgment. But if it is true and the attractive first generation overachiever ended up in an affair with a scraggly blogger then decided to run for governor, doesn’t that make her pretty much a badass? I don’t condone it, but I kind of admire it.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.