There wasn’t much new in The State‘s recap Sunday of how Vincent Sheheen is pretty much thrashing Nikki Haley on her signature issues (transparency and business savvy) — nothing much you couldn’t have read here the middle of last week.
But I was struck by the unbelievably lame response recorded from the Haley campaign:
For its part, Haley’s campaign has argued Sheheen, a state senator from Camden, is ducking questions about whether the Democrat supports recently approved national health insurance law and the Obama administration’s lawsuit challenging Arizona’s immigration law, two issues Sheheen could have to deal with if elected governor.
Really? That’s the best you can do? He’s totally crushing you on transparency, and making a mockery of your desire to run government the way you run your business, and that’s your response? You retreat to the current GOP playbook? That book only has one play these days, you know. It goes something like this:
When cornered, talk about Obama. Don’t worry that it has nothing to do with the office you’re running for. Just cry, “Obama! Obama! Obama! We hate Obama! Do you hate Obama? If you don’t, you’re not one of us, because we really, really hate him…” Yadda-yadda. Just keep going; don’t worry about repeating yourself or not making the slightest bit of logical sense, because your base will eat this up…
As for the last phrase in that excerpt from The State — “two issues Sheheen could have to deal with if elected governor” — it’s hard to imagine a more transparent case of news people bending over backwards to act like a source is saying something rational when he or she is not. Yeah, you stretch a point and sure, health care reform affects every state (just as it does business and many other aspects of life) and a governor will govern in an environment in which a lot of people insist that immigration is a huge state issue. But you could say that about almost any hot-button national issue, from Afghanistan to the BP oil spill — it still wouldn’t be central. Everyone, but everyone, knows that the Haley campaign putting out that response has absolutely ZERO to do with what faces the next governor, and everything to do with the fact that if it isn’t in the Sarah Palin songbook, they can’t sing it.
Anyway, we are left waiting for a substantive response actually bearing on the two things that are allegedly Nikki’s strong suits, and why we should believe anything she says about them. And Vincent didn’t pick these issues — Nikki did.