Don’t vote with your emotions, people. THINK!

Nikki Haley, 2008 file photo/Brad Warthen

My attention this evening was drawn to this piece by someone from elsewhere, which ends thusly:

Now that same old abusive style is erupting in South Carolina’s Republican primary. Brandishing charges of sexual infidelity, the state’s male Republican establishment has launched  a vile character assassination of gubernatorial front-runner Nikki Haley, who is married with two children. (All too typically, those attacks have been accompanied by a Southern flourish of racial and religious bigotry.)

Like most Republican candidates this year, Haley embraces every stupid conservative cliche, but a primary victory for her would represent public progress, political decency, and a higher morality. I wish I could vote for her.

What utter and complete politically correct drivel: Because she’s a woman (I suppose), her being elected would be “progress.” Because the people accusing her are contemptible, what they say isn’t true. Because she is called names, electing her would be a “higher morality.”

Is this actually supposed to pass for thought?

Seems to me it’s time for a bit of moral clarity for South Carolina voters: It doesn’t matter what Will Folks or Larry Marchant have said about Nikki Haley. It doesn’t matter what Jake Knotts has called her. None of that, whomever you believe, should play a role in your decision as a voter. What you should consider is what others have said about her with great accuracy: that she would be Sanford in a skirt.

That piece quoted above links to a story about how Jenny Sanford is standing behind Nikki. To people who “think” with their emotions, this is a dynamic duo — two brave, wronged women standing against the bullies. (Hey, I’ve furthered the legend: I, too can be a sap for a sob story.) But here’s what you need to focus on: Jenny Sanford is the political svengali who brought us Mark Sanford. She was the brains behind him; she managed his campaign. That didn’t work out so well. Now, she’s pushing another candidate who would be the vessel of the same kind of bankrupt, destructive ideology that her last horse represented.

Bottom line: Don’t let Jenny Sanford foist another one on us. We deserve better. Leave your emotions at home, and use your brains, people: Do NOT vote for Nikki Haley.

60 thoughts on “Don’t vote with your emotions, people. THINK!

  1. Brad

    Oh, and in case you’re still fretting over what that mean ol’ Will Folks did to poor Nikki. Check and see who’s touting tonight on his blog that “Haley Maintains Huge Lead” in the polls.

    Yep, that’s who.

    Remember my wacky theory about how the only logical conspiracy theory about why Folks did what he did was that he was actually trying to HELP Nikki? Doesn’t sound so wacky now, does it? She’s within a few percentage points of winning it without a runoff. All she needs is a few more weak-minded “sympathy” voters.

  2. Lynn

    Yes, the problem isn’t Haley’s personal life, or what anyone says about her personal life. The problem is her poor performance as a member of the House of Representatives and her use of a destructive political ideology to get the adoring attention that she wants. South Carolina can’t afford to become a sanitorium for advanced cases of narcissistic personality disorder, but that is where Jenny and Mark Sanford, Nikki Haley, and their gang (including Will Folks) would take us. As Petigru so wisely said so long ago, we’re too big for it. Or we should be.

  3. Doug Ross

    If she wins, it means the people of South Carolina WANT a Sanford style governor. Because the majority of citizens don’t have the ability to vote out the entrenched long-time leaders of the SC House and Senate, the only message voters can send is “we want a Governor who will shine a light on the true problem with our political system”.

    For Haley to win against the three other candidates, it would scare the establishment to death… and hopefully to finally doing something about fixing the broken system.

  4. Michael P.

    So you’re not voting for Haley? That is if you’ve decided which line you’re going to stand in.

    I thought your hatred toward Sanford was bad, if Haley wins you’re going to have to be put on the expensive blood pressure medication because you’ll no longer be known as the guy in the bowtie, you’ll be known as the guy with the vein in his forehead that looks like it’s about ready to explode.

  5. Michael P.

    “Do NOT vote for Nikki Haley.”

    The more I think about it, I’ve been known as someone who if someone tells me I can’t do something, I’ll likely give it a try if tempting. Knowing it’ll equal kicking Jakie in the teeth makes it all that more tempting.

    So… it won’t be a big shocker if I push the Haley button instead of the Barrett button on Tuesday.

    The worst piece of advice people give is to TELL people not to do something.

  6. Matt

    You don’t like Nikki Haley. We get it. Thankfully the majority of regular folks in our state are not taking their cues on who to vote for from a political blogger, and at least a plurality of them voting in the GOP primary disagree with you on Haley.

