The Kudzu Candidacies

To the regular readers of this blog, it’s not news that I support State Representative Nikki Haley to be South Carolina’s next governor.  This preference isn’t the product of some family or personal loyalty nor is it because of an individual distaste for any of the other candidates.  As much as any reason, I like Rep. Haley for what she isn’t.

I’ll offer a metaphorical explanation.

South Carolinians are very familiar with the voracious kudzu vine

The flowers which bloom in late summer have a very pleasant fragrance and the shapes and forms created by kudzu vines growing over trees and bushes can be pleasing to the eye during the summer months.

Though a beautiful green with attractive flowers, kudzu spreads and climbs and consumes pretty much anything in its path.  Power lines, fences, abandoned cars and even buildings get swallowed up by the greenery.  Ultimately, what’s underneath is destroyed by decay, though for a time, a phantom form of the victim is created by the interloping plant.

Nikki Haley’s Republican competitors for the office of governor seem – to me – much like those cars and cabins on the side of the road; lost under the stifling growth of kudzu and irreparably damaged by a lack of sunlight.  But, it isn’t plant life that has reduced these people to shells, it’s the political status quo fed by high-dollar consultancies and greedy special interests.  What initially may be attractive, is, ultimately, not just a pest or inconvenience, but a damaging parasite.

The associations and records of Henry McMaster, Andre Bauer and Gresham Barrett provide plenty of evidence to the type of governor each would be, and there is little for which voters can be excited.  Yes, each has laudable accomplishments, but those are, for the most part, small glimmers through the thickening foliage.

Nikki Haley is not encumbered by the choking vines of cronyism, loyalty to the established apparat and constitutional convenience.  When the creeping destruction moves across the landscape, she steps aside, becoming neither victim of its work nor feed for its appetite.

Even if elected, Haley won’t be able to completely stop the spread of South Carolina’s political kudzu onto and into the State House, but it’s a good bet she’s got a weed-killer that’ll keep it out of the Governor’s Office.

Coming soon: The One



10 thoughts on “The Kudzu Candidacies

  1. Pingback: The Kudzu Candidacies « The Political Inquirer

  2. The South Carolina General Assembly is like the Kim Jong IL “Hermit Kingdom.” They should be ashamed. Nikki Haley is exactly what we need to bring South Carolina into the light.


  3. I had originally favored gresham beritt but I was at the 15th teaparty and I met some of his people there. They weren’t handing stuff out like the other candidates. They told me they were scoping out the teaparty. It seems to me gresham is scared of the teaparty. If that is true he’s toast!


  4. What do you have against Barrett? Given your views, there’s nothing in his record that you should oppose.

    a) He’s extremely conservative
    i) He voted against the stimulus
    ii) He voted against the healthcare takeover
    iii) He voted against his party to vote against a huge new entitlement in Medicare Part D
    iv) As Jeff Flake said, “Whenever there’s a lopsided vote, where only a few of us are voting against some bill that sounds nice but adds millions in new spending, you know that Gresham will be up on the “no” board.

    b) He’s well respected and works with others
    i) In South Carolina, the governor isn’t a legislature. You need someone who can work with the legislature to get things done. Sanford has some great ideas, but we’ve seen that we need someone who can bring people together in order to move our state forward: that’s Barrett.


    • In SC, “working with the legislature” means doing what the legislature wants. Barrett is too much of the same old, same old as illustrated by the consultants and company his campaign keeps.

      There needs to be a seismic change in state government and, despite his credentials, Barrett ain’t it. ALL of the candidates have conservative credentials, but Haley has a record of going up against the status quo in SC – not for the sake of being contrary, but because she is working to do what is RIGHT.

      I believe the other guys, with such strong ties to that status quo, will be too willing to compromise.


  5. Do you think that, prior to his Argentinian forays, Sanford was a good governor?

    What, precisely, did he do for the state? He certainly wasn’t willing to “work with the legislature.” Yet why are things still so messed up (and were even before we learned about his trips)? And how would Nikki Haley be different?

    I think Barrett takes the best part of Sanford — his principled fiscal conservatism — but creates an atmosphere where stuff actually can get done. Whereas Sanford made being a obstinate — for the sake of obstinacy — a hallmark of his administration, I think that Barrett can bring people on board his conservative ideas and ideals, without compromising his conservative principals. Barrett’s said that this is how he’d run his administration, Haley hasn’t, and her past actions have shown that she would plan on being as obstinate as Sanford.

    Personally, I think that eight years of Sanford has been enough. I am tired of divisive rhetoric and political stunts. We need someone who can sell his ideas, and sell the state. It’s time for an adult who puts the state first and can get stuff done.


  6. Didn’t Barrett support the TARP bailout ? Is that an example of fiscal responcibility ? As for Mark Sanford look at under teaparty. Anyway I am leaning more towards Nikki Haley now.


  7. Allen,

    Charlie and I agree that TARP was the right vote. Nikki Haley’s endorser and endorsee Mitt Romney agrees.


  8. Does it really matter who is governor? In this state, the governor is just a figure head. The General Assembly will do whatever it wants; when it wants. Just look at all the vetoes Mark Sanford has had over-ridden. The General Assembly has rendered him totally ineffective. The same will happen with the next governor, whoever he or she may be.

    What really needs to happen is to start over by voting out the incumbents in the house and senate. They are the real problem.


  9. Charlie –

    I was asking the above questions in good-faith and not rhetorically.

    (“Do you think that, prior to his Argentinian forays, Sanford was a good governor?

    What, precisely, did he do for the state? He certainly wasn’t willing to “work with the legislature.” Yet why are things still so messed up (and were even before we learned about his trips)? And how would Nikki Haley be different?”)

    I fully understand your issues with the other two candidates, but I really don’t understand why you prefer Haley over Barrett.


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