The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hey, Look Who’s Calling Nikki Haley a ‘Christian, Indian-American Woman’ Today


CBN news correspondent David Brody, right before the South Carolina primary:

Nikki Haley, the front runner to become the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina has recently changed the language on her website to reflect a more Christian tone. The Brody File is NOT questioning her Christian beliefs at all but rather how the emphasis of her religious language seems to have evolved throughout her political career . . .

. . . In 2004, (seven years after becoming a Christian) she and her family were still attending Sikh Temples as well as their Methodist Church. In 2004, she was running for the State Legislature and she was quoted back then as saying, “I was born and raised with the Sikh faith, my husband and I were married in the Methodist Church, our children have been baptized in the Methodist Church, and currently we attend both.” Her 2004 campaign played up her Sikh upbringing and faith saying that “Nikki was proudly raised with her Indian traditions” No mention that she’s a Christian.

. . . The bottom line: Haley and the Sikh faith were an important part of her storyline . . . back in 2004. But today there are no Sikh references are on her website or campaign literature. And that website language has become more overtly Christian. When asked to specifically address why Sikh references were more overt in 2004 than in 2010, Pearson didn’t provide us with an answer to that question.

David Brody, today:

For the GOP, this is the best case scenario. You have a Christian, Indian-American woman representing your party in a state in the Deep South. Folks, from a PR perspective it doesn’t get any better than that. Haley’s victory adds much needed diversity to the GOP rainbow. And as for Haley’s comet? We may only get to see the one in space every 76 years but the one here on Earth is visible everyday and is going to be around a long time.

As I wrote in a Morning Jolt:

I think if you’re a reporter, and a campaign says, “hey, doesn’t our opponent’s religious faith seem a little sketchy?” you think long and hard before you partake in investigative journalism delving into deeply personal matters like that. If even Mother Teresa had long stretches of doubt, it suggests we can never really know what’s going on in a person’s head when they’re talking to God. So if that’s the case, who’s willing to declare someone to be insufficiently pious to serve as governor of South Carolina? Who’s certain that candidate X’s expressions of religious faith are genuine and candidate Y’s are just designed to win votes among religious voters? (I seem to remember some good book saying something about the correct order for a stone-throwing contest.)

Tags: Nikki Haley


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