If you’ll recall, Nikki Haley got into trouble for sorta, kinda, trying to do the right thing: Save girls’ lives by getting them vaccinated against the papillomavirus that causes most cervical cancers. Until she realized it might not be a popular move with political extremists.
Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) — As the debate over Texas Gov. Rick Perry mandating the HPV vaccine continues between Republican presidential candidates, a woman whose endorsement is coveted by all them, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, has her own complicated history on the issue.
In 2007, shortly before Perry issued an executive order requiring that schoolgirls be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, that causes most cervical cancers, Haley was throwing her support behind a similar bill in South Carolina. At the time she was in her second term as a state representative.
State Rep. Joan Brady introduced the Cervical Cancer Prevention Act in South Carolina, and the Republican corralled more than 60 legislators, including Haley, to sponsor the bill. Unlike the executive order for which Perry is taking heat, this legislative mandate did not include a provision for parents to opt out of inoculating their daughters.
Within months, fierce opposition mounted, and legislative records back up accounts from sources who recall sponsors “dropping like flies” before a unanimous vote killed the bill on April 18, 2007.
More than a dozen legislators formally requested to be removed as sponsors from the bill, but the future governor of South Carolina was not one of them…
[State Rep. Kris] Crawford, a Republican, said he is not so sure.
“There are exactly two groups of people who can claim they were against this giant overreaching of government — those who never sponsored the bill and those who were sponsors but subsequently removed their names from the bill when it was explained to be a boondoggle mandating vaccination of little 12-year-old girls against a sexually transmitted disease,” Crawford said. “Everyone else was either for the bill or riding the fence trying to claim victory regardless of outcome.”…
This is a pattern we’ve seen, of course — one in which our young governor blunders into a situation, can’t decide which is the safest political course for her, hunkers down and hopes to survive it, whatever happens to everybody else. By being on both sides, she hopes eventually to be on the winning side, and have some credit splash on her. It’s worked for her so far. As you’ll note, CNN is still calling her a “rising star.” Really.
But even some of the national media are starting to notice things.