    One would think a guy who spent so much time in the newspaper business would have an appreciation for things like “transparent government” and “good politics”–all those things falling under the “good government” banner.

    But I must say, for someone as well-known as yourself within the network that is South Carolina, the whole “Sanford in a skirt” thing is really below your stature. I’d expect that from some random blogger sitting in mom’s basement. It really is beneath you.

  7. yarrrrr

    How many SC GOP voters are reading Salon?

    Nikki will win the primary… and the general… it won’t even be close…

    “what [childish demented unthinking internet trolls] have said about her with great accuracy: that she would be Sanford in a skirt.”

    “she’s pushing another candidate who would be the vessel of the same kind of bankrupt, destructive ideology that her last horse represented.”

    The ideology hasn’t even been tried yet…

    “It doesn’t matter what Jake Knotts has called her.”

    Interesting, from a guy who actually endorsed Jake Knotts… all over the issue of school choice… you own Knotts and his “destructive ideology”…

    I watched “Pub Politics” live with Knotts… if that video was released before the primary then I guarantee there would be no runoff… partly out of sympathy of Haley(IIRC, both of her parents are attacked in it), and also the fact that nobody would vote for Bauer after seeing it as it was pretty obvious they were going to make this an issue…

  8. Matt Bohn

    I find it depressing that you’re begging us not to vote for NH because she’s “Sanford in a dress” yet when you had the backing of the newspaper you endorsed the guy twice. Looking back on it must be a bit painful.

    As for the sordid rumors, it seems like the Republicans might be imploding this year. How ironic that the Democrats might field the candidate of “family values” in Vincent Sheheen.

  9. Karen McLeod

    The comment you quoted above doesn’t call for her to win the election, just the primary. I don’t want to see Ms. Haley win; but I don’t want to see any of the Republican candidates win, and one of them is going to win the Republican primary. Which one of the others would you rather have us vote for–he of the vultures, the hot shot pilot, or another?

  10. Wally Altman

    In fairness to Brad, he only endorsed Sanford the first time around. In 2006 they went with Tommy Moore.

  11. Kathryn Fenner

    Gerson quotes C.S. Lewis, who wisely observed that sins of the flesh “are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting, the pleasures of power, of hatred…That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.”

    That was why I called your attention to the piece, which does not, to my eyes, say anything about how being a woman entitles her to anything-aside from the true statement that the political powers in SC are male.

    The writer is unaware, perhaps, that being the GOP nominee is almost a slam dunk to being the Governor–but then maybe it won’t be this year!

  12. Brad

    The thing about her being a woman was just a wild guess on my part. I was thinking, “What superficial characteristic would this person who knows zip about SC be seizing upon as an excuse for saying this?”

  13. Brad

    Thanks, Wally, for saving me from having to point that out again.

    Matt says, “You don’t like Nikki Haley. We get it.”

    No, Matt, you DON’T get it. I’ve always liked Nikki just fine. I think of Nikki as the person in the photo above — she’s quite personable.

    But it would be disastrous were she to become governor. And the point of this post is to ask people NOT to vote on the basis of likes or dislikes or other emotions. If you go on the basis of whether she’s a more likable person than Will Folks or Larry Marchant or Jake Knotts, then you definitely go for Nikki.

    But if you step back and THINK about the kind of governor she would be, you would vote against her. Unless you think the kind of leadership we’ve had from Sanford has been good. Some people do. Such people either don’t understand the issues or don’t care about SC.

    Liking Nikki as I do, I’ve been really unpleasantly surprised by the course she has followed over the last year or two.

    Once, I would have characterized her as someone who represented the GOOD side of Mark Sanford — his lip service about transparent, accountable government and the like (you’ll note that Matt thinks those things are what she really represents; I’ve been watching her long enough to see through that now). But then I saw patterns emerge that were highly disturbing. Her self-righteous campaign AGAINST the Legislature is classic Sanford. She has already alienated most of the people she would have to work with to accomplish anything, which means she’s farther along than Sanford was at this point. Sanford came into office with everyone — the Republican leadership, Democrats and media types such as me — ready to work with him. In his first term, he completely alienated all of those people. Nikki would not have such a honeymoon; she’s already alienated all the GOP leadership. This plays wonderfully among the Tea Party gallery and with Doug Ross, but it means you get exactly zero done.

