Hm. As Mitt Romney begins to seriously consider running mates, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley again finds herself under fire. This time, the State newspaper has taken her to task for twisting the truth in her memoir, “Can’t Is Not an Option.” (That is for real the title of her memoir.)
Every politician’s memoir, especially if written while the author is still in office, is a series of self-serving half-truths. There’s really not much benefit to total and complete honesty, and most politicians are convinced enough of their own righteousness that they probably don’t even think of their omissions and distortions as dishonest. So, everyone Haley trashes in her book says she is lying. That is not that surprising!
Among the points of contention:
Haley is constantly playing the victim card — everyone who ever opposed her engaged in character assassination or worse — and highlighting her independence from the S.C. political establishment. Because she’s a politician. Even though she clearly made up some of the details and conversations in her memoir (under the table high-five!) none of it will kill her career. (It’s probably a bad idea to put quotation marks around words you’re putting in other people’s mouths, but every other S.C. pol is less famous than her, so their objections won’t matter.)
What may hurt her career, though, is trashing everyone else in her state. In attacking, often viciously, nearly everyone in the South Carolina legislative leadership in both parties and even her own lieutenant governor, Haley is not making it easy for herself to actually work with these people. Which suggests that maybe she has … grander ambitions than remaining governor of South Carolina.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.