Just ran into Nikki Haley. She looked well…

I ran into Nikki Haley at lunch today, at M Vista on Lady Street. She was there with Rob Godfrey and Tim Pearson of her campaign.

I think it was the first time I’d conversed with her since that time at Starbucks on Gervais shortly after the 2008 election. That day, she had a young woman in tow whom she introduced as being “with my campaign,” and I thought that was odd. The ’08 campaign was over, and it was early for a House candidate to be having meetings about the next campaign. I was probably the most shocked guy in South Carolina when it came out a month or two later than she was running for governor — it just seemed so totally unlikely that she would see herself as ready for that. It was the beginning of me seriously wondering about Nikki…

Anyway, Nikki was pleasant and charming as always when I went up to chat with her today. I don’t think Rob or Tim were all that thrilled to see me, though. They certainly didn’t smile, but then we guys don’t, do we, under such circumstances? Nikki did, but then ladies do.

We didn’t talk shop. She did the standard thing polite people do when other topics are awkward — she asked after my family. Then she asked how I was doing, and I told her that I was with ADCO and having lunch with my colleagues over there, and gave her one of my ADCO cards. She said I was probably glad not to be at the paper any more, and I thought that was perceptive of her. Or a good guess. Maybe it was just an understated slap at the paper; I don’t know. So I asked how she was holding up, and she said great, and I said something about how things had probably gotten a lot less crazy in the last few weeks, and she agreed. And then she asked me again about my family. So I began to dismiss myself, thinking I should wish her all the best but wanting to be honest, and ended up saying something totally inane like, “Well, as long as you’re enjoying yourself; that’s the thing…”

My ADCO friends thought it odd that I had gone to speak with her. Maybe they thought I was showing off, as in That Brad! He’ll just do any crazy thing! But that’s because they only know about Nikki and me through what I’ve written on the blog lately. They don’t realize that I’ve known her for years, and we’ve always had a very cordial relationship. I’ve happily endorsed her twice — in 2004 and 2008 (those were the only elections in which she had opposition), and always enjoyed chatting with her. I always had good hopes for her — before she embarked on her quest to become the new Mark Sanford and darling of the Tea Party, South Carolina’s answer to Sarah Palin. Which is deeply unfortunate.

So it was nice to see her, even though there was that slight awkwardness.

11 thoughts on “Just ran into Nikki Haley. She looked well…

  1. Brad

    Oh, one other thing, which I did NOT share with Nikki: We were there for a farewell lunch for a member of the ADCO Interactive team who is leaving us to work on the Vincent Sheheen campaign.

    Thought y’all would be interested to know it, though…

  2. Tom Fillinger

    We live in an age of hollow,empty, vacuous and intellectually bankrupt hype. Oh for the days when one single solitary soul intoned the evening news and it actually had substance.

    What we have now is banal inane dribble. It would benefit everyone and the political process and our State and Nation if such exchanges actually addressed substantive issues rather than personal attacks, whether they be thinely veiled as “cartoons” or insincere niceties.

    My comments are neither for nor against Halley or Sheheen. They are an appeal for honest, transparent dialog that contirbutes to the effective and mature progress toward making our community (human kind community) a truly better place to live instead of who is the most clever ‘wise cracker’ whether with verbage in an editorial or in a cartoon.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    @Tom Fillinger–
    So you aren’t big on the marketplace of ideas? You want one arbiter of what constitutes “news”?

    I agree that we can be more civil and less nasty, but then civil and honest, transparent are often seemingly at odds. It takes ability to tell the truth in a civil way.

    I believe Araial tells the truth well with his cartoons–it is an economical way to make a sophisticated point. I believe he wishes to make the world a better place with his work, and does so, although he is often far too conservative for me.

  4. scout


    Did you see the post about the Coffee party? It may be for you. I agree with many of your sentiments.

  5. KP

    Brad, I can’t imagine encountering you and not engaging you. Maybe she knows you’re a lost cause. I myself would have fought for my views while you were right there in front of me.

  6. marconi

    I would have thought that “showing off” would have possibly been predicated on asking her some tough questions regarding her all- too-certain coronation as governor by the woollyheaded electorate of this state.

    Instead you chose to simply shill for your company, hand her the inevitable business card, and engage in banalities.

    Fact of business is that regardless of who’s elected governor the legislature controls things and will continue to do so.
    However, with Vincent Sheheen as governor, the nation may perhaps change their view of us, and more importantly, we may well change our view of how we see ourselves.

    But probably not; the scenario in Cindy Scoppe’s latest column will achieve an actual level of verismilitude, Nikki will receive her coronation, the state will be on a barter system within 18 months, a quasi-banana republic marooned in ideas characterized by an opulence of twaddle and a pensury of sense, and I will have moved to Asheville, NC

  7. Ralph Hightower

    Nikki’s comment was probably an “understated slap at the paper” since The State is pushing for full transparency from Nikki.

  8. murraywood

    Sic Willie has been diving for pearls and continues to do so. He is disgusting and so is his website. Thank you Brad for continuing tasteful discussion here. If Nikki wins, Mr Folks should be guaranteed a job,


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