Monday, April 9, 2012

"Examiner" pushes Haley as vice presidential material

I've never heard of the Examiner but it bills itself as a "dynamic entertainment, news and lifestyle network that serves more than 20 million monthly readers across the U.S. and around the world." It calls its writers "examiners," "thousands of writers who are self-motivated independent contributors."

One of these is Anthony Martin, who labels himself a "conservative examiner" and is described by the Examiner this way: "As an original foot-soldier in 'the Reagan Revolution' that led to the election of Ronald Reagan, Anthony G. Martin is no stranger to politics, particularly in the state of his birth, South Carolina."

I explain these things because today, the Examiner published an item by Martin which suggests our governor has made it to Mitt Romney's short list for vice presidential contenders and is, drum roll please, being "vetted."

Surely hearts are palpitating throughout the State House. At least, on the first floor. Come to think of it, maybe they're palpitating only on the west wing of the first floor.

Martin's report:

A link posted by the Drudge Report today indicates that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has reportedly placed South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on his short list of potential running mates, should he win the GOP nomination to face Barack Obama in November.

Haley's presence on the short list is significant. Politicos refer to the "short list" as the top two or three persons who are the most preferred out of a much longer list of potential running mates.

But who is Nikki Haley?

Incisive question.

As a South Carolina native, this reporter has amassed information first hand on the rise of Nikki Haley to national prominence.

No better vetter!

In 2010 Haley surprised everyone, including the pundits, by beating out three veteran politicians for the Republican nomination for the Governor of South Carolina, including a sitting U.S. Congressman, the sitting Lieutenant Governor, and the popular sitting Attorney General of the State, Henry McMaster. She went on to beat a well known Democrat in the general gubernatorial election.

Her victory was seen as a breakthrough into the so called "good old boys" network. For the first time Republicans in South Carolina had chosen not only a female but a female with an ethnic and religious heritage that placed her well outside the norm for a conservative southern state.

Haley's parents are natives of India and are members of the Sikh religion. But as a native born American, reared in Bamberg, South Carolina, Haley later decided to become part of the Christian faith. She and her husband and two children are members of a Methodist Church.

The Governor is known for her strong conservative stance on fiscal, immigration, and election issues. She supports balanced budgets and fiscal restraint, although she, like her predecessor, finds it difficult in getting some of her initiatives passed through a state legislature that often exhibits the wild overspending for which Democrats are known, in spite of the fact that there are strong Republican majorities in both chambers of the state assembly.

Wild overspending? Really? If what our legislature accomplishes can be characterized as "wild overspending," I'd hate to see a state budget adopted by liberals.

In 2011 Haley pushed for and got an anti illegal immigration law, which she signed in June of last year. She also supports the concept of Voter I.D. laws.

I thought it was ALEC that pushed for and got the anti-immigration and voter restrictions. Maybe the author is giving Haley the credit for shepherding ALEC's agenda, which would qualify her as a good manager.

Throughout her tenure as a state legislator she became known for her pro life position on abortion, her desire to lower the tax burden on residents, and her creative proposals to reduce the costs and wastes associated with education while at the same time implementing quality controls. She has continued with this philosophy as Governor although, again, she has run into roadblocks set by the state legislature.

"Costs and wastes associated with education." This phrase is worthy of indepth graduate studies. I'm not familiar with another state that would align itself with the notion that education brings "costs and wastes."

As an attractive woman with an engaging, friendly personality, Haley has been the subject of allegations leveled against her regarding her personal life. During the campaign of 2010, she faced charges of several affairs. When questioned by the local media concerning the allegations, Haley refused to answer. It was later discovered that the two men who made the allegations had connections with the campaign of one of her opponents for the Republican nomination for Governor. The controversy did not appear to have a negative impact on her campaign.

After being elected as Governor she also faced allegations of wrongdoing, which reportedly prompted an IRS investigation. That investigation revealed no violations of the law, although it was widely reported in the mainstream media that Haley was on the brink of being indicted. That report was shown to be false.

By now, we've crossed into the sort of twilight state that comes with large doses of Versed. "Widely reported in the mainstream media that Haley was on the brink of being indicted?" I cannot recall a mainstream news outlet that published such a prediction; and none that mentioned a potential indictment without sourcing the rumor to a blog.

This vetting process begins to sound like the one performed by John McCain's team in 2008...

Haley drew national attention in 2010 when she openly and personally challenged Barack Obama face to face on the new healthcare law, demanding that the President show a willingness to grant waivers to the states that did not wish to participate. She stated that the plan would eventually place the state in dire financial straits once the bill fully takes effect in a few years.

"Personally challenged"? "Face to face"? Is this a reference to the briefing given by the President at the White House, at which all the nation's governors were given an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions?

Does that qualify as "personally challenging" the President "face to face"?

I saw the photograph of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with her index finger raised at the President during a meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix, and I'd accept that as being "personally challenging," and certainly "face to face."

But these heroic characterizations, applied favorably to Haley, suggest that the vetter may have gotten some inspiration for this column from someone very near the State House, first floor, west wing.

Democrats blasted the Governor over her stance, claiming that she wished to harm the poor. Haley countered that within a few years the state would be forced cut benefits to those who cannot afford health insurance, which will do more harm to them in the long run--a consequence the states face as a result of the ObamaCare law.

Haley further took the lead in opposing Obama's lawsuit against Boeing for opening a new facility in South Carolina--a 'right to work' state. Haley and the state fought the National Labor Relations Board on the issue, and won.

Although Haley has denied interest in becoming Romney's running mate, she curiously traveled to New York to appear on Fox News and other networks at the same time the Romney campaign announced she was on the infamous short list. She was also one of the very first southern governors to endorse Romney.

Um, she was the governor of the first Southern state to hold a presidential primary, and subsequently the first of many Southern states to deny Romney a victory.

I thought the vetting process was supposed to be comprehensive.

But then, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made it to a vice presidential nomination, too.

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