People sure are hard on the governor these days.
Nikki Haley has been out pounding the pavement -- and flying the friendly skies -- all over Europe hunting jobs for us, and all she gets is grief.
So she spent more than $127,000 of taxpayers' money and came up with zilch. The French have a saying for this: C'est la vie.
It's almost like folks think she was just out having fun on our dime. Come on, putting on the Ritz, cocktails at the ambassador's mansion, dinner parties at restaurants where they serve snails. Mon Dieu, what a nightmare. She even flew commercial this time. That's sacrifice.
No doubt the whole time she was there, Haley was commiserating with her low-level, highly paid staffers about the poor folks back in South Carolina, standing in the unemployment line.
She was doing it all for us. As her press secretary, Rob Godfrey, said last week, "Gov. Haley will never miss an opportunity to talk about our great state's business opportunities."
Of course, he said this just before turning down Post and Courier reporter Renee Dudley's request to ask Haley about her trip.
People just don't understand that these days you have to spend money to make money.
To catch the eye of foreign investors, South Carolina had to get a chalet -- not a booth, a chalet -- at the Paris Air Show. We needed that extra space, and those private bathrooms, because we sent 27 people. Think how impressive that must have looked. North Carolina only sent seven people, and Georgia was represented by a mere two commerce officials.
Neither of those states' governors bothered to go lobby for their states. But Haley did -- that's the kind of go-getter she is. Always willing to go the extra frequent flier mile for her constituents. There have even been questions about the entire South Carolina entourage staying at a five-star hotel at a cost of $492 a night. What, you expect a governor to stay at the Super Huit?
Everybody is on the governor about this. Even some tea party types are questioning the value of this trip.
State Sen. Tom Davis said if we would get the "fundamental things right" -- you know, education and health care -- it would be a lot easier to attract companies, which often locate based on such quality-of-life indicators. Well yeah, if you were going to do things the old-fashioned, common sense way.
But that would take real money and a lot of effort. Who has time for taking care of a state when there are French and German bigwigs to schmooze?
There is even some question as to how much luck the governor had. She claimed to have "closed two deals" but soon-to-be former Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said we actually didn't get any commitments from this trip.
The governor tried and apparently struck out. It happens.
But take some solace. Haley may not have landed us a big economic development contract, but we'll always have Paris.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.