Nikki Haley Inaugural Speech “In the Air”

By Paul Gable

Gov. Nikki Haley told listeners of her dreams in her second inaugural speech yesterday with no idea of how to make them reality.

Haley quoted Henry David Thoreau – “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Haley’s enunciated dreams are certainly in the air. Unfortunately, her performance as governor, to date, lacks any attempt at foundations.

“My dreams for South Carolina know no bounds. They are as expansive as my love for this state and for the people who call it home,” Haley said in her speech.

“In that South Carolina, mothers and daughters, sisters and wives, go to bed each night knowing that they are safe, that they are loved and supported, that their community is with them,” Haley said.

This is a great dream for the governor of the state that routinely leads the nation in the number of women killed by men annually. But, no mention of how to fix that statistic or the culture of violence that nurtures it.

“In the South Carolina I dream of, a daughter of Dillon starts each day with the same hope and possibility as a son of Greenville,” Haley said.

In November, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled the state had failed in its constitutional duty to provide at least a minimally adequate education to children in poor, rural school districts. Dillon was one of the districts to bring suit.

Haley’s reaction to the court ruling? The governor joined the state legislature in fighting the ruling, arguing, in motions, that the court overstepped its authority and asking the court for a rehearing.

And speaking of children, this is a Haley whose S.C. Department of Social Services has failed to protect foster children with Haley and her acting director of SCDSS being named in a recently filed federal class action lawsuit because of that failure.

“In that South Carolina, we are competing not just with North Carolina and Georgia, but with India and China,” Haley said.

But, in order to compete, you must have the infrastructure to support competition. Haley promised us, in her reelection campaign, to provide a plan to improve the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. So far, her contribution to this improvement rests with ‘no new taxes.’

During her first term, Haley was long on ‘in the air’ rhetoric and short on action. I can only hope the governor will come down out of the air and attempt to give the state a real foundation on which to improve in her second term.

But, I’m not holding my breath.



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