Nikki Haley: Cocktail Chatter

Jeanne Sager

Nikki Haley
Photo from Twitter
Every week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: Nikki Haley.

Who She Is: Republican candidate for governor in South Carolina, Haley was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004.

Despite an endorsement by Sarah Palin, Haley's campaign has been anything but smooth sailing. The married mother of two has faced multiple allegations of sexual affairs that have borne her comparisons to South Carolina's scandal-plagued Governor Mark Sanford.

Terms to Know:

Raghead: The racial epithet hurled at Haley and President Barack Obama this week by state Sen. Jake Knotts who is backing Haley's opponent, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in the Republican primary. Born to Indian immigrant parents, Haley was raised a Sikh before converting to Methodism.

Will Folks: Political blogger behind FITS News, Folks published an allegation on his own site that he had engaged in an affair with the married Haley. It's a claim she denies.

Larry Marchant: A lobbyist in Columbia, Marchant is the second man to allege an affair with Haley, which she also denies.

Polygraph: In denying he had anything to do with the affair allegations. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has challenged Haley to take a polygraph to prove she is telling the truth.

Phrases to Drop:

"South Carolina politics can't seem to escape these cheating politicians. At least Haley stayed in the country."

"Haley says she'll drop out of the race if anyone can prove the affair allegations are true."

"If you pick up your phone in South Carolina, you might hear Sarah Palin telling you to vote for Nikki Haley."

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