A sometimes irreverent look at S.C. politics
‘It’s a great day in South Carolina! (’Cause I’m on national TV!)’
The Buzz is all atwitter with excitement over Gov. Nikki Haley’s speech at the GOP convention next week in Tampa.
What will she say? Haley told a Columbia TV station she will use the “national spotlight” to promote South Carolina — its tourism, job market and recent reforms. She also said she would try to make GOP nominee Mitt Romney and the people of South Carolina proud.
(No wonder Buzz is excited!)
Haley went on to say she has not yet written her speech — guffaw — but plans to talk about illegal immigration, voter ID and labor unions, areas where she said the Obama administration’s positions have hurt South Carolina.
Looking for more hints about what Haley will say? In announcing her role, the Romney campaign touted Haley as “a military wife,” and said Romney’s relationship with Haley dated back to her days as “a little-known legislator fighting to give South Carolinians the good government they deserve.”
By the time the Romney campaign gives Haley its heavily red-lined edit of her draft speech, Buzz predicts it will include:
• “It’s a great day in South Carolina, and, when Mitt Romney is elected president, it will be a great day in America!” (And the crowd will roar.)
• “My husband gets up every day and puts on a uniform. And, recently, he received orders to deploy to Afghanistan.” (And the crowd will issue an audible gasp.)
• “I’m the proud daughter of Indian immigrants.” (See? Republicans like immigrants!)
• “In South Carolina, we are reforming government, including passing laws that require more on-the-record voting.” (But has that reform really mattered? And those nasty ethics charges of influence-peddling for personal profit? ... Oops, never mind.)
• ”And, I just told state workers they must pay their fair share of their benefits.” (Of course, unlike Wisconsin, they’re not unionized. And our law enforcement officers already pay as much for their health insurance costs as those in the private sector. And the move was unconstitutional, my fellow Republicans who head the S.C. House and Senate say. And my move will cost the state even more when we lose the all-but-sure resulting lawsuit. But ... I’m tough on unions.)
• “And we’re fighting the Obama administration to implement our new voter ID law.” (Nevermind that the law is a solution in search of a problem, as no one in the state can recall a single instance of voter fraud.)
• “And we fought to open a Boeing plant in Charleston, that the Obama administration wanted to close, that makes those huge Mac Daddy planes.” (Puzzled look in the crowd: “What’s a Mac Daddy plane, Earl?” “Oh.” “Exactly what does a ... ahem ... ‘man with an unusual power over women’ have to do with a plane?” ... Or someone could note the plant already was open, and the National Labor Relations Board never has ordered a plant closed and, in fact, can’t.)
What’s it really about?
Gov. Haley’s position on the convention platform is part of the GOP’s diversity blitz, which includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
To be viable in the future, the GOP has to expand its tent, demographically. (There simply won’t be enough country club members and angry white men to win in the future.)
“Are they different races? Yes,” Haley told WIS TV. “But, these are all leaders who won’t complain about it, they’ll do something about it. That’s what’s going to make this convention different. ... (T)hey happen to be black and white, and Indian and Latino, and that says a lot about the Republican Party.”
Haley complain? Never!
“Do something about it?” (Buzz knows the state can only hire so many Haley family members and friends, but hasn’t the state’s unemployment rate — one of the highest in the nation — been going up?)
And all those swell black and white and Indian and Latino people? They can vote in South Carolina.
(With GOP-approved ID.)
What’s it really, really about?
If Romney loses in November, as the most recent polls and electoral forecasts suggest is likely, the GOP will move hard right.
“We nominated moderates in 2008 and 2012, Earl. And look what it got us! We got whupped!”
And the race will be on among would-be 2016 Republican nominees to prove that they are today’s Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan.
GOP nominee Romney moved U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to the front of that line of claimants Saturday, making Ryan his choice for vice president.
And Haley’s goal at the GOP convention?
“It certainly gives her a higher national profile,” Danielle Vinson, chair of Furman University’s political science department, told The Greenville News last week.
“I think we’re all fairly certain she has further political ambitions beyond being governor — possibly Senate, possibly higher. So I think for her it’s a nice platform and a nice opportunity to gain that higher profile.”
S.C. Republicans to ‘truth-squad’ Democratic convention
When Democrats assemble in Charlotte the following week to renominate Barack Obama, S.C. Republicans will play a role in the GOP’s counter-convention “truth-squading” effort.
Among those scheduled to speak at the GOP’s “Rock the Red” rally Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Bojangles — Buzz is not making that up — Coliseum are U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, who co-authored the GOP’s stillborn “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal during the 2011 debt-ceiling debate, and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, who was among the 26 AGs to challenge unsuccessfully the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court and now is suing to implement the state’s Voter ID law.
No confirmation yet that Gov. Haley will be the Romney campaign’s designated “truth squader in chief.”
Or whether the national media have been notified that the press is not allowed to question Gov. She Who Must Not Be Questioned.
(If she says it, it’s the truth, guys! ... Her $125,000-a-year salary at Exotica was someone else’s error! The two companies that S.C. landed at the Paris Air Show? They’re coming! That $42,500 — or was it $48,000? — consulting gig? Nobody’s business. She was “fighting to give South Carolinians the good government they deserve.”)