Personally, I think it's a honeymoon nod. But Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza has a point that Haley very well could be a kingmaker in the 2012 race.
8. Nikki Haley: The South Carolina gubernatorial nominee became a national sensation over the past month — fighting off infidelity allegations to sweep to a victory on June 22. Haley, who is Indian-American, is just the sort of fresh face Republicans need to show that they are not simply a party of and for old white men. Haley still needs to get past state Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D), about whom we hear great things, this fall. But assuming she does, she will immediately become a national figure and player in the 2012 race. (Previous ranking: N/A)
It should be noted that readers put her at 10.