Karen had a slightly different reaction

What was your reaction to this headline when it led the paper the other day — “Haley confronts Obama on health care”?

Yeah, me too. Cringe City. Like, Please don’t tell me she identified herself as being from South Carolina. I mean, think about it: The closest thing to a qualification that Nikki possesses on this issue is a stint as fund-raiser for a hospital, which didn’t work out so well. But now the Leader of the Free World is expected to sit still and be lectured by her on the subject.

OK, so the president invited her to. That doesn’t make me feel much better about her wasting the opportunity by going to bat for a national GOP priority.

Yeah, I know she was elected chiefly by pushing these national-issue hot buttons, and not for anything central to being governor. And that’s my problem with this. That’s what produces the cringe factor. The last thing we needed was another governor who was more interested in playing to a national audience than governing South Carolina, and look what we got.

But hey, that’s what we’ve got, so I wasn’t going to say anything. Y’all have heard all that before.

At least, I wasn’t until I got this e-mail from Karen Floyd over the weekend:

Dear Subscriber

Recently, Governor-elect Nikki made a trip up to Washington DC to speak with President Obama about the highly contentious health care legislation. We are so proud to have our next governor aggressively represent the views of so many Americans.
Below is an article about the event that appeared in the Rock Hill Herald [the same McClatchy piece that was in The State, linked above]. Please take the time to read it and let us know what you think by visiting our Facebook page!
Karen Floyd
SCGOP Chairman

So proud, huh? I’m beginning to suspect that Karen and I look at things somewhat differently…

Oh, and by the way — I realize that this is just business to people like Nikki and Karen, this constant sniping at the president’s attempt (however flawed) to deal with the health care crisis in this country. They just use it to yank the chains of susceptible people, and get them to vote the way they want them to.

But if this foolishness actually leads to the federal government letting South Carolina opt out of health care reform, as Obama reportedly indicated to Nikki, well then I am going to take this personally. It may be just partisan politics business, but I’m going to take it very personally.

OK, now I’m going to switch directions on you… I hope this doesn’t give you whiplash…

Nikki did something else at that meeting that I’m very proud she did: Confront the president on Yucca Mountain. That actually is a very important issue to South Carolina, and one that the president has taken an indefensible position on, thanks to Harry Reid. Anything Nikki does to get the president’s attention on that short of slapping him upside the head is OK with me. You go, girl.

And to change my tune still further… I was just about to post this when I had a phone conversation with a thoughtful friend who said, you’ve got to read The Greenville News version of the Haley/Obama interaction. The tone was a bit different. In fact, it had this bit:

Haley insisted that she is more interested in a “conversation” with the White House over areas of disagreement than “confrontation.”

That’s nice, but not quite enough to make me do an Emily Litella. I still don’t want my governor posturing on national controversies, and Karen Floyd does. Therein lies the difference.

7 thoughts on “Karen had a slightly different reaction

  1. C. Johnson

    What I haven’t seen mentioned so far is the wording of Ms. Floyd’s first sentence. Sounds like Ms. Haley went to Washington with the distinct and sole purpose of telling the president what she thought about health care. That’s not exactly what happened.

  2. Brad

    You’re absolutely right. And that’s what’s wrong with this situation.

    And by that I mean what’s wrong with politics today.

    Nikki being invited to chat with the president and having a cordial exchange of views doesn’t play well with the base that Nikki and Karen play to. So it’s gotta be Nikki of Arc, sword in hand, going up to do battle with that awful Obama and tell him what’s what. At least, it’s gotta be that way when Karen tells it.

    Nikki, to her credit, didn’t paint it that way.

  3. Juan Caruso

    ” I still don’t want my governor posturing on national controversies,…”

    We are still a union of 50 sovereign states, Brad. Like capitalism, state sovereignty assures competition of ideas, and encourages people to vote with their feet.

    California, and other state regimes that tend to idolize centralist ideas have been undergoing a net emigration when last I checked.

    When California’s Gov-elect Brown seeks during the next 2 years a federal bailout for his state’s strapped public education and other public service employees, I hope you will be opposed to that governors posturing to Obama more forcefully.

    I lived in California for several years before voting with my feet.

  4. Ralph Hightower

    Nikki Haley: Right on Yucca Mountain; Wrong of health care.

    I don’t remember where I saw it, but a poll said most Americans supported the health care reform. Whereas the GOP wants to deny health care coverage and not cover preexisting conditions for those that have health care.

  5. Steve Gordy

    While our governor-elect is right about Yucca Mountain, it’s my guess that Republicans nationwide have made the assessment that the Prez is so easily rolled that they don’t need to negotiate with him; if they did, they might have to tip their hands as to what’s really important. If I’d been the Prez, I’d have said (in a nice way), “Madame Governor-Elect, when you have a couple of years of actual experience as the chief executive of your state, call me back and we’ll talk.”

  6. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    It seemed to me that Obama’s possible grounds for an exception left out the most important one for any system to work: mandatory coverage–otherwise free riders will sink the system! Did I miss something?

  7. Herb Brasher

    Yep, Kathryn, people don’t want to buy coverage until they get sick. I don’t understand why the mandatory part isn’t clear to anybody with some smarts. What’s the problem?

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