    Since Nikki IS going to win the GOP nomination, it’s going to be interesting to watch what happens over the next few months: Will she both move toward the center AND solidify the GOP base? Will the other Republicans she’s slapped around join ranks with her, the way they always do, regardless of what she does? The irony there is that they probably will. She would not. Like Sanford, she will likely continue to treat the GOP leadership with contempt, and keep delivering her line about how this election isn’t about electing Republicans; it’s about electing CONSERVATIVES. And they will likely meekly go along with her because, being Republicans, they still adhere to Reagans 11th Commandment, even though she never has.

    That’s what I foresee. We’ll find out whether it happens.

  14. Brad

    Well, now, that’s interesting: Evidently, Michael’s going with “fresh.” That’s the one thing that, superficially at least, Nikki and Vincent have in common.

    The problem is that that is really what Vincent is. He would represent a clear break from what we’ve grown sick of. Nikki, unfortunately, would be Sanford redux. If you’ll recall, HE seemed like a refreshing new approach in 2002. But he got old fast. And as I said above, she has a head start on him on getting old.

  15. Doug Ross

    “Unless you think the kind of leadership we’ve had from Sanford has been good. Some people do. Such people either don’t understand the issues or don’t care about SC.”

    Your last sentence basically calls the majority of voters in South Carolina (the ones who voted for Sanford twice) ignorant or apathetic. That’s so cynical, Brad.

    The third option is that the general public thinks the government is broken and they want someone to come in and fix it… not form a Kumbaya circle with the good old boys to come up with a compromise solution that gets us a result similar to moving the Confederate flag from point A to point B. If we take that same approach to fixing the state government, we’ll end up with more taxes, more duplication of effort, more inefficiency — all in the name of “Can’t We All Get Along?”

    It may take two terms of Nikki Haley to get enough people in this state to vote out the individual legislators who are responsible for the mess. But it will be worth the wait…

  16. Michael Rodgers

    I endorse Nikki Haley for the Republicans and Vincent Sheheen for the Democrats.

    As Doug Ross explained, voters want to send a message that “we want a Governor who will shine a light on the true problem[s] with our political system.” I would go on to say that we don’t only want a light shined, we also want the problems that are exposed to be solved responsibly.

    Mark Sanford shined a weak light and then didn’t execute at all. Here’s hoping that Nikki Haley, if she’s elected, will shine a strong light and work hard with a good attitude to solve the exposed problems responsibly.

    Vincent Sheheen is far and away the best choice overall. He will fix the problems without drama. He will bring leadership and accountability to our state government. He is smart, compassionate, and responsible.

  17. Doug Ross

    “But such people don’t get things done in the real world.”

    Mayor Bloomberg in NYC and Governor Christie in NJ would disagree.

    Ooops… Yankees. We don’t do it the Yankee way down heah.

  18. Matt

    “But if you step back and THINK about the kind of governor she would be, you would vote against her.”

    Actually, no I wouldn’t. Brad, you don’t hold the title of “most informed guy in South Carolina” any more than I do. I’ve watched politics under a microscope for the past fifteen years of my career in South Carolina, including stints working professionally on campaigns and in the General Assembly. I know exactly what I’d be getting with Nikki Haley as governor, and it’s why I’ve chosen to vote for her. We just have different OPINIONS, that’s all.

    “Unless you think the kind of leadership we’ve had from Sanford has been good. Some people do. Such people either don’t understand the issues or don’t care about SC.”

    I agree with Doug in how he described this statement. Wasn’t there a post a few back about what is and isn’t an elitist? The above statement is a perfect example of that.

    I have lots of Democratic friends who are very enamored right now with Vincent Sheheen. I disagree with them politically, but I would never suggest that they don’t care about South Carolina, and that that’s somehow the reason they vote for Sheheen or Rex or any of the other candidates I disagree with.

  19. Michael P.

    So are you going to the Capitol City Club tomorrow night to congratulate Haley?

    Somehow my other post didn’t get posted… I guess you were offended by my suggesting that you and Will Folks have something in common.

  20. Brad

    No, Michael, I didn’t allow it because of the language that you used.

    And Matt, I’m sorry if you’re offended by my saying that people who care about SC but still support Nikki don’t understand the issues at stake, but everything I know about the situation points to that.

