Nikki Haley attends town hall with Michele Bachmann

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 26 2011 11:39 AM

Nikki Haley: More Socially Conservative than You Think

106483332
Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images

Even though I didn't agree with her politics, I admired South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley when she was elected last fall. As our own Hanna Rosin pointed out in an Atlantic profile of Haley, she's an Indian American woman who toppled the good ol' boys of South Carolina politics, and she did it by focusing on fiscal conservatism. As Hanna put it, Haley painted herself as "a corporate accountant with a competitive streak," not someone who was focused on fighting abortion or gay marriage or making the United States into a Christian nation.

Which is why it is troubling and upsetting to see her attending a North Charleston Town Hall hosted by Rep. Michele Bachmann. According to Politico, though Haley hasn't endorsed anyone for president yet, has spoken favorably about two candidates so far: Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. What do Bachmann and Perry have in common? They are the candidates who are the most baldly religious, who are virulently anti-abortion and gay marriage, who muddle the lines between church and state in a very unsettling way.This feels especially confusing coming from Haley, considering the fact that she was raised Sikh, and even had a Sikh wedding ceremony along with a Methodist one.

Advertisement

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. There have been signs for a while now that the Tea Party isn't as economically focused as they would have had you believe when they first emerged two years ago. As Amanda put it in a post from May, "The real story here is that the GOP is claiming to be all about economics, and then turning around and spending most of their time trying to legislate sex out of existence." I just thought Nikki Haley might be the one tea partier who walked the walk of economic focus instead of just talking the talk.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.