Profile: Nancy Mace

When a Republican Senator praises President Obama for learning from Benghazi, is a  member of the Gang of Eight, backs far-left Supreme Court nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, supports comprehensive immigration reform and bank bailouts, and advocates curtailing free speech during a war, he can expect to receive some primary opposition. Lindsay Graham has just that in Nancy Mace.

She joins Kentucky’s Matt Bevin in challenging a sitting Republican from the right in 2014. Out of all the incumbents from which to choose, the senior senator from South Carolina is certainly not the easiest opponent to take on, but Mace is tough. After all, she is the first female graduate from The Citadel, a traditionally all-male military college, a story she chronicles in her book In the Company of Men: A Woman at The Citadel.

Following her historic graduation, Mace took a job with Accenture, one of the world’s largest management consulting firms. After marrying her husband Curtis in 2004 and having her first child, Miles, she became a stay-at-home mom. Mace is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and against “federal government intruding” into “families, churches and businesses.” Mace later refocused on her career, founding The Mace Group, a small public relations and marketing consulting firm. Conservatives will fondly recognize one her political clients: Senator Tim Scott.

Like one of her heroes, Ronald Reagan, Mace considers the federal government to be too large and out of touch. Although less than a year ago she had not even considered running for office, she now sees that “in the last decade or so, our government has taken a significant turn for the worse. Americans are waking up to the fact that our freedoms are being threatened.”

That time span – “the last decade or so” – includes periods of both GOP and Democratic control of Congress and the presidency, implying that Mace is more than a party-line Republican; she’s an equal opportunity critic of ideas and policies that are not conservative, regardless of the source.

On Neil Cavuto’s show, Mace appeared a bit green in front of cable news camera, but she refrained from making uninformed decisions about current events and national security intelligence. Moreover, rather than coming across as divisive, she called for unity among Republicans, with the Constitution as their common ground. It’s a promising start, and conservatives can’t help but lick their chops at the prospect of booting Graham from his Senate seat.

Mace is running to change the membership in Washington and thus to change Washington itself. A challenge? Of course. But she has pushed back the boundaries of what is possible before.