Watching and then reading over Governor Nikki Haley's remarks in her Inaugural Address left VUI a bit perplexed. On one hand, Haley sounded like a Lexington redneck, ready to man the batteries at Fort Sumter to start the War between the States again. On the other hand, she touted her own American Dream status, commenting on how she was the child of first generation immigrants who rose to be a Governor of South Carolina.
That story is a good one and fine just there. But, Haley had to ad, in her spoken words, that her mother was the first woman offered a judgeship in India but had to turn it down because of the problems of being a woman in India. In the Governor's defense, the written text says "one of the first." Well, whatever, we all got stories in our family that might be a bit exaggerated that we draw strength from. Maybe what Haley said is true. But, we cannot find any evidence of it. Instead, we find that a woman named Ann Chandy became the first Indian woman to be named a Indian High Court Judge in 1959.
Stating such, we mean no disrespect to Haley's mother. Just like we mean no disrespect to those of the American Revolution that Haley mentioned in her remarks. All VUI means to point out is that when a Governor says something, people check it out. Indeed, a little over 13 years ago, a half joking Governor David Beasley became a joke himself for a day or two when he touted track records that would have made him the fastest man on the planet.
If Governor Haley doubts that people, including those in her own party, are watching and ready to pounce, she ought to replay the DVR recording of State Senate President Glenn McConnell's speech to open the ceremony. It was actually longer than Haleys and it sounded like a man who was setting an agenda not one was ready to work for the Governor's agenda.
We at VUI know what we offer is unwanted advice, but the Governor and her people should listen to it. Governor Haley can no longer play the victim. She can no longer be the one with the cutest outfit in the room. She has to watch herself, play the game of politics both carefully and ruthlessly. The Governor is swimming with the political sharks now, and there is not one moment that she can be perceived to be either sentimental or weak. That includes how she feels about her own mother. That includes her rhetoric about the Tea Party. Here is hoping the Governor's State of the State kicks things up a notch above the platitudes and flat nature of the Inaugural Address that has opened the Governor up for attacks if the sharks see so fit to bite.