    You shouldn’t be offended. I can say that about someone and still like that person a lot. In fact, that’s what I thought about Nikki back when I endorsed her twice — that she had a disturbingly shallow understanding of complex issues, but that she was young and inexperienced and meant well and would probably gain understanding and depth with time.

    What I reckoned without in her case was that after six years in the Legislature she would present her very lack of sophistication as a badge of honor in appealing to the Tea Party folks — and do so proudly, arrogantly. She wraps herself in the mantle of populist demagoguery, and employs to great effect one of the more offensive bits of sophistry in the populist arsenal: The argument that experience in politics is by definition bad. That was a great argument when she was running against Larry Koon, who was a bad representative. When you have a bad incumbent, a fresh new broom is exactly what you need. But to hear her tell it now, the bad thing about him was not what he’d done or not done in office, but the mere fact that he’d been in the legislature longer than anyone else. That sounds like logic to Doug, but it doesn’t to me. To me it sounds like a cheap dodge for someone who doesn’t have nearly enough relevant experience in the public OR private sectors (no reasonable manager would hire her to be governor based on her resume) to turn her weakness into a perceived “strength.”

    And Matt, the difference between Nikki and Vincent isn’t a matter of superficial opinion. Both are on the surface young, energetic, fresh-faced candidates who advocate good government. But Vincent does it without playing to anyone’s resentments or prejudices or anger or suspicion. He does it without attacking anyone. And unlike Nikki, who is Jenny Sanford’s latest horse to back because she knows she would continue the Sanford agenda (and worse, the Sanford style), Vincent would be an actual break from what we’ve been forced to become accustomed to.

  21. j

    It’s about demonstrated leadership. What has she accomplished in her short experience in the political arena (she’s 38 years old)? I’m not disparaging her youth.

    Her background: She was born in 1972 and went to Clemson University. Majored in Accounting and then joined the FCR Corporation before joining her mother’s business, Exotica International, in 1994.

    In 1998, she was named to the Board of Directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce.

    In 2003, she was named to the Board of Directors of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. She became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003 and president in 2004. She chaired the Lexington Gala to raise funds for the local hospital. She serves on the Lexington Medical Foundation, Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation, West Metro Republican Women, President of the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Chairman for 2006 Friends of Scouting Leadership Division campaign and is a member of the Rotary Club in Lexington.

    In 2004, she ran for the South Carolina House of Representatives against incumbent Republican representative Larry Koon. Koon, who had served since 1975, was the longest-serving member of the House. In the primary election, Haley won 40% of the vote (2,247 votes) to Koon’s 42% (2,354 votes), thus forcing a runoff. Her platform was anti-tax and fiscally conservative with an emphasis on education.

    In the runoff, Haley won with 54.7% (2,928 votes) of the total. She then ran unopposed for the House seat as there was no Democratic opponent. She became the first Indian American to hold office in South Carolina.

    Awards: 2005 “Friend of the Taxpayer” – South Carolina Association of Taxpayers
    “Palmetto Leadership Award” – South Carolina Policy Council (a limited-government advocacy group)
    “Strom Thurmond Excellence in Public Service and Government Award” – South Carolina federation of Republican Women

    She has served as secretary of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs committees. She also was elected chairman of the Freshman caucus in 2005 and elected as a Majority whip in the South Carolina General Assembly. She was the only freshman legislator named to a whip spot.

    Other than chairing two fund raising events, AGAIN, where are the demonstrated political leadership accomplishments? We’re all too familiar with sitting on boards and organizations from being in business and active in our communities.

  22. Brad

    Or, you could support Vincent Sheheen — a guy who advocates for the same good-government platform (the legislature’s only truly viable advocate of government restructuring and accountability), and manages to do so without calling people names and making enemies left and right. I know that’s not emotionally satisfying to you, Doug — you want a candidate who slashes left and right (you would have loved Democrat Pug Ravenel, another outsider who called the Legislature a “den of thieves” in 1974) and alienates everyone.

    But such people don’t get things done in the real world.

    Vincent is a good government advocate — here’s a post about his advocacy for restructuring, long before he ran for governor — who is not strident, who is not out to make enemies. Several months of Nikki’s Tea Party rhetoric will make Vincent start to look really good. That is, unless she modulates that tone — which she probably will. She’s played it pretty skillfully so far. But will she do so enough?

  23. David

    1. I hope Sheheen gets a long look from those who usually vote Republican. I see good ideas that don’t come with a partisan label.

