Tariff suspensions debated

Henry Brown

The people of South Carolina can rest easy now -- Gov. Nikki Haley says she "plans" on finishing her term.

Which began four months ago.

After a week of speculation that Haley was leaving the door open to being a vice presidential pick, the governor appeared on ABC "This Week" to put speculation to rest without really doing anything of the sort.

"I plan on committing to the people of this state my full four years in office," she told Christiane Amanpour on Sunday.

Now, most people would assume that there's no need to "plan" for commitments already made. But the governor made one of her highly paid staffers relate that joyous news to state residents, which says something about her priorities.

This vice president malarkey has been circulating since Haley took office, fueled by gullible pundits who believe everything paid political consultants tell them. It came to a head last week when, on a radio talk show, Haley modestly referred to herself as "the flavor of the month."

Which is just self-perpetuated hype.

She's no Sarah Palin

It is nothing short of amazing that the same people who, with some justification, criticized Barack Obama's thin resume now call Haley a contender. And with a straight face, no less.

Most political consultants say privately that no candidate in his or her right mind would ever consider our governor as a running mate. She has more baggage than Air Force 2 could carry: She can't pay her taxes on time, took a questionable consulting gig while a state lawmaker and has that resume-gate thing rounding out her controversial tenure at the Lexington Medical Center.

And on the whole experience scale, she makes Sarah Palin look like Churchill.

It would take a lot more than screaming "distraction" and "transparency" to make that stuff disappear on the national stage. Even if it did, the math just doesn't work. In one of the reddest states in the country, during the second coming of the Republican revolution, Haley won the governor's office with 51 percent of the vote.

Not exactly awe-inspiring.


Haley told Amanpour there was no "wiggle room" in her decision, just to be clear. That's a great way to take the high road, knowing full well this fantasy was never going anywhere.

The governor would do better to actually focus on some state issues for a while, and beating up the National Labor Relations Board doesn't count. There are real problems here, and the only solution we've seen so far is to whack ETV and Arts Commission funding, then sneak their money into other parts of the budget. How's that for transparency?

Sure, Haley played to the base in killing the Amazon deal, but it turns out she voted in favor of exactly the same deal for QVC in Florence as a lawmaker several years back. So it's OK for the Pee Dee, but not her home county? Or, to put it in terms her supporters could appreciate, this means she was for it before she was against it.

So instead of spending time out of state, fueling some 2012 pipe dream, Haley should instead put in some time at the Statehouse and worry about shoring up 2014.