On Sunday I had too much going on to read the paper, but I didn’t feel like I was missing much, because the lede headline was, “How Haley beat Sheheen.”
That would have to be shortest analysis story yet, since the entire explanation can be expressed thusly:
“She ran as a Republican in 2010.”
It’s so obvious from the outcome that, since Vincent Sheheen garnered a larger percentage of the vote than any other Democrat running in South Carolina, Nikki Haley didn’t do anything else to contribute to her success. In fact, the numbers indicate that everything else that happened in the fall campaign must have worked against her.
So, a very short story. (And yet my colleague John O’Connor squeezed 2,000 words out of it. My hat is off to him. Editors don’t give reporters that kind of room often, so when they do, any writer worth his salt makes the most of it.)
Now, if you want to talk about how she won the nomination — her transition into the darling of the Tea Party — that might take some verbiage. But there’s not much to say about her victory in the general. She hit her crescendo in June, but the air gradually leaked out of her campaign until she barely squeaked by on Election Day. But being a Republican guaranteed that she could afford to blow a big lead, and still win. So she did.