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Who is Nikki Haley?
Blog...Who is Nikki Haley?

Who is Nikki Haley?

Green News
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Who is Nikkii Haley, how did she get started in politics, what are her policies, and why has she chosen to run for the 2024 presidential election?
Green News
image of charelston south carolina

As the presidential election tightens, with Republican candidates such as Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie dropping out of the race – more eyes are on Nikki Haley as she begins to battle Donald Trump for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

Who is Nikki Haley, how did she get started in politics, what are her policies, and why has she chosen to run for the 2024 presidential election?

Who is Nikki Haley?

Nikki Haley is an American politician known for being the only female Republican running in the 2024 presidential election. Haley was born on January 20, 1972, in Bamberg, South Carolina, USA – where she served as governor for her home state from 2011 to 2017. 

However, besides having served as governor of South Carolina – Haley has held numerous political and diplomatic positions over the course of her career.

As she runs in the 2024 presidential elections, most recognise Haley for her willingness to oppose the male Republican candidates running opposite her and for her more lenient Republican views – such as a less strict view on abortion and believing in more access to contraception.

👉 In addition to her role as governor, Nikki Haley has served as an Ambassador for the United Nations – marking another career highlight that is often overlooked.

Early Life & Education

Nikki Haley grew up in Bamberg, South Carolina – after having been born to Indian immigrants, making her a first generation American. Her father worked as a professor at Voorhees College while her mother ran an independent clothing business, where Haley worked part time as a bookkeeper from the age of 13 until she went to Clemson University to study for a degree in accounting and finance.

nikkii haley with american flags behind with, "proud daughter of inidian immigrants"

👉 Haley received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance from Clemson University in South Carolina in 1994. 

Career Beginnings

After graduating from Clemson University in 1994, Haley continued to run her family’s business. Haley then married Micheal Haley in 1996 – with whom the couple share two daughters.

Nikki Haley’s husband served in the National Guard and was sent to Afghanistan during the war, and in the meantime – Nikki secured a seat in the House of Representatives in 2004. This is where she began to advocate for many of her trademark issues in line with Republican values such as cutting taxes, vouching for greater control over immigration, and implementing restrictions on abortion.

Haley continues to advocate for many of these same values today, demonstrating how this first whole significantly helped to shape her career.

Haley was reelected in 2008, and proceeded to run as governor of South Carolina in 2010 – and was reelected in 2014.

💡 Did you know that Nikki Haley was the first female to serve as governor for South Carolina?

Here is a timeline of Nikki Haley’s Career & Education Highlights:

  • 2005 to 2011 – Haley serves in the South Carolina House of Representatives
  • 2011 to 2017 – Haley serves as the first minority and woman Governor of South Carolina
  • 2017 – Haley resigns as Governor of South Carolina after having been chosen as an ambassador for the UN
  • 2017 to 2018 – Haley serves as a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • 2018 – Haley resigns from her role as an Ambassador under the Trump administration
  • 2019 to 2020 – Haley joins the board of directors at Boeing
  • 2020 – Haley leaves board of directors at Boeing
  • 2023 – Haley announces bid for 2024 presidential campaign

👉 In light of the recent Boeing 737 MAX 9 groundings following an Alaskan Airlines flight where a door plugged fell off during take off – it has been revealed that Haley was partly responsible for destroying the proposal to encourage Boeing to demonstrate greater transparency on their spending in order to help persuade more safety regulations.

downtown south carolina

What has Nikki Haley accomplished as Governor of South Carolina?

Nikki Haley not only made her mark by serving as the first woman governor of South Carolina and the second Indian American governor in the United States, but for many efforts to support stricter immigration laws and seeking to boost the economy through the creation of new jobs.

During her time in office as governor in the 2010s, Haley made sure to work on some of her most important issues – such as immigration and adjusting taxes for the sake of the economy.

Here are some of Nikki Haley’s most well-known accomplishments while she served as governor of South Carolina:

  • Served as the first female minority as elected governor of South Carolina;
  • Signed a bill in 2011 which would require voter ID laws, which allows South Carolinians access to their representatives votes – increasing transparency;
  • Encouraged job creation and cut small-business taxes;
  • Worked against illegal immigration such as when she denied Syrian refugee resettlement in her state;
  • Supported the Charleston community after the 2015 shootings as she signed legislation to have the Confederate flag removed from the Statehouse grounds.

👉 Many of Haley’s “moderate” Republican policies, as depicted during her time as governor of South Carolina are being demonstrated once more in her campaign for presidency for the 2024 race.

close up tax policy nikki haley

What are the main points of Nikki Haley’s platform?

