Nikki Haley has a message for women thinking of running for political office: “Don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t become overly cautious.” And, she adds, don’t be discouraged by politics’ dirty side: “It only toughens you for future success.”
To become governor in 2010 (the first in South Carolina to be both female and Indian American), Haley beat three Republicans and a Democrat during a vicious campaign in which she faced sexism, ethnic slurs and unproven allegations of adultery. Now her victory has inspired a memoir, Can’t Is Not an Option.
Beginning with her parents’ struggle to achieve the American Dream, Haley details her path to the governor’s mansion. “When you grow up the daughter of immigrants, there is a different feeling,” says the woman now considered a Republican power player. “They constantly remind you how blessed we are to live in this country.”
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