    2. I’m not seeing the irony that commenter Matt Bohn does. Democrats are pretty much as family-oriented people as anyone else.

    3. Why should Brad get a pass for endorsing Sanford in 2006 — it was in the primary — when he rips this guy for supporting Haley in the primary. Maybe there was no good choice in the 2006 primary, but that’s no different than this one.

    4. Dougs says that “the general public thinks the government is broken and they want someone to come in and fix it”. He says the good ol boy legislature doesn’t get results and therefore isn’t going to fix our state government. That may be true. But know what else didn’t get results? A governor who refused to work with the legislature. The legislature may be the problem but that in no way means that Sanford was and Haley will be the solution just because they want to give the legislature the finger.

    5. Missed in all this mess is the wonderful quote Kathryn pointed out.

  24. Nick Nielsen

    I understand why so many people in South Carolina hate government; I’m not that fond of it myself. What I don’t understand is why South Carolinians elect people who hate government to be part of that government, then complain about what they get.

    I’ll vote in the Republican primary, but not because of the governor’s race. If I cast a ballot in that one, it will be “None of the above.”

  25. Brad

    David, on No. 3: That was a really tough call. We liked Oscar Lovelace, but he was an offbeat choice about whom we didn’t know enough. We had backed an offbeat choice about whom we didn’t know enough in 2002 (Sanford), and that hadn’t turned out so well. We were moving away from Sanford at that moment, but looking at Lovelace we worried: could he end up just as bad, or worse? But we came close to backing him anyway.

    And then, within hours of the primary polling places closing, I deeply regretted that we hadn’t endorsed Lovelace, when Sanford dropped his nihilistic veto of the entire state budget. The timing of that — after it was too late for anyone to react by voting against him in the primary — was just so contemptuous toward the voters. It was the last straw for me with Sanford. Up until that point, we were just disappointed in him, but hadn’t reached the “almost anyone but Sanford” point. If he had done that before our endorsement, I certainly would have gone for Lovelace.

  26. Doug Ross

    What would the South Carolina economy and government look like in 2010 had your endorsed candidate Tommy Moore been elected? Give us some idea of what would be better? In your view, would taxes be the same/higher/lower? What major initiatives related to the economy and education do you think Moore would have implemented by now?
    Would the fact that Moore’s brother is being sentenced today for stealing $5 million from the government impact Tommy Moore’s ability to govern?

    A Sheheen victory would probably end up much like the Jim Hodges tenure. A nice guy who gets rolled over by the legislature.

  27. Michael P.

    j – Don’t put too much into endorsements, Brad and The State also endorsed Jake Knotts too.

  28. Brad

    I would explain, for the gazillionth time, that the Knotts and Moore endorsements were clearly presented as being choices between bad and worse (in Knotts’ case, the Sanford surrogate; in Moore’s case, Sanford himself). It is extremely intellectually lazy to cite those endorsements without that context, as though we actually had a better option at the time.

    Doug, of course, would scoff because he believes we shouldn’t have endorsed when we didn’t like either candidate. I believe now as I did then that if we had only endorsed when we actively LIKED a candidate (which would have been rare), we would have been copping out. In each case, one of those candidates was going to win the office. If anything, helping readers choose between bad and worse is a greater public service than choosing between bad and good (which tends to be easier).

  29. Doug Ross

    But how different would things in 2010 had Moore won? I can only think of one area — the cigarette tax may have been implemented sooner but I doubt it would be higher.

    Would school funding be higher? If so, where would the money come from? Would the unemployment rate be lower? Would there be fewer boards/commissions/etc.?

    I’m trying to get a sense of what major changes you think a Democrat governor could implement in four years if nothing else changes on the Legislature side? Give us a best case scenario.

  30. Michael P.

    So The State thought that Knotts was a better choice than Shealy? Knotts hasn’t changed in the last 20+ years, what you see now is what you saw back in 2006-2008.

  31. Brad

    That’s right, and Shealy didn’t offer an improvement. In fact, by offering the potential of giving Mark Sanford a stronger hand, she offered something worse.

  32. Michael P.

    So rather than chancing some change (just the fact that the seat changed hands had to make some change) The State said, if ol’ Jakie is good enough for my daddie, he’s good enough for me.

    Getting nervous about your date with Nikki tomorrow night? She should at least thank you and Will for getting her all the sympathy votes.

