Signing has supporters, detractors

Gov. Nikki Haley signed her memoir Monday night at Blue Bicycle Books on King Street.

An estimated 50 locals and visitors queued up at Blue Bicycle Books’ King Street store Monday night to meet South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and have her sign copies of the new memoir, “Can’t Is Not an Option.”

While the store’s window display read “It’s a great day,” a nod to the governor’s trademark phrase, a few detractors stood outside brandishing posters bearing such slogans as “Sign Laws, Not Books.”

“There are always going to be naysayers,” the governor said in response. “But if they just read the book, they would have a different feeling about the state and how far we’ve come.”

Inside it was all smiles. “I support her, and have been to two of her rallies,” said West Ashley resident Richard Galey, book in hand. “I told her then to keep the focus. I’ll tell her the same thing tonight.”

Signing books for well-wishers across an age range of students to veterans to small children, the governor reiterated her reasons for writing the book, and noted that all proceeds will support the Original Six Foundation, a statewide economic initiative aimed at distressed communities in the state.

“We’re having a good job announcement in Greenville tomorrow, and we’re excited,” said Haley.

She dismissed questions about future political ambitions.

Asked if she had a comment on the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision to hold a hearing on the Savannah River dredging issue, Haley responded: “No. We heard it, and it’s fine.”

Published by Sentinel, Penguin Group, and subtitled “My American Story,” Haley’s book is billed as an “inspirational memoir of family, hope, and the power of the American Dream,” recounting how the daughter of Sikh immigrants Ajit and Raj Randhawa rose to prominence in the state Legislature and eventually took up residence in the Governor’s Mansion.

Reach Bill Thompson at 937-5707.