Sheheen and Leadership

South Carolina State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) has adopted “leadership” as his theme in his campaign for governor.  Good for him.  Leadership is desperately needed in every form and level of government

Sen. Sheheen is a member of the most powerful body in South Carolina, a state which, by design, has one of the weakest executive branches in the country.  As a state senator and, more importantly, as a candidate for governor, Sheheen has hilariously questioned sitting Governor Nikki Haley with lapses of leadership on such topics as the Department of Records data breach and ice on the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston.

There have been legitimate ethical questions about some actions taken by Haley and her administration, questions normally resolved in her favor.  That part isn’t advertised by the governor’s detractors since it would not serve their purposes.  (Note to Sheheen:  “Leadership” should entail telling the full story.)

The data breach wasn’t the result of a lapse of leadership, but rather technology and a lack of simple common sense.  A state employee opened an email that loosed malware into the system.  That’s no more the fault of the Governor’s Office than would be a pot hole on a state road.

As for roads (and bridges), it is nothing short of stupid for Sen. Sheheen and the state Democrat Party to criticize the governor for ice on the Ravenel Bridge.  OK, they blamed her for the slow response to de-icing the bridge after the snow/ice storm.

“Gov. Haley would not go to Charleston when the Ravenel Bridge was icing up.  But she shows up the next week (in Charleston) to talk about political stuff. … She and the (Department of Transportation) director should have been there. That’s what leadership is, and that’s what we haven’t seen.

Now, many folks in South Carolina have seen the Governor in person.  She’s not a big woman.  In fact, 24590805_BG1she’s tiny.  And although she’s tough of mind and strong of will, I’m not one to believe that she would have been very helpful in chipping the ice off a two-mile span. What “leadership” does Sheheen think Haley could have practiced on-site that she could not do from Columbia?  The Senator, I hope, is aware that there is technology now that permits people to talk across great distances and with video as well.  Doctors are performing surgery continents away thanks to advances in communications technologies.  Yet, Vincent Sheheen thinks it necessary “leadership” for the Governor to physically go to Charleston and look at a bridge with ice on it.

To practice leadership, did Sen. Sheheen shovel snow and spread road salt on the parking lot at Savage, Royall and Sheheen in Camden?

As a Democrat – by choice – Sen. Sheheen might want to turn his demand for leadership to the leader of his own party.  One might reasonably assume that President Barack Obama is an ideal example of leadership in Sheheen’s world.  Is Obama working the phone banks for ObamaCare?  Given that thought, would he have given Haley a pass had she been playing golf instead of going to Charleston?

Vincent Sheheen is going to repeat – ad nauseum – his “leadership” theme until election day, but there is a difference between leadership and management.  That distinction is what separates Republicans and Vincent Sheheen’s Democrats.  Republicans want to lead people to opportunity and turn them loose to achieve whereas Democrats believe they must manage everything because the people aren’t smart enough to accomplish anything without their wisdom.


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