Palmetto Sunrise: A second term inauguration for Gov. Haley

12/20/10 Columbia, SC: Gov. Nikki Haley official portrait. ¬ Photos by Renee Ittner-McManus/

Gov. Nikki Haley’s inauguration at 11 a.m. today may have many of the same elements of pomp and circumstance as four years ago — a family fun night, swearing in and gala to celebrate.

It happens to every incumbent — the enthusiasm of supporters from an initial run wanes and a second term more focused on the nitty gritty of governing begins. Politicos will be watching how Haley begins to define that second term.

It is likely to have a far different feel than her first inauguration. The historic election of the state’s first female CEO who rode a tea party wave of anti-establishment to the governor’s mansion won’t take the stage to the throngs that she did last time.

Will she address a key plank of this year’s agenda? Her office has said that she plans to roll out her agenda on roads and ethics in the coming weeks.

In the background of the speech is Haley’s national political aspirations, either in an appointed role or as a candidate.

Haley said in an interview with the Associated Press that she was committed to her job and would finish her term.

“I remind everybody that the last four years they said I wouldn’t finish my first term, and I said then I’m committed to this state. This time, you’re going to hear more chatter. You’re going to hear me use it in a way that profiles South Carolina in a big way, but I am committed to this state. I’m committed to finishing what I start, and I’m committed to finishing this term.”

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