Nikki Haley

by Jay Nordlinger

I had never heard her speak before. I don’t mean I had never heard her give a speech, I had never heard her speak. I was kind of startled at what a southern accent she has. Yes, she’s a South Carolinian. Yes, she’s the governor. But I hadn’t imagined. You?

At one point, she spoke an applause line, heard no applause, but waited for applause anyway. The audience, sensing this, obliged. Awkward.

Big, big “resonance” on the voter-ID issue. You have to show ID to buy Sudafed. You have to show ID to step on an airplane. And “you should have to show a picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, most sacred rights we are blessed with in America — the right to vote.” Crowd went bananas.

In the liberal mind — and I use “liberal” in its modern, twisted, American sense — the voter-ID issue is “racist.” I have always wondered why black Americans, en masse, don’t rise up in disgust: “You mean that we, uniquely, are unable to show ID? What do you think we are, helpless, pathetic children?”

I’ve asked for years and years: “Why does no one take offense?” Why are Republicans the bad guys for advocating voter ID, while Democrats aren’t the bad guys for saying, “Boo-hoo, that’s just too hard”?

I can’t believe Haley said “6,000 non-union employees, cheering, smiling.” Kind of thrilling. Republicans are getting bold. “Non-union employees”? No politician could have talked like that, just a short time ago.

“Bullying union bosses”! Bold, very bold.

I kind of winced to write “Haley,” above. Because, for eons, when I’ve written “Haley,” I’ve meant Barbour. Maybe I should go “Nikki” (for the South Carolinian) and “Haley” (for the Mississippian)? Or would critics consider that condescending, to the woman? Or should we ignore the critics?