  33. Doug Ross

    So can we assume your approach will be to recommend that voters choose legislators who do not support Haley so she CANNOT be effective if she becomes governor?

    Maybe you don’t really want a government that gets things done. You want one that does what YOU want it to do.

    Big difference, eh?

  34. Matt

    I guess everyone is entitled to their opinions and subjective analysis of state politics (esp. on their own blog!) I’m not offended. I still think the “Sanford in a dress” thing was below-the-belt from someone like yourself, but whatever.

    I need to remember where you are coming from with all that you write. A lot of us think that viewpoint is part of the problem, not the solution. I suspect tomorrow will show just that.

  35. Brad

    Actually, Matt, what tomorrow will show is that too many South Carolinians still suffer from the same disease that has held our state back for the past century (actually, longer than that — the same anti-federal gummint attitude that the Republicans are playing to was at work when SC fired on Fort Sumter): A distrust of power, authority and institutions (i.e., the government), and a deep aversion to working together to solve our problems (which, after all, is one of the things government exists for). Radical individualism has been enormously destructive to this state, and unfortunately a candidate who embodies that value and wraps it in an attractive package can still get elected — in a GOP primary, anyway. And of course the Republican has an advantage in the fall in South Carolina.

    The result in the GOP primary tomorrow will demonstrate that — particularly if Nikki wins, but it would be the same with any of the Republicans, because they are all trying to represent themselves that way, to appeal to that negative, nihilistic attitude. It’s just depressing as hell, because there is NO way that a governor elected after having run such a campaign can have a positive mandate to try to move our state forward. A candidate who has run a campaign based on appealing to all the things his or her constituents are AGAINST is not in a position to achieve anything positive.

    It’s a real shame that, after 8 years of malaise under a governor who is the purest distillation of the anti-government impulse that I’ve ever seen win high office, there is currently NO chance of a member of the plurality party in this state leading up beyond that.

    I had hoped that someone — Henry McMaster, perhaps — would emerge as an alternative to that. But he did not. His campaign would probably tell me that I just don’t understand, he HAD to run as the “Vultures” candidate. Well, let’s see how they feel after they’ve run that kind of campaign, and lost anyway.

    But I’m tired of all these recriminations. I’m tired of all the negativity. I’m sick of all the mud-slinging, and the accusations back and forth. I’m leaning toward voting in the Democratic primary, where I don’t see any of that going on. It means I’m disenfranchised on a long list of public offices. But at least I’d be able to cast a POSITIVE vote (as opposed to trying to determine the least of evils) for governor. Maybe candidates who run positive campaigns DESERVE my vote; maybe that should be reinforced.

    Haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning that way…

  36. Kristin Sinclair

    I watched the debates from both parties.
    Nikki Haley by far presented herself in the most composed manner of the candidates in her debate. She was the least angry sounding of the members of her party in the debate. That helped her momentum. All the publicity she has gotten as a result of the allegations have brought her untold free publicity. She is even being mentioned on Nationally listened to PBS NPR stations, maybe not for the best reason but her name is being mentioned all the same. So she has gotten free publicity on many levels of medium. It is entirely possible that the negative hype was a calculated risk, which has proven effective in getting statewide attention, well even national attention to bad for SC we seem to get so much bad attention. But, statewide attention is not something she did prior to the allegations being made public. Of the candidates on that side of the aisle she seems the most likeable, most seem thourghly toxic. It is entirely possible she too is toxic, let us hope the residents of the state do their homework and vote for the candidate who wants to help our state, we certainly need a governor who wants to help the SC, we have not had that privledge since our last Democratic Governor Jim Hodges. That being said, I know which side of the aisle my vote will be coming from, I am a proud Democrat in the great state of SC I am looking forward my next Governor being a person worthy of holding the office.

  37. Brad

    Good points, Kristin… there’s no question that in terms of the mechanics of campaigning, Nikki stands head and shoulders above all the others seeking the GOP nomination.

    I have meant to mention this a number of times, and keep getting distracted by the latest mud-slinging… when I saw Nikki at the Palin rally, I was impressed by how she had grown in confidence and poise. She bore all the signs of a candidate who was surging to the front of the pack and KNEW it (and this was before polls confirmed it). That’s a factor in why I found the performance so depressing. Here’s a candidate with exactly the wrong message, with exactly the wrong kind of backing (Tea Party, Sarah Palin, the Sanford cabal), feeling her oats and moving forward with the Big Mo.

