It wasn't supposed to be like this
It wasn't so long ago, during the campaign primary season, that Nikki Haley was the featured debutante at the Tea Party Ball. And there was much rejoicing when on June 22nd, she became the Republican nominee for Governor of South Carolina.
Transparency was the buzzword and the anti-establishment platform vaulted Nikki into a level of popularity that, when it comes to Republican women in politics, only Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann overshadow her.
Fast forward three months and what do we have -
The Governor's office repeatedly being chastised by numerous groups for apparent transparency issues
A public squabble with SC State Treasurer Curtis Loftis in regards to "back-room" actions with Budget & Control Board members
An apparent partnership with State Senate Head RINO Hugh Leatherman to get votes Haley needs on various legislation
A serious lack of response to supporters from County GOP Chairs to door-to-door volunteers
A Town Hall tour that seems more designed to image damage control and rebuilding popularity than any substantive voter connection
The removal of Darla Moore to prevent her from creating another state funded money pit (a good thing) and replacing her with a trial lawyer (a bad thing)
As we've covered already, much of the blame is directed at Tim Pearson, Governor Haley's Chief of Staff and Washington, D. C. liason. Pearson has irked more than a few around the state including Curtis Loftis. In a recent note to Loftis responding to criticism of "back-room meetings", Pearson told Curtis the governor was holding many budget meetings and “being that (Loftis) is not a relevant player in those issues, Treasurer Loftis will not be invited to attend.” Keep in mind that Treasurer Loftis is one of the five members of the South Carolina Budget & Control Board. Not to mention he's twice Pearson's age and the note was a serious error in regards to respect. Not surprising.
News came out the last couple of days that Tim Pearson "sicced" SLED on blog and news aggregator Jeffrey Sewell of SCHotline.com in response to an email Sewell sent him saying "I can be helpful and or your worst nightmare." Quite a serious threat?
When you put power in the hands of those like Tim Pearson, a 20-something that's seemingly committed to pushing Nikki Haley into the national spotlight, you're asking the children to run the daycare. Maturity is vastly underrated when it comes to those in the political arena. There are far too many in positions of influence and power in state and federal politics.
What Nikki Haley needs right now is sound, mature advice and support from those that are actually interested in what's best for the citizens of South Carolina instead of a "pants-on-the-ground" era kid promoting his own stature. We don't need a Governor's Chief of Staff trying to "flex his muscle" by sending SLED investigators out on a nonsense call to threaten a blogger.
While Nikki campaigned as an outsider, thus far it doesn't seem to be the case. Getting a pack of "Young Duds" to bully and threaten concerned citizens and other office holders is a tactic of the establishment Governor Haley professed disliking so much when campaigning.
Governor Haley, if you're really interested on repairing the image and getting back to the popularity level of the campaign season, start by demoting the Diaper Dandy in your Chief of Staff's office and putting in someone that has the maturity to not only know what South Carolina needs but to go about doing it in a way that doesn't reek of playground tactics.
Now, Tim? Do I need to prepare a statement for SLED?