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Perry bows out, Haley’s chances of VP ticket bright

world Updated: Jan 20, 2012 00:44 IST
Yashwant Raj

Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Thursday, ending the possibility of Indian-origin Bobby Jindal getting a ride as a vice-presidential candidate.

Louisiana governor Jindal was among the first Republican leaders to endorse Perry, a fellow governor from Texas.

But the other Indian-origin governor Nikki Haley chose right, it seems.

She endorsed current front-runner Mitt Romney, widely expected to win the nomination eventually. Haley has figured in the guessing game now on for vice-presidential candidates.

Born Namrata Nikki Randhawa, Haley is first term governor of South Carolina, which is holding a Republican primary on January 21. Is she likely to deliver the state for Romney?

Haley had won the backing of the influential Tea Party faction of the Republican party for her gubernatorial run with her appeal for open, transparent government.

Can she now transfer those votes to Romney, who has failed to win traction with the Tea Party activists and other conservative Republicans who find him too moderate, is the question.

Haley has since her own election lost some of the appeal that so endeared her to the conservatives, and is not said to be in a position to deliver.

But what if she does? Will that get her on the Romney ticket? Both Haley and Jindal figure in almost all lists of vice-presidential hopefuls along with Florida senator Marco Rubio.

With Jindal’s chances shot up because of his candidate dropping out of the race, Haley’s look brighter. Her one big drawback is said to be her lack of experience.

She was a two-term representative to the South Carolina state House before running for governor. But Barack Obama, some say, had even less experience when he ran for the top job.