While many tuned in last night to hear President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address, his speech isn’t the only one people are talking about today. I mean, we are, but someone else stole the show. Someone else spoke honestly and eloquently and made us think, and that someone was Republican responder and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. It's curious that Haley gave the response after having quite a newsworthy year — she stood up after a mass shooting in her state and spearheaded a movement to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds. As a result, her response at the SOTU made many wonder if Nikki Haley will run for vice president. It's not clear yet, but there have been many signs that it's a possibility.
So what made Haley’s speech so memorable and noteworthy? Well, she spoke out against her own party. Sure, she criticized Obama, pointing out the country's “crushing national debt, a health care plan that has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available, and [the] chaotic unrest in many of our cities” as proof that his “record has often fallen far short of his soaring words,” according to a YouTube video of the speech But she also implored fellow Republicans to take responsibility and “blame” for the current state of our government, according to the YouTube video:
We [Republicans] need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken.
Oh, and Haley pushed back against Donald Trump, hard:
Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation...no one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.
Haley is the 44-year-old “proud daughter of Indian immigrants.” She's a young, groundbreaking candidate and, as CNN put it, Haley is the “Republican version of Obama.” She has a record of success in her home state, can give great speeches, and she doesn’t shy away from tough topics — or tough questions. In short, she is a strong candidate, so strong that many believe she should have run for president herself.
But since didn’t, and so now people believe that she might run for the spot as vice president. Earlier today CNN's Don Lemon asked Haley just that, i.e. would she consider running for vice president, and she said she hasn't thought about it, which is kind of hard to believe:
I truly haven’t thought about it...I’ve got a daughter that is a senior in high school. I’ve got a son in middle school, so I’m busy with basketball games and running the state. I’ve said if anytime someone wants to sit down I’m happy to sit down...but really my life is full. Everything’s pretty full right now, and we’ve got a lot to do in the state of South Carolina.
But that’s not a no, right? There’s still hope? Because while I don’t necessarily like any of the Republican candidates, I am intrigued by Haley, and would like to learn more about this poised and powerful woman from South Carolina.
Images: Sean Rayford/Getty Images News