On Jan. 25, Nikki Haley was sworn in as the 29th U.S. ambassador to the U.N. by an almost unanimous confirmation of the Senate. Haley’s new job will be very different from her last position as governor of the state of South Carolina, but Washington, D.C., is very confident in her ability to represent the U.S. in this conference of nations. With Haley moving to New York City and accepting this new position, she had to resign from her post as South Carolina’s governor, a position she has held for six years. Now that she has moved on, it’s time to remember what she did for South Carolina and her impact on the state.
Haley was elected to governorship on Nov. 2, 2010, was the first female governor of the state and was the first Sikh Indian to ever hold a governor position. While in office, Haley led many bi-partisan initiatives, the most famous being the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. She had supported the flag as a part of South Carolina heritage until the hate crime shooting that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church taking the lives of nine African-Americans.
After that event, Haley worked with state legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the statehouse because she wanted to make sure that everyone felt welcome there, and the flag represented a time of racial inequality to many people in South Carolina. While this event was controversial, Haley has always stood her ground on the issue and expressed the importance of breaking down historical racial barriers.
Haley also stood for LGBT rights by denouncing a bill put forward by the South Carolina Senate that would require transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their biological sexes, not their gender identities. Haley received a lot of criticism from conservative lawmakers on her stance, but, once again, she did not falter.
In South Carolina economics, Haley called on businesses to move to South Carolina and helped to improve dealings with companies that utilized the Charleston Harbor.
While Haley proved herself to be a strong governor, she also showed the people of South Carolina that she was a strong person who wouldn’t let anyone push her around, especially not President Donald Trump. When controversy popped up surrounding the release of Trump’s tax records, Haley spoke out saying it was Trump’s duty to release this information. Trump replied to this by attacking Haley on Twitter saying, “ The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley.” Haley replied in the simplest and most Southern way, tweeting back at him, “Bless your heart.”
As governor, Nikki Haley faced stark controversy, four natural disasters and tragedy. She stood firm on her morals and ideas and offered the people of South Carolina the leadership they needed. Now, she has advanced in her career. Henry McMaster will serve as governor until the gubernatorial elections in 2018, and then South Carolina will elect a new governor.