I suppose you’ve seen this news:
Haley endorses Romney
Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Mitt Romney for president and will campaign with him in Greenville today and Myrtle Beach and Charleston tomorrow.
“He is a conservative businessman who has spent his life working in the economy, and he understands exactly how jobs are created,” Haley said in a news release from Romney’s campaign.
In a none-too-veiled slap at Romney’s chief GOP rival, former House Speaker Next Gingrich, Haley added, “He is not a creature of Washington, and he knows what it means to make decisions – real decisions – not simply cast a vote.”…
The first thought this prompts is, Does this mean Newt Gingrich is a shoo-in in South Carolina? Maybe I’d better call back the folks from the British consulate and say, Hey, I now know what’s going to happen.
Or not. This year is so unpredictable that even an endorsement by a Republican who is less popular in South Carolina than Barack Obama is not a sure thing.
Now, confession time: I feel a little bad that that was my first thought. Because it means I’m thinking like those people who used to say that “The State‘s endorsement is the kiss of death.” Of course, they were so demonstrably wrong — I ran the numbers, and over the course of the years I was on the editorial board, 75 percent of our endorsees in general elections won — but I still hate to be so dismissive.
But what am I gonna do? That was the first thing it occurred to me to say. Of course, you might say that I could wait a minute, and have other thoughts. To which I would say, Hey, this is a blog, not print.
I suppose, if I do think a bit more, I would say:
- No news here. It’s what everyone expected. She was for him in 2008, back when she was a mere backbencher. And he endorsed her early for governor (something I still can’t get used to; outsiders interfering in our elections).
- Romney is using the standard playbook here, getting the endorsement of the sitting governor — as though he were George H.W. Bush, and she were Carroll Campbell. Well, he isn’t. And she isn’t. And this is a year in which the playbook seems to have been torn up. But we’ll see.
- I wonder what she would have done had Sarah Palin stayed in it?
By the way, the national media still don’t get Nikki Haley and South Carolina. They think it’s a biggie, or at least some of them do. Samuel Tenenbaum said he was taken aback when he saw this reported on MSNBC at 5 this morning. (Routine for him; Samuel is an early riser.) But probably not everyone in SC reacted the way he did. Or the way I did. It takes all kinds to make up a South Carolina.
Which is my way of saying, maybe this is a bigger deal than I think it is. But it seems unlikely.