The GOP has elected South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to make a rebuttal on behalf of the party following Obama's final State of the Union address. One of Haley's most notable political moves in the past year — which has probably contributed to the GOP's decision — is characterized by her decision to remove the Confederate flag from outside of her state capitol. According to spokesman Rob Godfrey, Nikki Haley attributes her resolve to promote unity to her two children, Rena and Nalin.
When the question of the flag arose, the governor, as the daughter of parents who encouraged her to focus more on what brings us together than what makes us different, it came down to one simple thing — she couldn’t look her son or daughter in the face and justify that flag flying at the statehouse, which should be a place of unity for the people of our state.
Rena, Haley's daughter, is currently in 12th grade and approaching a pivotal age. After all, she'll be the first bird to leave the Haley nest for college, where she can decide whether or not she wants to pursue a political career similar to her mother — who, of course, is South Carolina's first female governor. Based on her social media accounts, Rena Haley seems like an adorable, everyday teenager, a cheerleader who loves spending time with her family.
She became familiar with the political environment at a young age when she began working in the State House, just a few steps away from her mother's office. At just 14 years old, Rena worked as a cashier at the gift shop. In 2012, she began shadowing her mother, who was involved in building an oil pipeline at the time.
According to Vogue, which profiled Nikki Haley, Rena and her brother, Nalin, grew up in a tightly-knit family. Gov. Haley and her husband refused to hire people to clean their house or take care of their children. Instead, they were directly involved in the upbringing of their kids and taught them the importance of responsibility. The governor fondly recalls Rena organizing a funeral for her fish when she was a little girl. According to the first family biography on the Office of the Governor's page, Rena, who is now 17 years old, has a new goldfish named Paige. She lists her hobbies as varsity cheerleading and spending time with her friends and her family.
The Haley family is especially active on both Twitter and Facebook, making the bond apparent to the general public. Most importantly, their media presence makes South Carolina's first family that much more relatable. As Nikki Haley finds herself in the spotlight, her children will as well.