Haley Switches Focus From Campaign To Job Ahead

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LEXINGTON, S.C.,None — Nikki Haley stepped out of an SUV into a Lexington barbecue restaurant with a security detail surrounding her.

It's one of the changes she'll have to get used to quickly in the coming weeks before she's sworn in as South Carolina's next governor.

On Wednesday, only 12 hours after claiming victory in the race, she appeared at Hudson's Smokehouse, a favorite restaurant for her family.

However, when she stood in front of nearly a dozen TV cameras to speak to reporters, she was all business.

"While we had a good victory yesterday, it's time to get to work," she said.

Haley moved quickly from the spotlight of an historic election to a focus on the job ahead. She's the Palmetto state's first woman and first minority ever elected governor.

The Lexington Republican didn't want to talk about that. She wanted to talk about tomorrow.

"I'm going to spend the next two months working very hard to make sure we have things in place so that on day one, we're ready to go," she said. "I'm totally focused on what we need to do, and how fast we need to get there."

The governor-elect talked about getting her transition team ready, laying out a business plan for the state for the short-term and long-term, and mapping out goals.

"I don't believe in can't," she said. "I'd rather talk about how we're going to get there."

The restaurant was full of supporters, who asked Haley for autographs, hugged her and congratulated her.

When asked how she felt when she woke up this morning as governor-elect, she pointed to all the TV cameras in the room.

"Outside of seeing all of you, it just hasn't hit me yet," she said. However, it was clear listening to Haley that it has definitely sunk in and she's been preparing to take over the governor's mansion for some time.

She promised to work closely with the state general assembly to bring jobs and businesses to the struggling state, and described her leadership style this way: "I think it'll be one of the most aggressive and proactive administrations that you've seen."