Saturday, May 15, 2010
The "Big Mo" has Haley in the game
Indeed, events over the past few weeks seem to indicate that Haley might have what President Bush the Elder called “the Big Mo.” Haley held her own in the debates, her campaign got Gresham Barrett off track, and Reform SC’s full throated support gave Haley a financial boost. Now, that someone as prominent as Sarah Palin has endorsed Haley, the Haley campaign is for real.
Haley’s rise comes at the time the three other Republican candidates seem to not be doing as well as they had planned. Of course their camps will spin otherwise. But, frankly, the lack of excitement over the race so far has set up an interesting race to the primary finish line.
First, McMaster has not closed the deal. A year ago, Henry McMaster looked to be in position to win the Republican nomination without a runoff. However, the Attorney General’s numbers plunged since then, and he has been mired in the high twenties for some time now. Lt. Governor Bauer, as hardworking of a campaigner as they come, has had gaffes that have him with relative high negative numbers even within the Republican Party. Gresham Barrett performed extremely well in earlier debates and had a large war chest, however, in all frankness, his ads have been lackluster and all that money spent still cannot get him past 20 percent at this point.
Now that voters are starting to pay close attention, in comes Haley. To many Republicans, she has Sanford’s good ideas without his baggage and ego. With the events mentioned above, Haley’s campaign is catching the “Big Mo” at just the right time.
All that said, the race is still very fluid. Now that Nikki Haley has become someone that people think can actually contend for the Republican nomination, she and her campaign will be under much more scrutiny then before. People are now going to seriously ask themselves if they can see Haley as Governor of South Carolina. If the Haley campaign were frank, they would have to be happy to be taken seriously. But, now that Haley is taken seriously, it is on her to close the deal.
The “Big Mo” is fickle in politics. It can leave a candidate in a day. McMaster, Bauer and Barrett have all dealt with being the focus of the spotlight. Frankly, they did not perform as well as they probably hoped to in those moments. Now, the spotlight will turn for a moment to Haley. She is in the game. Whether or not she can find a way to win will be determined in the next few weeks.
The above photo was taken by the AP.