Is Nikki Haley really in trouble, or is everyone just engaging in wishful thinking?

All of a sudden, everywhere I go, people are speculating that Nikki Haley will not be governor much longer. But I haven’t run into anyone who can really back that up.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the source of this increasingly ubiquitous meme. It’s tempting to say that the fall of Glenn McConnell to the post of lieutenant governor has just caused everyone to rake back through all the scandals and demi-scandals and presque vu scandals that we already knew were drifting about the governor, and start speculating about them in a new way.

There have been, however, some new developments, even though they have to do with things we heard about way back before the 2010 election. There was the lawsuit by John Rainey, which was recently dismissed. Then, picking up on that, the Democrats in the Legislature called on the governor to waive any confidentiality if she is a target of an ethics investigation.

But what this post is about is the buzz, more than actual developments. People just keep on speculating. For instance, in the last couple of days:

  • I was having breakfast with James Smith yesterday, and he expressed the “concern” that Democrats might not have the opportunity to run against her in 2014. I suspect that if James himself runs, he’d prefer it be against Nikki.
  • At dinner last night, another Democrat — a former staffer to former Gov. Dick Riley — approached me to ask whether the governor would be long in office (the proximate cause for this conversation seemed to be nothing more than McConnell’s becoming the Gov Lite).
  • Then, Logan Smith posted, over at Palmetto Public Record, this document purporting to be from the IRS to the gov’s father, having to do with the Sikh Society of South Carolina. Again, something we’ve all heard murmurings about in the past.
  • One keeps hearing reports (James Smith spoke of it) that Nikki will have, as Will Folks put it, “a credible, well-funded Republican primary opponent in 2014.” Actually, it could be several. And she’s not well situated to survive such a challenge.
  • Libb posted on a previous thread, “Keep hearing from insiders at the Dome she will be Blagoviched soon…one can only hope.”

So far, this sounds like an echo chamber. I’ve seen virtually NO new information surface. The topic just seems suddenly to have a life of its own. But so far, I haven’t seen anything that indicates she is any closer to leaving office than she was a month ago, when this wasn’t (as much, anyway) the hot topic.

13 thoughts on “Is Nikki Haley really in trouble, or is everyone just engaging in wishful thinking?

  1. Phillip

    Well let it be noted that I made a prediction back in December with your Haley Haiku contest. Call it a gut feeling.

    But in truth, I think the most likely scenario is simply the next-to-last among your bullet points, that a strong GOP challenger will emerge in the primary. I think there’s a good chance in that case that Haley opts not to run, figuring she can cash in on her gubernatorial stint with another high-pay-little-work consultant gig.

  2. Doug Ross

    She’s done. She won’t win a primary and whoever beats her will be the next governor (no matter what slime Harpootlian tries to splatter).

  3. Silence Wayne

    I agree with Doug Ross. Now that she’s betrayed her “TEA Party” supporters and shown her true colors, any legitimate Republican candidate should wipe the floor with her in a primary election.
    Silence’s predictions:
    1) If she gets the Republican nomination, the Democrats will win the governorship.
    2) If the Republicans nominate someone else they will keep the governorship.
    3) Sheheen will run again.
    4) A well financed and well-known republican challenger will emerge.

  4. Libb

    I don’t think Haley has any interest in being a 2nd term governor…from the get-go she’s used the gov’s office to further her ascendency to some sorta national rock star(her favorite phrase) level. Roll on…the sooner the better for SC.

  5. Silence

    @Libb – There is no way in Hades that our governorship is going to be a successful national office springboard for Haley. If she ran, all of the same vitriol and investigative reporting that goes on in SC now would begin at the national level, and it would be lights out for her career. Maybe she’d pick up a cabinet appointment or a party chairmanship or something else unelected though.

  6. Libb

    @Silence – I agree w/ you about her slim to none chances for a national office (think the Repub party learned its lesson w/ Palin). Being the narcissist that she is, I think anything at the national level (even a gig w/ Faux News)would quell her thirst for fame, glory, and, of course, lots of money.

  7. `Kathryn Fenner

    Yes, Silence, but Haley’s grip on reality is tenuous, at best. She believes her press releases.

    Truthiness is her style.

  8. Bob Amundson

    Perhaps this is what is happening:

    “Two well-placed legal experts have independently told Palmetto Public Record they expect the U.S. Department of Justice to issue an indictment against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on charges of tax fraud as early as this week.

    A highly ranked federal official has also privately confirmed rumblings of an investigation and possible indictment of the governor, though the official was not aware of the specific timeframe.

    Yesterday, Palmetto Public Record exclusively reported that the Internal Revenue Service has been investigating since March of 2011 the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Haley’s father. At least five lawsuits have been filed against the Sikh Society of South Carolina since 2010, alleging that the group bilked contractors out of nearly $130,000 for the construction of a new temple.

    Gov. Haley is reported to have managed the temple’s finances as late as 2003, and our sources believe any indictment would center on what happened to the missing money.

    Palmetto Public Record will post a story later this afternoon detailing the temple’s shady finances and the governor’s possible involvement. Stay tuned…”

  9. Silence

    @ Libb and ‘Kathryn – Yes, she seems to believe her own press. Honestly, I’m suprised that none of the seedier/more ridiculous stuff has been picked up by national news outlets. I think she’d be perfectly happy with a cable news gig or appointed office. For that matter, I wouldn’t turn down a cable news job either, not that anyone’s going to offer me one. All I can do is comment on local political blogs and troll for liberals! 😉


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