State & Local Politics

Nikki Haley: The new face of the South (Rick Perry/Nikki Haley 2012)

We are undergoing a Jacksonian awakening. The heartland is rising up as it did
in the 1830s and the lace curtainers of Boston and Richmond are freaking out,
as they did in the Colonial period. Now they are beginning to adapt, as they
did then, by turning country. But this all started with a Democrat, the gun-totin’,
tobacco-chewing Scotch-Irish Virginia war hero, Jim Webb, who went to the
Senate in 2007. John McCain noticed, and in a stroke of political genius unparalleled
in our time, borrowed karma and brought in Sarah Palin and her Big Dog, Big
Truck husband, Todd.

The sudden appearance of Real People in prominent positions shocked the nation
and the eloi retreated. Now they are coming out, getting off the porch to run
with the big dogs, striving to be good ole boys themselves, barely more than a
year after their fateful strategy of “whistling past Dixie” almost destroyed
the Democratic Party. Suggested reading: Noel Perrin’s First Person
will teach city folk what to look for
in a used truck and how to run a chainsaw without cutting your leg off.

But redneck is only a base camp, like the one that came together this month in
Nashville. The future of American politics lies with the elegant and the swift.
Anyone looking for the new face should look to that most capable political
operative, Jenny Sanford. She has already brought one candidate to the
Governor’s office in South Carolina. Now she has brought her endorsement to
another Tea Party favorite, Nikki Haley, to replace her husband as governor.

“I think South Carolinians are ready for that,” Sanford told a local
South Carolina TV news outlet. “I don’t know if our political system is
ready for it, because it really is kind of a good ole boy club still.”

“South Carolina and our nation are at a crossroads,” Haley says on her website.
“The bailouts and stimulus packages are continuing to hurt job growth, weaken
the value of our dollar and increase debt for our children. I proudly stand in
contrast — as the ONLY candidate for South Carolina governor who believed then,
and still believes now, that taking the stimulus bailout was wrong for South

Like Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, Haley is the daughter of Indian
immigrants. She might be considered the face of the new politics in the Tea
Party Movement and the new face of the South. And as governor of South Carolina,
she would be in perfect position to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) running mate
in 2012.

And RE Jenny Sanford: Never underestimate the fury of a woman scorned.
Especially if she happens to be a vastly competent political operative, as
Jenny Sanford is said to be.

Visit Mr. Quigley’s website at

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