Monday, December 19, 2011

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Jumps into the Race for VP – Endorses Mitt Romney to Boost Her Hopes

Sorry Ms. Haley, One Sarah Palin a Century is Enough

The big story is South Carolina is the large degree of dislike of its Governor of one year, Republican Nikki Haley.  Ms. Haley is not liked by many, and even the Republicans in the state are not very happy with her.

Now, a year after her narrow win, the South Carolina governor is withering in the polls, with only one-third of voters surveyed approving of her job performance — and barely half of all Republicans polled. 

But other than this comment, you wouldn’t know that Ms. Haley is disliked intently by her state because this story is in the Washington Post.  What’s the connection?  The Post is surreptiously supporting Mitt Romney for President and has directed its coverage of the 2012 election to supporting Mr. Romney.  And Ms. Haley has endorsed Mr. Romney, so as a result Ms. Haley gets a hugely favorable story in the Post, with no explanation  as to why she is unpopular.

Instead of the critical analysis that new reporting is supposed to be, the Post story lavishes gushy praise on Ms. Haley.  There is this

A fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, applauded her handling of the port dispute as forward-thinking. Deal, the senator noted, is the operative word: It’s the surname of Haley’s Georgia counterpart, Nathan Deal, and as Capitol Hill earmarking ends, state executives are going to have to wheedle in the way that senators long have.

“She’s had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at her,” Graham said. “And she’s very good at not getting distracted.”

And this

In her many pep talks to voters (and cameras), Haley notes that in her teen years, she did the books for her family’s clothing company in tiny Bamberg

And this

Her allies credit her for going wherever she can appeal to the T-Rexes of the business world, be it Paris or any other destination. “Listen, you’re not going to take ’em to the Waffle House to close the deal, okay?” said GOP state Sen. Greg Ryberg, “Any time she gets attention because of being in New York or in Washington or wherever, that sheds positive light and it’s great for the state of South Carolina, where we have had enough bad press.”

Well you get the picture. As to why Ms. Haley is unpopular, well that must be a topic for another story.  Ok, there is this story which may shed a little light on why Ms. Haley is faltering, where Ms. Haley used her power to block a $5 million donation to the state university because of a personal pique.

Mostly, Haley is wresting back power for her office, when the balance has long favored the state lawmakers. Haley started a full-on fracas with Darla Moore, a philanthropist whom the governor bounced from the University of South Carolina board. The reason: unreturned phone calls, postponed meetings and a distinct sense that the governor needed to show who worked for whom. To regain the upper hand, Moore offered $5 million for a new building if the state ponied up matching funds. No, thank you, said Haley.

which the Post reports, but somehow in the Post this ends up as a positive thing rather than a loss of $5 million in a state suffering great economic problems.

Ms. Haley’s goal in all of this is obvious.  She wants to be Sarah Palin to Mitt Romney’s John McCain.  And look for her to be “mentioned” but her chances of getting the VP nomination are as close to zero as something can be.  Her selection would immediately bring comparisons with Sarah Palin, whose candidacy even Republicans want to forget.  Furthermore, its not clear that her endorsement is all that helpful.

Romney will now embark on a tour of South Carolina beside a governor whose popularity has cratered. “If I were a candidate for the Republican primary,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, “based on those poll numbers, I’d rather get the flu than get her endorsement.”

Mr. Romney probably doesn’t much care.  To him people like Ms. Haley are just props, whose only role in life is to further the presidential ambitions of Mr. Romney.  About the best she can hope for is maybe a job as Secretary of Labor  if Romney prevails.  Given her popularity in South Carolina that might not be too bad.

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