As Nikki Haley remains as the last Republican opponent against Trump for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, many of us will want to get familiar with her main values – which include strict rules against immigration, action against abortion, mitigating the expansion of medicaid, and 

  • Intense Anti-Illegal-Immigration – Despite having been born to Indian and immigrant parents, Haley still argues for closing the border and sending any illegal immigrants in the United States back to their country of origin. She is opposed to opening borders for the sake of protecting Americans in the midst of increased risk and fear of terrorism.
  • Views on Abortion – Unlike the rest of her Republican candidates, Haley is more lenient when it comes to abortion – believing that it isn’t fair to force doctors who do not believe in abortion to conduct them, and allowing for better access to contraceptives in order to prevent the need for an abortion in the first place. This is one of the policies that sets her apart from the rest of her Republican opponents. However, it is important to note that overall, she is still pro-life – citing the personal fact that her husband was adopted as a reason to implement stricter abortion laws.
  • Suppress Medicaid in Health Care – In line with the fact that South Carolina is one of the 11 states that has yet to expand Medicaid, Haley is also against expanding assistance to those who need financial assistance to receive healthcare.
  • Cutting Taxes – After spending a great deal of time cutting taxes while she served her role as governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley has insinuated that she plans to do the opposite if elected. Haley has expressed her desire to cut taxes for small businesses (perhaps inspired from her own parents who ran a small business), but simultaneously supports the idea to reduce the benefits provided under Social Security. Ultimately, Haley believes that this would help to balance the federal budget – but which taxes she plans to cut remain unspecified, besides cutting taxes on the middle class. 
  • Lackadaisical Approach to Climate Change – While Haley has supported the use of carbon-capture technology, she doesn’t hold any strong values or incentives to implement any actions to effectively reduce emissions. However, unlike her major opponent Trump – Haley has acknowledged that humans are to blame for rising global temperature and that climate change in itself is real. 
  • Supporting Israel During Hamas War – Having profoundly and previously stated, “It’s not that Israel needs America. America needs Israel” – Haley is prepared to support Israel in whichever way they need in the midst of the Israel-Hamas War.

👉 Many of Haley’s “moderate” Republican policies, as depicted during her time as governor of South Carolina are being demonstrated once more in her campaign for presidency for the 2024 race.

republican vs democratic vote map

What is Nikki Haley's view on climate change?

Nikki Haley, in a similar fashion to her other Republican opponents – doesn't think much of climate change.

However, unlike her main opponent left in the race, which is Trump – Haley admits that climate change is real and that it is happening. Still, she doesn't feel a responsibility for the U.S. to play its part in reducing global emissions.

While Nikki Haley is supportive of some carbon reduction strategies such as the use of carbon capture and storage, she has made clear that she isn't interested in creating or even participating in efforts to directly reduce emissions. For example, Haley has shared her disbelief in the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement – a global effort to reduce emissions. Instead, she has made it known that she is interested investing in fossil fuels and future pipeline projects.

In addition to this, she has called India the worst of polluters – and has called upon China and India to take control of the climate change situation.

👉 Ironically, the U.S. is the second largest emitting country in the world – which means a major part of emissions reduction decisions should be in the hands of the president of the United States.

Nikki Haley at GOP Debate

What would Nikki Haley do if elected president?

If elected president, Nikki Haley would buckle down on issues most important to her such as implementing more intense laws to prevent illegal immigration.

Haley has made clear her agency to tackle issues she feels that Trump is either opposed to or issues that her other previous opponents would not have addressed if elected.

Some things Haley would do if elected president include:

  • Oppose a national abortion policy, having previously stated that it would not be representative of the desires of all Americans;
  • Promote the value of adoption under her views on abortion;
  • Provide support to Israel during Israel-Hamas war in order to reduce terrorism;
  • Cut various taxes to help boost the economy, though her specific plan remains unclear;
  • Rectify the Health Care system, as she has previously commented that it is unacceptable for the U.S. to have some of the most expensive healthcare in the world;
  • Supporting Israel in whatever they may need during the war.

👉 It is important to note that throughout much of Haley’s bid for presidency, much of her claims have not been backed up by what she would do – but rather by what her candidates or current president Joe Biden haven’t done. This means that much of Haley’s actual plans as president remain a mystery, but we can predict her future actions as president based on the policies she advocates for.

cameras behind biden harris campaign 2020

Who is more likely to win the Republican vote: Nikki Haley or Donald Trump?

Despite Nikki Haley’s extensive efforts to keep her campaign for the presidential election in 2024 up and running – it is more than likely that Trump will end up winning the Republican nomination for the 2024 election. 

One of the major reasons for this is because out of the almost 14 Republican candidates attempting to win the Republican nominee for 2024 – almost all of those who dropped out of the race, or even before closing their campaigns, stated their support for Trump’s presidency.

Haley has not shared the same sentiment, and in fact – has expressed her desire to out-win Trump no matter the odds.

However, as of January 2024 – Trump holds a significant lead over Haley, especially following the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire polls, which revealed the majority of voters preferred DeSantis with Trump as their second choice and only a third preferring Haley as the Republican nominee.

Still, what remains most admirable about Nikki Haley is her refusal to withdraw her campaign for presidency – having recently shared in a January 2024 video that she is in it for the long-haul and doesn’t view succumbing to the role as Trump’s Vice President as an option.

Ultimately, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Nikki Haley to beat Trump for the Republican nomination – but one thing is for sure: she’s no quitter.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about Nikki Haley, her story, and her views have made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Breaking down the insight from political leaders like Nikki Haley can be overwhelming, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you find ways to improve energy efficiency and decrease the dependency on fossil fuels in your own company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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