In the two days since her win, Gov.-elect Nikki Haley has twice met with state Republican lawmakers, extending an olive branch and attempting to quell lawmaker fears that her time in office will yield legislative gridlock, as happened with her predecessor, former Gov. Mark Sanford.
"This is a new page we're turning," said Haley who traveled to Pinopolis on Thursday to meet with the Senate Republican Caucus during its annual retreat.
"Historically, it's been the House and Senate against the governor. ... Starting today, that all stops. If (lawmakers) win, I win. If we work together, the people of this state win."
Haley delivered a similar speech to House Republicans during a Wednesday luncheon in Columbia, hours after the 38-year-old Lexington representative swept past Kershaw Sen. Vincent Sheheen to become the state's next governor.
Never miss a local story.
Her speech touched on familiar topics: expressing her plan to make gains during her first year in office by requiring more on-the-record voting by lawmakers, aggressively courting businesses through a revamped Department of Commerce and fighting off federal health care mandates.
Haley will have to walk a fine line to get her priorities passed into law without ostracizing her base.
Haley was carried to success in Tuesday's election on the backs of fed-up conservatives and tea party voters. They are upset with the status quo and fired up for a legislative revolution, not incremental change through compromise.
Haley, who on the campaign trail often spoke of going into the districts of lawmakers who stand in her way and "holding their hand" to the fire, said Tuesday she saw no disconnect between her promises to work with lawmakers and to punish them if they do not support her agenda.
Her bosses, she said, are the people of South Carolina, and working for the people's good will ensure all lawmakers are re-elected.
"If you do the right thing for the people, you'll get re-elected. If you don't you won't," she said.
State senators at Thursday's meeting said they're willing to give Haley the benefit of the doubt but stopped short of saying she can get everyone on the same page and get key legislation passed.
Haley said she plans to outline a handful of her top legislative priorities and then work with lawmakers, starting at the committee level, to get laws passed. That way, Haley said, her administration can hopefully avoid the Legislature's annual veto sessions that marked Sanford's tenure. Sanford once vetoed the entire budget. Several times Sanford issued more than 100 vetoes. Lawmakers, however, rejected Sanford's vetoes with great frequency - at times overriding 90 percent.
"The structure, the model, she wants to use is a very solid model," said Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, "That way, if we have any issues, we can deal with them before it gets to the (Senate) floor."
That is a stark comparison to Sanford's uncompromising model, which often led to stalemates with the General Assembly.
Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, said Haley's talk reminded him of Sanford's talk eight years ago when the newly elected Sanford addressed the caucus.
"The general tone was very similar," Grooms said. "He went out of his way to say, 'I'm going to work with you to get some stuff done.' The honeymoon was short-lived."
Grooms and other senators said they hope Haley's experience as a state legislator, which Sanford lacked, will make the next four years productive.
"Because she was in the House, I think she has a much better understanding of where the roadblocks are," Grooms said.