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While she’s managed to string together a few mistake-free days, you’d be hard pressed to find many people who believe that S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is deserving of a “leadership” award … well, in anything except “fellating.”

Even the governor’s strongest supporters privately acknowledge that her administration has been one gaffe after another – which is why only 41 percent of South Carolinians approve of the job she’s doing.

Nonetheless, Haley was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with its  “2011 State Leadership Award” – which it gave her in recognition of her “commitment to legal reform in the Palmetto State.”


Because the last time we checked, Haley was being challenged for her lack of commitment on this very issue.

Let’s be honest, South Carolina did just enough this year with regard to tort reform to prevent us from falling further behind our neighboring states. And in a state with chronically-high unemployment, chronically-low income levels and a deteriorating competitive position – that’s just not good enough.

“By no means should the passage of this tort reform bill be the extent of our leaders’ efforts to make life easier on individual taxpayers, entrepreneurs and small business owners in South Carolina,” we wrote earlier this year. “If anything, passing this legislation merely means that we have caught up with our neighboring states in this particular economic development category.”

While it’s Haley’s right to accept an award for doing the bare minimum (and to have her taxpayer-funded staff tweet out the headlines she got for doing so), South Carolina deserves better than that.

If our state ever wants to become competitive again, we’re going to have to outpace reforms in other states – not merely keep up with them.