    And I sensed that she was unstoppable, because most voters would see this very personable, confident figure talking about good government and accountability and think that’s all there is, and why would anyone oppose it? In other words, they would think the same thing I thought when I beheld Mark Sanford in 2002! I heard all that good stuff and conveniently ignored his mutterings about doing away with the income tax and offering tax credits for private school tuition. Little did I know he would accomplish NOTHING good, and spend all his energy (unsuccessfully, fortunately) pushing the dark side.

    And I want to share that hard-won knowledge. I want to warn them. But the people attracted to Nikki aren’t going to listen. Instead, they’ll listen to Nikki and Sarah telling them that anyone who doubts is a liberal or an elite or a good ol’ boy or a RINO or something else they see as a pejorative.

    I realized all of that at that rally on May 14, which is why the report I wrote on it (“What’s the difference between ugly good ol’ boy populism and Palin/Haley populism? Lipstick.“) was such a downer. I just didn’t see any way to get those folks to listen. I ask you: Look at Sarah and Nikki (see the picture I posted at the top of this post — isn’t she adorable?), and look at me — who’s the most attractive messenger?

    But I try anyway.

  38. Michael Rodgers

    If Tommy Moore would have won in 2006, then by now we would have already passed Vincent Sheheen’s plan, and we would have moved on to the rest of the unfinished business.

    But since it was Sanford who won, the state legislature joined together to go against Sanford, and they very often got to the (supposedly impossible to obtain) 2/3 vote to override vetoes. And, as Cindi Ross Scoppe described in her excellent column (sorry, no link) “Mark Sanford and the Promised Land,” Gov. Sanford set back true reform for quite some time.

  39. Doug Ross

    “Here’s a candidate with exactly the wrong message”

    You need to keep adding “compared to my view of the world” when you make statements like that.

    As far as Nikki Haley is concerned, her message is going to win her the primary. So that makes it the right message. And if it gets her into the Governor’s mansion in November, it means the message is the right one according to the majority of the citizens of the state. The message is clear. Politics as usual is unacceptable to voters.

  40. Kristin Sinclair

    SC is such a fabulous state, we desperately need leadership that has a desire to help move the people of SC forward.

    The needs are many and the funds are few.

    We must do a better job of educating, public schools are absolutely critical in reaching the needs of the masses. We have untold talent that simply needs to be polished and educated. We have people who are compassionate and with just a bit of encouragement and positive valuable education, can hone their skills to become great leaders.

    We are so fortunate to live in SC, it is a fabulous place to be from; in spite of itself. We the people need to make it better it is our job. Okay folks, people its time to part of a wonderful solution.

  41. Brad

    Oh, and though it doesn’t deserve an answer, lest someone else be sufficiently ignorant to think Michael knows what he’s talking about when he says we endorsed Jake over Katrina in 2008 because “if ol’ Jakie is good enough for my daddie, he’s good enough for me”… Here’s the actual explanation of why we endorsed Jake that once, after vehemently opposing him every other time he’s run.

  42. Brad

    My God, Doug, you are incredible. You will just say ANYTHING as long as it contradicts me. You actually wrote, “As far as Nikki Haley is concerned, her message is going to win her the primary. So that makes it the right message. And if it gets her into the Governor’s mansion in November, it means the message is the right one…”

    Wow. THIS from the most anti-incumbent people I’ve ever met. Does it never occur to you that those incumbents got elected, and re-elected, because their messages resonated in that same way? And yet now you say that if it’s successful at the ballot box, that makes it right?!?!?!?

    Just incredible…

  43. Brad

    … oh, and also… I think one of most foolishly redundant phrases in opinion writing is, “in my opinion.”

    Of COURSE it’s in my opinion! Why would I say it otherwise?

  44. Michael Rodgers

    Also Doug, if Tommy Moore would have won in 2006, the horrific ridiculousness at the Employment Security Commission (to the tune of $800 million) would not have happened because the restructuring that finally happened this year would have happened earlier, and the proper legislative and/or executive oversight would have stopped the disgustingly egregious expenditures.

    But alas, Sanford won in 2006, and his failure to work with the legislature ended up costing our state $800 million in this area alone. I can’t help but wonder, how much did he save us by requiring his staff to use both sides of their post-it notes?

