The Complicated History of Nikki Haley

January 13, 2016 10:16 PM

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Set aside the feuding policy particulars and last night’s pairing of Barack Obama and Nikki Haley, in the State of the Union address and Republican response, becomes a far more compelling exercise. There was a particular symmetry to the speakers: two people of color with multiracial families, both of whom have deployed the rhetoric and symbolism of racial progress at key moments in their careers.

Last summer, Haley, the two-term governor of South Carolina, gained national attention for her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol, in Columbia, South Carolina. Coming days after the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, the move marked an audaci...

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