Also see:
Good Ol' Girl by Hanna Rosin
The Atlantic, January/February 2011

In some ways, nikki haley defies the "mama grizzly" stereotype. She never seemed--unlike, say, Christine O'Donnell--better suited to reality TV than to the rigors of a political race. Despite her good looks, the former three-term state representative doesn't smile all that easily, and she often looks as if she's puzzling through an important problem in her head.