State Represenative Nikki Haley is the darling of the Sanford crowd. She is Governor Sanford's heir apparent to his movement for whatever it is he claims to stand for.
During her career in the State House, Haley has been more the Representative from the Governor's Mansion than the Represenative from Lexington County. If you ever want to know where Haley stands on an issue, just refer to Sanford's talking points.
Thus, it comes as little shock that First Lady Jenny Sanford, the wife of the embattled Governor, gave her nod to Haley for Governor recently. Jenny Sanford played an important role in the Sanford campaigns of 2002 and 2006, and helped to shape the Governor's maverick stands. As such, she has as much personally invested in the Sanford agenda as the Governor and political animal that she is deep down, the First Lady naturally would support the candidate that mimicks the Sanford agenda.
Further, an endorsement from Jenny Sanford is the safe nod to Sanford campaign investors to give to Nikki Haley. The Governor's endorsement could be damaging to the upstart Lexington County House member, but the wronged woman's earnest support could turn into fundraising gold for Haley. Those past out of state investors in Sanford who are uncomfortable with him can write checks to Haley now with a clear conscious. The wronged wife has given them the go ahead.
And, why did she? That is debatable. Some argue that she is still "all in" when it comes to the Governor's career, and that working to elect Haley could help in the political rehabilitation of the Governor. Others argue that she is showing her own influence and wanting to illustrate just who was the power in the Sanford power couple. Others contend that neither Mark or Jenny Sanford can endure not being in the newspapers.
Who knows what is the real motivation. But, one thing is for sure, Jenny sanford's support of Nikki Haley will gain Haley money from the old out of state Sanford investors. Time will tell if that makes Haley a real contender for the GOP nomination.