SC Gov. Nikki Haley, whose name has been tossed around for a darkhorse 2016 presidential bid, is making moves consistent with someone who's planning a 2014 bid for reelection.
Haley’s office insists that the governor is not thinking about her re-election. However, in a clear signal that Haley likely will run again, her chief of staff resigned that post a month ago to run her political operation. Still, a spokesman says Haley has not decided whether she will seek a second term.
.... Haley could face two fights in 2014.
She could face a challenge in the GOP primary from state Treasurer Curtis Loftis or state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort. And Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kershaw, appears ready for a rematch with Haley, who beat him in 2010. Other Democrats – including state Reps. Harry Ott of St. Matthews, Leon Stavrinakis of Charleston to James Smith of Columbia – also could enter the race.
There are a couple big questions surrounding her.
a. How will she hold up in the midst of a massive hacking scandal that's compromised millions of South Carolinians' tax information (verdict, so far: pretty good).
b. How many jobs can she create? Haley's had a infamously fractious relationship with the Legislature and even her own party, but much of that is conventionally acrid South Carolina politics that probably wouldn't damage her on the national stage. The ultimate test for her (and, really, any governor) will be job creation.