Gov. Haley’s State of the Union response raises her GOP profile, expert says

Gov. Haley’s State of the Union response raises her GOP profile, expert says

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - An assistant professor at Coastal Carolina University feels Governor Nikki Haley's Republican response is sure to be a talking point in Thursday's GOP debate in North Charleston.

Kaitlin Sidorsky, an assistant Political Professor at CCU, says Haley hit on issues at the core of what's being debated in the party right now, such as immigration and our military.

"So everything that she spoke about you're going to hear tonight at the debate, and you're going to hear people stump about it, you're going to hear Donald Trump or Jeb Bush say, 'Oh, Nikki Haley said this about immigration and I agree, or I disagree," Sidorsky said.

Sidorsky believes Haley, speaking as the Republican respondent, could be a jumping-off point for her political career.

"How she had handled Charleston, how she had handled the Confederate Flag and taking that down. So I think it's all of these little things that have led up to her getting some traction and notice within the Republican party itself and nationally, that this can only help her," Sidorsky said.

Sidorsky said Governor Nikki Haley honed in on what can unite Americans, especially when speaking on the Charleston church shootings.

"She spoke about how we came together, we united, we didn't fight back against each other, and we didn't do things that divided us. She was really trying to send a message of, we're in this together…all of us, Republicans and Democrats - which I think was a really strong message," she explained.

To give a successful response, Sidorsky says one must do it respectfully, while touching on issues that are resonating in American politics and speaking from personal experience.

"I think it was powerful that she was able to say, 'Hey, I'm a child of an immigrant or immigrants, and I know what that's like,'" she said.

As for Governor Nikki Haley's future in the Republican party, some believe she's headed for the vice presidential nomination. Sidorsky believes that choice will come down to region, where the person is from compared to the presidential candidate, and says the fact Haley is a woman and one of only six female governors in our country, could only help her chances.

"The Republican party has had issues with gaining female voters, getting females to run for office, not being seen as the party for women, so I think that will be a huge plus," she said.

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