Nikki Haley, Governor, South Carolina
Many observers of the veepstakes have wondered if South Carolina’s young governor would be a nice fit on the Romney ticket. Nikki Haley had the strong support of the Tea Party when she was elected in 2010, beating several more well-known and experienced candidates. South Carolina is home to some of the most conservative elements of the Republican Party. If Haley joined Romney’s ticket, she might be able to generate enthusiasm among white evangelicals in particular. Although the deep-red states of the Bible Belt aren’t in any danger of swinging to Obama, Romney did not enjoy much support in the South throughout the primaries.
The most glaring negative for Governor Haley is her similarity to Sarah Palin, who was also a young, inexperienced female governor when she joined the national ticket. This alone probably disqualifies Haley. Although she, like most of those mentioned for vice president, claims to have no interest in the job, the recent publication of her autobiography, Can’t is Not An Option: My American Story, suggests she’s eager to introduce herself on the national stage.