A week after telling a Canadian publication that “everybody wants to talk about VP with me,” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley told a national radio audience that she is the “flavor of the month” in the race for the No. 2 spot on the 2012 Republican ticket.
“I am very aware that I am the flavor of the month, which is what happens in politics,” Haley told conservative radio host Mike Gallagher on Thursday.
Haley added that she “loves being governor of South Carolina,” though, and that GOP strategists “need to focus on the top of the ticket.”
(To read our recent report on Haley’s vice-presidential ambitions, click here).
Aside from herself, who is talking up Haley’s prospective candidacy? Last time we checked, the conventional wisdom on Haley’s national level ambitions was that she was one of several GOP governors who seemed “content to let their stars rise more slowly.”
Since taking office in January, however, Haley has been a regular on FOX News. Also, the governor’s top political advisor, Jon Lerner, has been pitching Haley relentlessly for national puff pieces (like this one that appeared in Bloomberg).
Speculation regarding Haley’s vice presidential ambitions intensified this week when she basically gave former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – arguably the frontrunner for the 2012 GOP nomination – a hall pass on his controversial socialized medicine proposal.
While stating that Romneycare was not the “right fit” for South Carolina, Haley claimed that Romney himself showed “courage” in pushing the plan, which has ballooned Massachusetts’ Medicaid rolls and dramatically increased the cost of private insurance.
(To read our extensive report on Haley’s hypocritical handling of the Romneycare issue, click here).
So … do South Carolinians’ believe that Haley is the flavor of the month? According to our most recent poll, a whopping 91 percent of respondents (558 votes) believe that Haley would not make a good vice presidential pick. Meanwhile only 9 percent (53 votes) said that she would make a good choice.
While Haley’s handlers are obviously pushing her as a viable vice presidential option, most of the national political insiders we’ve spoken with are fairly confident that Haley would never survive the national vetting process. In fact, they fully expect one of her numerous lies to eventually catch up with her.
For starters, she’ll have to answer to criticism regarding huge staff pay raises, “transparent” hypocrisy on open government, multiple Medicaid bailouts, secret pension fund deals and her tacit support of Obamacare. Also, how will Haley explain it to fiscal conservatives when she presides over the largest budget in South Carolina history?
UPDATE: FITS founding editor Sic Willie – whose 2007 affair with Haley was the story of the 2010 election cycle – offered up the following Tweet in response to Haley’s comments.