Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina has been busy trying to close her state's $700 million budget gap, but she has found time for a more personal project, jotting down thoughts and memories during quiet moments in the early morning, late at night and on weekends.
She is writing a memoir.
"I will tell you that since the election it was amazing the number of people of people who wanted to know my story, about the challenges of growing up and the challenges of running for office and what got me through it," the 39-year-old Republican, the nation's youngest governor, told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview.
Haley is part of a wave of tea party favorites voted in last fall. She's the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India who grew up in rural South Carolina and became the first female governor of her state and the second Indian-American governor in history after fellow Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Her election alone could fill several chapters: She started out as an underdog against three fellow Republicans in the primary, only to prevail despite a sometimes vicious campaign that included allegations she had had extramarital affairs.
Memoirs are almost a rite of passage for White House hopefuls, and she has retained the man who negotiated deals for the last three presidents: Washington, D.C., attorney Robert Barnett. But Haley says she has no plans to seek higher office.