Both State Representative Nikki Haley and State Senator Vincent Sheheen are trading barbs now in the race for Governor The mainstream media acts as if the barbs matter. They do not. The current political climate, coupled with the ineptness of the Sheheen camapign make one thing clear: Nikki Haley is the next Governor of South Carolina.
Such analysis does not mean VUI likes the notion of Haley as Governor. We do not. We will not in any way endorse Haley. But, that said, both major candidates are weak when it comes to leading the state. Neither Haley or Sheheen have the charisma or the credibility to lead the state. Both sides can mouth off their agendas and attack talking points all they want, but the truth is, the next Governor of South Carolina will be subject to the will of the General Assembly.
Both Haley and Sheheen had their chances to rise above their status. But, both are playing it safe and listening to their well paid handlers who seem to be ignorant of the fact that the members of the General Assembly were elected by the people as well.
With the inept Sheheen campaign and the leanings of the country, election night is going to be one of celebration for the Haley team. They will thump their chests in self importance that night, only to find the job of actually getting things done will be even harder for them than Mark Sanford.
The reasons are simple. Though the voters might not see it, members of the General Assembly see and understand that Haley never works. While they were rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work of the people, Haley was out campaigning and posing. That will take its toll.
Another reason is that Haley is inept at how things work. Ironically, that will help her get elected. Being dumb seems a requirement now for statewide office in South Carolina. Sound bites will not get important measures passed.
Then there are the ethical issues. Frankly, the taxes paid late are not a big deal. Every small business person with a good business head does such a thing. The consulting fees out of the blue with some engineering company? Well, there is some political red meat to that.
But, it will not be enough for the inept Sheheen campaign to win on. But, it could be huge embarrassment for the state as then Governor Haley takes office. Such things will further weaken Haley’s ability to push her agenda through the General Assembly.
Further, if some miracle struck, and Sheheen beat Haley, Sheheen faces a similar situation. His relationship with Republicans is almost as weak as Haley’s. Both candidates for Governor have so compromised themselves and are so relatively weak that either of them will be subject to the whims of the General Assembly.
The situation is clear. Sheheen and Haley will battle it out for the honor of being called the Governor of South Carolina this fall, but the real power over what happens in the state remains with House Speaker Bobby Harrell and State Senate President Glen McConnell. The race for Governor is just a dog and pony show.