COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you needed any more evidence that South Carolina is squarely in the middle of the 2016 battle for the White House, you just have to look back to Tuesday night.
That's when tens of millions witnessed Governor Nikki Haley deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State Of The Union speech. In addition to praising our state's unity in the wake of the Charleston church shooting, the Governor touched on what she sees as the failures of the Obama administration.
She also spoke out against the political divisiveness we see on issues such as immigration.
"During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country," Governor Haley said.
With her high profile address, Haley placed herself firmly on the radar as a possible Vice-Presidential candidate. She also threw herself into the middle of emerging battle lines within the Republican Party.
When asked if her "angriest voices" comment was in reference to Donald Trump, the Governor did not blink.
"He was one of them. Yes. He was one. There's other people in the media, there's people in my state, I think we're seeing it across the country. But yes, Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk," Governor Haley said.
As it has in the past, the "First In The South" primary could be a defining moment in the race to determine the GOP's nominee. And with Donald Trump maintaining a double digit lead in South Carolina polls, Governor Haley's stand has many taking notice within her own state.
Haley is the party's rising star. She has placed herself on the side of the GOP establishment against firebrands like Trump and Ted Cruz in a political battle that is being waged. It all adds up to an intriguing scenario for voters to consider.
And that's just the Republican side of the White House race. Don't forget, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley are also hitting the Palmetto State hard as they try to sew up the Democratic nomination.
Strap in folks. The next month and a half is sure to be a roller coaster ride of twists and turns in the fight for your vote. That's My Take.
To send your opinion, mail it to My Take, P.O. Box 367, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 or click here to send an email.