S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) narrowly bested “Republican” Gov. Nikki Haley in campaign fundraising last quarter … now he’s trying to seize a little momentum on the campaign trail during the dog days of summer.

Sheheen gave a strongly worded speech to the Columbia, S.C. Rotary Club this week – blistering Haley on a wide range of issues.

“Right now, we have an administration that operates in secret,” Sheheen said. “Their first instinct is to keep things from the public. People’s tax information was stolen, and the governor kept it secret for two weeks before telling the public. There’s a secret report in the governor’s office detailing what happened with the hacking, but the public can’t read it. We’ve seen the destruction of emails, the purposeful use of non-government email accounts and cell phones so the public can’t know what’s going on. And of course, DHEC kept information about a TB outbreak in Greenwood secret for months, and now dozens of children have tested positive for TB. That’s just wrong.”

That’s also just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Haley’s incompetence … and hypocrisy.

Of course Sheheen has yet to indicate he is capable of capitalizing on the myriad mistakes Haley has made since taking office two-and-a-half years ago. In fact so far he is running a typical “old Democrat” campaign, which is the surest way to cough up what should be a golden opportunity to unseat a vulnerable “GOP” incumbent.

His biggest mistake? Supporting a massive expansion of the state’s Medicaid rolls in conjunction with U.S. President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine plan – guaranteeing Haley will be able to slap him with the “Obamacare liberal” label next November. This mistake is especially galling considering the extent to which Haley has already expanded Medicaid eligibility in South Carolina.

Sheehen basically handed over a huge weapon to Haley – along with an invitation for her to beat him over the head with it. Repeatedly.

More recently, Sheheen was the leading supporter of Obama’s top education initiative – an expansion of South Carolina’s demonstrably failed government-run early childhood initiative. Of course Haley approved the funding for that program, so that issue is a wash for her.

Bottom line? Sheheen’s challenge is to prove he’s got a gear beyond just exposing Haley’s many pooch screws – something he has yet to do. Also, that gear cannot continue to be the adoption of every agenda item on the Barack Obama second term checklist.

Otherwise he’s going to lose this race badly …