By Gary P Jackson
Reading Politico’s review of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s new book Can’t Is Not an Option I found an interesting contrast of how Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney handle things.
We all remember that Mitt Romney actually endorsed Haley weeks before Sarah Palin did, but was stuck in the basement, polling 4th in a 4-way race. Once Sarah endorsed her, it was on. Nikki shot to number 1 with a bullet!
Of course, with her new found front runner status, so came the smear machine. Haley was accused of having an affair, and being called a “slut” and a “whore.” It was pretty nasty. And it was coming from fellow Republicans.
Nikki talks about all of this in her book, and we see the difference in how Sarah Palin handled all of this, jumping right in and standing with her, and how Mitt Romney and his team handled it. It’s a real contrast in leadership.
As her tumultuous campaign for governor chugged forward, Haley found herself drawing strength from the unexpected endorsement of one of the most admired female Republican figures at the time — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“We got a little silly for a while. We were all jumping up and down. Governor Palin’s endorsement was something that we had been hoping for a full year, but I had never allowed myself to think about too much because I knew she marched to the beat of her own drum,” Haley writes.
She describes Palin in her memoir as someone with whom she enjoyed an “instant rapport” and an immediate “kinship,” as they talked about everything from their children and shoes to the hardships of being on the campaign trail.
“She was very friendly and gregarious. She signed books and took pictures with people. There was not one thing about her that was high maintenance,” Haley says.
When allegations from Folks first surfaced, Haley remembers having Palin in her corner after just one phone call – a contrast to the way another supporter, Romney, had handled the news.
“Sarah goes with her gut, and I love her for that,” she writes. “Mitt’s team [said] they were going to have a ‘Nikki Haley meeting’ the next morning to decide what to do next.”
While this wasn’t exactly the proverbial “3 am phone call” it’s telling that Team Romney had to have a meeting to discuss how they would support someone they had already endorsed. It’s also telling that it didn’t take Sarah any time at all.
Leaders lead, others talk it to death first.