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Nikki Haley Wants a Conservative Renaissance

Salena Zito on

Nikki Haley has been busy.

The former ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor has spent the past few months not discussing herself but rather conservative candidates running for office with voters across the country.

Her goal is to encourage people to vote for candidates she believes best embody the populist conservative coalition. It's a coalition in which she has been active since she first ran for governor of South Carolina in a 2010 primary against four establishment rivals, right at the dawn of the Tea Party movement.

"We're traveling all over the country, helping other candidates get elected. It's paying it forward, as I always like to say it," said Haley, speaking of the work she is doing with her Stand for America PAC.

It is also a goal that keeps Haley, who has never lost a race for elective office, front and center with the party base in states across the country. Of course, this will help her if she decides to run in the Republican presidential primary contest in 2024.

Last year, she went to Virginia to support Glenn Youngkin for governor and was one of the few, if any, national Republican figures who went to New Jersey and recognized the insurgent candidacy of Jack Ciattarelli, who nearly pulled off a huge upset.

 

One of the most high-profile candidates to whom she has paid it forward is former Republican vice presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whom Haley vigorously supports for the House seat that opened following the death of longtime Alaskan Rep. Don Young.

Haley said it's not just because she credits Palin for taking her over the finish line in her primary race for governor in 2010, but also because Haley recognizes Palin's influence in attracting women into the conservative movement.

"One of the papers reported when she came to South Carolina for me that it was the 'rock star sisterhood,' so this is one of the sisters going back and saying thank you to the other rock star sister, to say, 'You know what? You helped me when I needed it. I'm going to do whatever it takes to help Palin get back to where she needs to be,'" Haley said.

South Carolina native Bruce Haynes says Haley differentiated herself from many of the rising stars of the Tea Party by sustaining her trajectory through accomplishments.

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