Haley finds PGA perfect for selling state
KIAWAH ISLAND — The PGA Championship is better than a great day in South Carolina — it couldn’t be greater, Gov. Nikki Haley says.
She even used the word “perfect” to describe the setting Thursday. She “rotated between tables” in the corporate luxury suites along the 18th hole, wooing business CEOs who might locate in the state and thanking the ones who have. She wore a silver palmetto tree medallion on a necklace.
Haley broke away for a few minutes to talk with reporters by the putting green.
No, she doesn’t golf, although her husband does, she said. Her husband, Michael Haley, is on duty with the S.C. National Guard but was expected to fly in Thursday night to spend the weekend at Kiawah.
The Republican governor didn’t want to talk about the controversies over the Interstate 526 referendum or whether a parkway is needed to this resort island, except to say road problems across the state could be repaired if she could appoint an S.C. Department of Transportation director who answers to her rather than the Legislature.
No, she hasn’t taken any time to see the sights or enjoy recreational activities: This is business.
“This is where we bring CEOs together,” she said. “I’m working and this is work I love to do.”
There’s no better place than a major tournament venue like Kiawah to sell the state, she said. “You see them have a good time, see great views. One (prospect) said to me as he got off the plane, ‘It feels like I’m home.’ ”