Earlier today, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will deliver the Republican rebuttal to this year’s State of the Union address. During the announcement Ryan and McConnell commended Haley’s tenure as governor, pointing to her economic record.

The Washington Post notes that picking Haley is particularly important right now, an election year that’s been dominated by the divisive lover-of-women, Donald Trump:

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has emerged as a valuable face for the Republican Party as a woman and minority – the first of either to hold South Carolina’s highest office. At 43, she is also the youngest serving governor in the country.

Haley also earned national attention after nine people were murdered at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June of last year. After the racially motivated killings, Haley publically called for the removal of the Confederate flag that flew on statehouse grounds (The flag, which will be housed in the state’s Confederate Relic Room, may end up costing the state a hefty sum).

Despite that, Haley has remained steadfast in opposing any legislation to regular gun control, including expanding background checks. According to the Post, Haley has also been a vocal opponent of rehousing Syrian refugees in her state and, of course, of Obamacare. But in the Age of Trump, Haley looks downright moderate.


In a statement, Haley said she was “honored” by the decision.

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