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Nikki Haley’s “Him Too” Strategy

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Since her official campaign kickoff last month, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (RINO-Lexington) has gone on the offensive against her Democratic rival, Vincent Sheheen.

On two key issues, Haley has laid the groundwork for a “him too” line of attack – preemptively seeking to link Sheheen to the same sort of incompetence and corruption that has plagued her administration.

This strategy scored a major hit when The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper ran a story criticizing Sheheen for his advocacy on behalf of Chris Lykes, a Democratic operative who was busted stealing nearly a quarter million confidential Medicare and Medicaid records.

While Lykes was under the supervision of one of Haley’s cabinet agencies, the governor successfully pinned some of the blame for that scandal on Sheheen.

Her goal in doing so? To keep Sheheen from beating her up too badly on a much larger data breach – the infamous (and as yet unresolved) #SCHacked scandal at her Department of Revenue (SCDOR).

Obviously there’s a world of difference between a State Senator writing a letter of recommendation for an employee who later turns out to be a thief and the glaring mismanagement associated with the largest state-level security failure in American history – but Haley is betting South Carolinians won’t pick up on those sorts of details.

Similarly, Haley is doing her best this week to ding Sheheen for a handful of minor ethics “violations” – hoping to paint him in the same corrupt corner as her (a habitual violator of the state’s anti-corruption laws).

Sheheen was having none of it …

“Nikki Haley has been repeatedly cited, fined, and made to repay the taxpayers of South Carolina by the Ethics Commission for her unethical practices,” he said in a statement. “Rather than addressing her own continuing ethical lapses, Nikki Haley has instead chosen to have her political allies waste even more-taxpayer money with frivolous nuisance complaints. Try as they might to smear others, Nikki Haley’s in a class of her own when it comes to unethical behavior.”

He’s right …

The ethics allegations raised by Haley against Sheheen were ridiculously trivial – and the fact Haley and her allies raised them is the height of hypocrisy. Seriously … it’s like a serial killer lecturing a law-abiding citizen for getting a parking ticket.

Nikki Haley has serious problems: Her government is a disaster and she’s a serial hypocrite who is incapable of telling the truth … about anything.

Rather than address these issues, though, the strategy of the Haley campaign so far appears to be pointing the finger at her opponent and saying “him too.”