While walking me back to the studio to tape the Friday radio show at ETV yesterday, the engineer asked me whether I was “as ready for next Wednesday as we are.”
Rather than giving the usual sort of “You bet!” that such a remark generally prompts, I thought for a second and said No, actually I’d like a little more time, thanks.
This morning, an attorney friend also asked whether I was ready to have it over with, and I took the thought further: I think South Carolina could use about one more month, so that it can make a well-considered decision.
As they focus on this gubernatorial decision, more and more voters are realizing what those of us who obsess over politics to an unhealthy degree realized long ago: Vincent Sheheen is easily the better candidate, and there are enough problems with Nikki Haley to make even the staunchest Republican run the other way.
The more they know, the more likely they are to make that decision.
In fact, I’ll go further: I think eventually we will reach a very clear consensus on this in South Carolina. The terrible thing is, I’m afraid we’re going to reach it sometime after next Tuesday. Now if you’re one of the less thoughtful Republicans — one who thinks the thing is for someone with an “R” to win the election, no matter the consequences — you say, “Yay!” to that. But many of those who would cheer today are going to deeply regret that choice sometime in the not-too-distant future, if Nikki wins.
This is inevitable. Every new thing we’ve learned about Nikki the last few months — everything personal, professional, political — has indicated that she falls far short of being the kind of person one would trust with such responsibility. As she is subjected to further scrutiny, I expect this to get worse. She just doesn’t bear close examination.
I’d rather the voters not have to go through that painful buyer’s remorse. I’d rather they reach that decision now. Because I don’t care which team wins elections (the Dems won big in 2008; the Repubs will win big this year; the Dems probably again next time… whoop-ti-frickin’-do; who could possibly think it matters?). What I care about is South Carolina.
We’ve been through too many painful realizations AFTER the fact in South Carolina — after David Beasley, after Jim Hodges, after Mark Sanford. For once, we need to realize the truth BEFORE the election, and choose wisely. We need good leadership more than any other state I can think of.
So it is that when, minutes after that conversation with the attorney, as I was getting off the elevator and another friend asked whether I thought I could survive another week, I said Well, actually, I’d like it to be a little longer…