Seems to be a lot of heartburn in South Caroliana Republican circles that a “Sikharoon” could soon become their Governor…
Less than two weeks ago, on Republican legislator called her a “Raghead”.
Several others have suddenly discovered they had sexual relations with her despite her being married – although such recollections seem seriously questionable at this late date.
Mrs Haley, trying to follow the Bobby Jindal path to Republican power grew up as a Sikh, her parents from India. Like Jindal, she converted to christianity and apparently found fun and fortune being a semi-white person in the Republican Party.
It would appear that at least some South Carolina Republicans aren’t real excited about her tan – although not enough to keep her from nearly winning the Republican primary.
In true South Carolina Republican form – the dirt is now really going to fly!
While national Republicans are busy advancing state Rep. Nikki Haley’s bid for governor of South Carolina, much of the state GOP establishment is working furiously to torpedo her chances in the June 22 runoff.
Gresham Barrett, the GOP congressman backed by a high-priced team of veteran consultants, has launched a two-week, take-no-prisoners assault to defeat her. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who came in a distant fourth in the Republican primary, has endorsed Barrett. So has the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. And some of her statehouse colleagues, after eight tumultuous years of Gov. Mark Sanford, are determined to stop Haley — a Sanford protégé — from taking the top job.
It’s an unusual spectacle: a rare instance in which state and national GOP interests are utterly divergent and at odds.
National Republicans — including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the Republican Governors Association — have pushed hard for Haley, pointing to her as a rising star, a potential leader in a party that’s long struggled to bring diversity into its ranks.
Both Palin and Romney endorsed her during the primary, and Romney will campaign for her again on Friday. The RGA — which claimed on primary election night that voters made a “clear choice in Nikki Haley” in spite of the looming runoff — has assisted with money and messaging. Prominent national conservative voices have jumped in to defend her. Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer, a leading social conservative, have condemned Barrett’s campaign for advancing stories suggesting Haley is not a true Christian and still attends Sikh services, as do her Indian-American parents. Bauer has even called for Barrett to fire the campaign consultant responsible.
Barrett’s having none of it, attacking Haley as “the Sanford candidate,” which for many voters conjures up the outgoing South Carolina governor’s embarrassing jaunt to Argentina to visit his mistress.
The state’s political insiders are siding with Barrett for a different reason — they expect a Haley victory would result in another toxic legislative-executive relationship, with more statehouse gridlock.
“We have wasted eight years with Mark Sanford during which time we have accomplished almost nothing that is beneficial for this state, and in some instances we’ve gone backwards. And as legislators who love the state of South Carolina, one of our concerns is that anybody follow that same road,” said Republican state Rep. Bill Sandifer, who chairs the business committee on which Haley served for four years.
“We’ve watched her carry the water, so to speak, for the governor on numerous occasions. On the other hand, Gresham did not,” Sandifer said.
The state’s business community — led by the state Chamber — is raising some of the same concerns, and the confrontational tone of Haley’s latest ad has only raised the level of alarm.
“Those discussions have been had in regards to whether or not she can get along with the General Assembly,” Chamber President Otis Rawl said.
Haley has a widely acknowledged adversarial relationship with legislative leaders, Rawl said, and that “has led to discussions about whether she can accomplish the goals that we would like to see about expanding businesses … or if she’s going to be as adversarial as Sanford was.”
That’s part of the reason why the group is backing Barrett — and why they could still choose to back state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee.
“Gresham had a more deliberate plan. … He talked about specifics a lot more than the buzzwords of transparency and accountability that don’t mean much to our guys. What we want to know is: What do you do about the port? What are you going to do from a jobs training perspective?” Rawl said. “For our guys, when you start talking about transparency, there’s transparency right now. I know it’s about buzzwords, but that’s exactly what they are: buzzwords.”
Rawl takes issue with Haley’s latest TV ad, which attacks “an arrogant, unaccountable government.”
“It paraphrases that we’re not going to have the same type of government we had, and it’s those things that send the wrong message to the leadership. It also sends the wrong message to the business community, that we’re going to be fighting again with the Legislature,” Rawl said. “The last commercial, it says an awful lot.”
Haley has already been forced to defend herself against the Sanford 2.0 charge on the campaign trail. She says that while she may fit Sanford’s ideological mold — she defines herself as a libertarian — she won’t govern with the same style. “We’re actually different,” she said on the campaign trail last week. “I will actually be predictable.”
Sheheen could be the beneficiary of the rancor, which might give his campaign life in a conservative state where Democrats have struggled to win statewide.
“I think there’s certainly going to be financial support from Republican donors for Sheheen,” said Chip Felkel, a longtime GOP operative based in Greenville. “Many in the [S.C.] House and the [S.C.] Senate leadership simply don’t think they can work with Nikki Haley. They have very strong feelings about Rep. Haley and how she has dealt with them, and I don’t think there’s any enthusiasm whatsoever for her to be sitting in the governor’s office.”…