Thursday, June 30, 2011

Will Haley's book feature a chapter on veto overrides?

Really, a book?

Her Excellency, Governor Nikki Haley, has been in office slightly more than five months.

In that time, she has booted the state university's largest benefactor in history from the board of trustees and replaced her with a campaign contributor. See Moore, Darla.
She fired the state's popular and effective retirement system director and quickly named a replacement without notifying key officers. See Boykin, Peggy.

She has presided over a rise in the state's unemployment rate, seeing it return to double digits. See Job Creation, Lack of.

Though millions of South Carolinians, with jobs and without, stretch the weekly groceries bill with ground beef and Hamburger Helper, she has lived well on the public grace, enjoying "menus with Peruvian squid tubes, rabbit loin, shiitake mushrooms and other exotic ingredients," plus "small amounts of Fresh Market Chilean sea bass at $25.99 a pound and Yellowfin tuna at $21.99 a pound, and a number of Publix sushi platters," as well as spending public funds "to buy a Riedel wine decanter and Riedel cabernet/merlot wine glasses." See "Let Them Eat Cake."

She has offended lawmakers in both parties with petty slights, withholding invitations to a Governors Mansion from some, turning another away at the gate. See Brown, Boyd; also Howard, Leon; also "Petulance and Pettiness"; also Not the People's House.

She injected herself gracelessly -- and has infamously sought to drag national candidates -- into a dispute between a federal agency and a corporate campaign contributor operating in South Carolina. See Boeing.

She has fueled a well-publicized feud with another elected executive officer, declaring him "irrelevant" to the state's official business. See Loftis, Curtis.

She bungled an agreement made by her predecessor's economic development team with one of the world's largest companies, who had begun construction on a location in South Carolina but shut down and withdrew when she engaged in a foolish game of chicken over tax breaks. See Amazon.

After campaigning on a platform of "transparency," she has conducted closed-door meetings with national bond-rating agencies and shut the state's retirees out of discussions about their retirement system. See Griswold, Sam.
She embarrassed the state by ignoring the President of the United States during a briefing of governors in the State Dining Room of the White House, and checking email on her iPad instead. See Reuters Photographer, Caught by a.

She provoked legal action from the President Pro Tem of the state Senate by issuing an executive order in contravention of constitutional powers and state law, losing the fight before the state Supreme Court. See McConnell, Glenn. See also Supreme Court.

She earned a stunning rebuke from the full legislature by issuing 35 vetoes and having all but nine overridden, just as quickly and spectacularly as were the vetoes of her predecessor, and garnered an especially raw accusation of double-dealing and dishonesty from a lawmaker from her own home legislative delegation. See Bingham, Kenny.

And she bragged, oblivious, to a small audience of fans in Florence this spring that she hadn't made any mistakes while in office. See Hubris.

All the while, apparently, Her Excellency has been writing a book, no doubt expounding on the highest principles of governance and her nascent, derivative political philosophy. (See Sanford, Mark.)

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has a book deal.

Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin Group (USA), said Wednesday that Haley’s “Can’t is Not an Option” will come out in January.

Haley, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, was elected last year. At 39, she is the country’s youngest governor and only the second Indian-American governor.

In an interview in March, Haley said writing had been “therapeutic” and that she would cover everything from growing up in rural South Carolina to her contentious 2010 campaign, when she faced — and denied — allegations of infidelity.

Haley said she was not planning a run for national office. Her literary representative, Washington attorney Robert Barnett, has negotiated deals for Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Notice the names that her "literary representative" has aided in the past: Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, all presidents of the United States, including two two-term presidents. What is it that governor-for-five-months Haley has to offer that compares with these political giants? A Newsweek magazine cover?

The title is particularly trite: "Can't is Not an Option." Here's what "cant" is: "cant" is "empty, uncritical thought or talk."

"Cant" is also the "jargon of a group, often implying its use to exclude or mislead people outside the group."

"Cant" is also "insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety."

Yes, I know. She's using the word "can't" as a contraction for "cannot," as in "Haley can't play well with others" or "Her Excellency can't understand why people won't just do as she instructs them."

Here's a fun project for readers: What do you imagine will be the chapter titles of Haley's book?
Example: "Voters Would Soon Learn What Hit Them, Hard"

Here's another one: What do you imagine would comprise Haley's top ten list of governing principles?
Example: Reward your campaign contributors early and well.

Or another: What should be the subtitle of Haley's book?
Example: "Can't is Not an Option: If You Can Read This, We're Spending Too Much on Education"

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