Nikki Haley to deliver Republican response to Obama address

Nikki Haley to deliver Republican response to Obama address

Nikki Haley to deliver Republican response to Obama address

South Carolina's Indian-American Governor Nikki  Haley, occasionally mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate,  will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's final State  of the Union address next Tuesday.

With Republican leaders in Congress choosing Haley for the final rebuttal,  two Indian-American politicians would be bookending their responses to Obama's  speeches as Louisiana's outgoing governor Bobby Jindal did so to his first  address in 2009.

In recent years, Republicans have used the rebuttal to showcase the  diversity of the party's elected officials.

Born Nimrata "Nikki" Randhawa to Sikh immigrant parents from India, Haley is  the first minority governor in South Carolina's history and currently the  youngest governor in the country.

The 116th Governor of South Carolina, Haley is the first female governor of  the state. She was re-elected to a second term in November 2014.

Haley converted to Christianity when she married Michael Haley, a Captain in  the US Army National Guard and combat veteran with two deployments to  Afghanistan.
"Nikki Haley has led an economic turnaround and set a bold agenda for her  state, getting things done and becoming one of the most popular governors in  America," Speaker Paul Ryan said announcing the Congressional leaders'  decision.

"In a year when the country is crying out for a positive vision and  alternative to the status quo, Governor Haley is the exact right choice to  deliver the Republican Address to the Nation," he said.

"Nikki Haley is a proven leader and committed reformer who  believes deeply  in the promise of the country we all share," Republican Senate majority  leader Mitch McConnell said.

"Not only has Governor Haley fought to bring opportunity and prosperity to  the people of her state, but she's also demonstrated how bringing people  together can bring real results," he said.

"Governor Haley knows the American Dream and wants to see every American  share in it, and we're pleased that she will be delivering this year's  Republican Address?."

Haley said she was honoured to be asked to deliver the Republican address to  the nation. "This is a time of great challenges for our country, but also of  great opportunities.  I intend to speak about both," she said.