Who, if anyone, is the grownup in the governor’s office? (Hint: It SHOULD be the governor)

Have you seen Kevin Fisher’s column about the Nikki Haley/WACH thing? It’s pretty good; you should check it out.

For my part, this bit reminded me of something I wanted to share:

Haley made the post late on a Sunday evening, presumably in the privacy of the governor’s mansion. Would she have done so the next morning after talking it over with advisers while sitting in the governor’s office? I doubt it. She strikes me as too smart to have made a mistake like this upon reflection, and certainly her communications staff would have advised against it (or if not, she should move quickly to get new communications people).

Last night on “Pub Politics” (which was a good show, with an excellent studio audience filling up The Whig — Shop Tart was there! so was Laurin!), Wesley Donehue made a related point, but in a far more outrageous way.

In defending Nikki — or trying to — he basically tried to excuse her immature and inappropriate published insult of WACH on the fact that it was spontaneous, and of course she wouldn’t have said something like that if she had consulted with her staff first. (I forget his exact words, but I’ll post the whole show when he sends me the embed code, by tomorrow probably.)

This set me off.

OK, I said, I can dig that Wesley and Phil Bailey might think it’s OK to say something like that, because after all, they themselves are unelected political operatives hired by elected officials. Professional pride, if nothing else, might lead to such thinking.

But folks, the governor is the governor. The governor is the boss of those people, the one who should be the grownup in the room, checking and correcting her subordinates, not the other way around. The governor is the one who was ELECTED by the people, the one who is accountable to them.

Yes, I realize we have a governor who was nowhere near ready, someone seriously lacking in the kinds of professional and life experiences that prepare one to be the boss (and a politically accountable boss, which is an even more demanding job requirement). We have someone in the office who a year ago was a very junior, very green back-bencher, suddenly thrust into leadership.

It happens. (The unfortunate thing about this situation is that she has no one on her staff to BE that grownup for her, to make up for her own lack. Mark Sanford had Fred Carter, but unfortunately failed to listen to him, and ran him off. Who can play that role for Nikki? Not her chief of staff — he doesn’t even know the system or the players; he’s a political operative from out of state. A mature type like Fred Carter who was from out of state, a real pro from Dover, could make up for his lack of local knowledge with pure, transferable professionalism, the knowledge that in ANY state, there are things you do and say and things you don’t. But as we saw with the Curtis Loftis incident, Tim Pearson is not that guy. Or at least, he hasn’t shown us that guy yet. But I digress. Of course, that’s what parentheticals are for.)

But SHE was the one who decided to go off half-cocked on Facebook. And even if she’d done it on advice of staff, SHE would be the one responsible for it.

15 thoughts on “Who, if anyone, is the grownup in the governor’s office? (Hint: It SHOULD be the governor)

  1. Lynn

    Apparently, chiefs of staff are the responsible party. It seems so for former Gov. Sanford and the preparation of budget data for DHHS and I guess the tradition continues for Governess Haley.
    You’d think Pearson would be 1.5 times better than English based on his pay.

  2. miller

    In an earlier time, we had seasoned, polished politicians blindly leading us further and further into debt. Today, we have less-polished, less-seasoned politicians getting us out of debt.

  3. Chuck

    Sadly, her actions do not surprise me. She behaves just like her mentor Sarah Palin, carrying out a middle school rant over the web.

  4. Brad

    Uh… miller, that’s not the case. The state is not, and has not been, in debt. It can’t be. The Legislature is required to pass a balanced budget every year.

    You’re conflating state and federal. Now THERE, you’ve got some debt…

  5. jfx

    In Nikki’s defense, she and Will used to be BFFs, and WACH just doesn’t understand, because, like, OMG, it’s complicated. So WACH just needs to STFU and GTFO. WACH is sooo tabloid. Like, to the max. LULZ, WACH lamers. /afk

  6. Karen McLeod

    She may not have spoken in a politic fashion, but at least she spoke the truth. However, she needs to watch it or she’ll lose her support.

  7. Doug Ross


    Remember, we had eight years of Sanford but the state government during his tenure bore little resemblance to his political philosophy. It will be the same with Haley. She’ll be the focal point while the legislature does whatever it wants to do.

  8. miller

    At least two independent studies have noted that the SC public pension fund is incurring unfunded liabilities that will cause it to run out of money if reforms are not made. In addition, the state is just now beginning to climb out of a big debt incurred within its unemployment insurance fund. Finally, it has been a long time since the state of SC did not go regularly go into debt through the sale of bonds.

Comments are closed.