  45. Brad

    I don’t know, Michael. I ALWAYS play election nights by ear, and right now I’m looking at that invitation along with competing ones from several other campaigns at the same time.

    We’ll see. If I drop by Nikki’s it will probably be early, and go by others that are closer to home (Rick Quinn’s out at Hudson’s Smokehouse) later…

  46. Michael P.

    I believe Quinn’s will be over before it begins, he’s got about as much of a chance of winning it as Rolex Frazier does.

    Give Nikki a hug for me. If they let you past the front door… just tell them you’re coming in to use the bathroom.

    Did you really get an invitation? Or do you party crash…

  47. Doug Ross

    Look up the definition of “wrong”. Then tell me how Haley’s message is “wrong”. The basic principles of the Sanford/Haley message have never been tried so how can you know that they are “wrong”? They just don’t match your “government is the answer” philosophy on life. There’s more evidence that that outlook is “wrong” than there is for the smaller government option. The voters who will elect Haley think your view is “wrong” and there are more of them than on your side. So maybe that makes you wrong-er.

    I’m a hypocrite for thinking that career politicians who are not term limited (unlike the governor), normally run unopposed, have access to all sorts of tax dollars/jobs/favors to reward constituents and to collude in making sure they get re-elected might not be the best examples of representative government. The people who run this state are elected by fewer than 1% of the voters. They control the purse strings which means they control the elections.

    I’m sensing a little tension on your part now that you’re faced with potentially another eight years of having to craft the logical argument to explain how Harrell and Leatherman are not the problem and that it’s still Mark Sanford’s fault when nothing changes.

  48. Nick Nielsen

    Politics as usual is unacceptable to voters?

    If that was the case, I’d expect to see a viable two-party system, and I don’t mean the Republican party and the Tea party. (In South Carolina, the former offers “more of same,” and the latter adds “only worse.”) I would expect each office on each ballot to be contested in each general election and not conceded before the primary.

    Other than the louder-than-normal noise from the usual anti-tax, anti-government suspects, I don’t see anything other than politics as usual.

  49. Bart

    After reading all of the bitching and complaining about the lack of good candidates from either side with the exception of Sheheen, no one has asked the question of why is it we don’t get the good candidates to choose from? So far, Haley is running ahead because of allegations of indiscretions with two men of questionable character and motive.

    We don’t have quality candidates and those who could serve our state well probably don’t want to be tarnished with the South Carolina politics label.

    Too bad.

  50. Kristin Sinclair

    Well, I voted, my old precinct actually was divided into 3 separate locations to vote since our area has grown so much, we are actually going to be getting a new rep district soon as well.

    Unfortunately for many area residents who are not as involved in the system as would be ideal. The first signs letting people know they were heading in the correct direction to place their vote at their new precinct were only visable at the end of a long rode where businesses are housed in a commercial office park site. At the end of the road is a church, whah lah I had arrived. I was greeted at the door by a wonderful smiling lady who lives up the street from me. She did a wonderful job of making the arriving voters feel welcome. She tried very hard to get me to vote in a party ballot not to my choosing, She indicated more than once, I would have more things to vote on with this ballot rather than that ballot. I made it clear, I was a passionate voter, I knew how I intended to vote, I am a proud Democrat I said out loud. She rolled her eyes and said okay….
    When I arrived at the desk booth location, another lady, asked me if I had any trouble finding the place, I indicated that it would be helpful to the residence of any new precinct if more signs were available along the rode to make people feel confident they were heading in the right direction. She said she asked for that and was turned down, she was going to let the powers that be know that this was not the first time this statement was made today.

    After placing my vote, I said great I am done, I is good to know that my husband and I can offer a level of diversity to the neighborhood. One poll working was grinning from hear to hear, one poll worker was furling her brow, one poll worker was rushing me out the door. I was the fourth Democrat to vote in my new precinct this AM, my hope… that there will be many, many more.

    Hey Vince Sheehan, I will be looking forward to the good results today as I watch the votes roll in. I want you to be my next Governor. I look forward to the General Election

  51. Kristin Sinclair

    Typing has never been my best suite.
    Typos seem to be the norm far to often for me. But, be that the case, my vote was still a good one!!! The ballot had the right spelling, even if I did not.

  52. Brad

    Actually, I was wondering whether you meant to write “voilà” when you said “whah lah,” but I didn’t want to say anything…


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