Taking Charge

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.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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