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Nikki Haley Changed Her Name Before Entering Politics

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
6th May 2021
Nikki Haley Changed Her Name Before Entering Politics
"Nikki" is her middle name (Getty Images).

The Claim

The Republican politician and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley changed her name from Nimrata Randhawa so that she could seem more palatable to American voters. 

Emerging story

On April 30th, 2021, Nikki Haley posted on Twitter to criticize the Democratic Party for wanting, “to teach white kids that they’re racist and minority kids that the deck is stacked against them.” 

One hour after this tweet appeared, activist Bree Newsome tweeted at Haley, asking her why she changed her name. 

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A range of other Twitter users then highlighted that Nikki Haley’s birth name is Nimrata Randhawa. The tweets gained thousands of interactions, with some accusing Haley of “whitewashing” her name. These statements then appeared on other social media websites, such as Facebook.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation has uncovered evidence that Nikki Haley was going by the name “Nikki,” instead of Nimrata long before she entered politics. It is also impossible to claim that she changed her last name from “Randhawa” to “Haley” for political reasons, as it is her married name.

Haley responded to the tweet that asked her why she changed her name. She stated that Nikki is her middle name on her birth certificate and that it is Punjabi, as it means “little one” in the Punjabi language. 

A blog post that dates to 2012 shows what it claims to be Nikki Haley’s senior class photo from 1989, where she is listed as Nimrata Nikki Randhawa. Of course, this does not prove that Nikki Haley used the name Nikki from childhood, but it does indicate that this is truly her middle name and that she did not create it. 

Additionally, Nikki Haley took her husband’s last name when she married him in 1996, which was eight years before she first ran for a seat in South Carolina’s House of Representatives.This suggests that it was unlikely that she adopted her husband’s name for the purposes of political advantage. 

This is not the first time that people have accused Haley of changing her name for political reasons. In August, 2020, shortly after her appearance at the Republican National Convention, users on social media made the same criticisms. 

As the criticism of Haley’s name change has appeared before, and as it cannot be proven whether or not Haley changed her name to succeed in politics, our analysis concludes that the criticisms are commotion.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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