Worse Than Smear

The really damaging thing about he-said-she-said allegations in politics, especially in the weeks close to an election, is that long experience makes voters hesitant to ever totally discount the allegation. Hence, my awarding in years past of the Bedfellow Awards for particularly late-breaking hits.
We’ve had a doozy recently in the South Carolina Governor’s race, where conservative Nikki Haley is looking to carry on the reformist, anti-establishment legacy of Mark Sanford, without the baggage of Sanford’s messy extramarital affair. Haley has the endorsement of Jenny Sanford, and promoting her candidacy has long been a project of Erick Erickson at RedState, as part of Erick’s broader promotion of a slate of candidates who are trying to break the GOP away from the spending excesses and related scandals that doomed the party in 2006. Haley recently surged into first place in the race for the June 8 GOP primary (there’s a June 22 runoff if no candidate clears, I believe, 50%) upon receiving the coveted endorsement of Sarah Palin (Palin’s endorsement was also vital to surges in the polls by Rand Paul in Kentucky and Carly Fiorina in California).
South Carolina, however, is one of a handful of states whose politics are most notoriously vicious at the retail level (Louisiana, Illinois, and New Jersey are others), and lo and behold, Haley’s campaign has been hit by a sensational attack: former Haley staffer and blog gadfly Will Folks claims to have had an unspecified “inappropriate physical relationship” with the married Haley.
The left-blogs and the national media immediately ran with this story; it seems that local press in South Carolina, being more familiar with Folks, has kept a little more arms length from him, seeing this as potentially more like the guy who claims to have had a gay affair with Barack Obama. But the more we see about Folks and the more we hear from him, the less credibile he seems and the more holes appear in his story. (Speculation appears to be that Folks is bitter at Jenny Sanford, who he blames for getting him fired from speechwriting gigs in both the Sanford Administration and the Haley campaign, and/or that he’s on the payroll of a rival camp).
Ben Domenech has the best roundup, including a creepy you-have-to-see-to-believe video mock interview produced last year by Folks in which a cartoon version of Folks, who has a rap sheet for domestic violence, repeatedly refers to a desire to hit the cartoon version of Haley in the face. But make sure to follow a bunch of Ben’s links to Ace, who is all over this story.
Combined with the nasty history of stalkerish to the point of criminal behavior aimed by Democrats at Palin and her family, including the latest news that writer Joe McGinnis has moved in next door to her after failing at a $60,000 bid to buy dinner with her, and you can see why this looks like the same old m.o. of character assassination.

8 thoughts on “Worse Than Smear”

  1. Folks seems like ha has an axe to grind and the way he has come forward, along with the content, makes his claims suspicious.
    Palin is being stalked?!?!? As much as she seems to believe it is her constitutional right not to be questioned by other than the softball tossers on Faux News, she is a public figure out trying to shape public policy and, therefore, is fair game for news media seeking answers to the many, many questions about her views and her background. Really. Someone needs to explain to her that the First Amendment does not protect her questions from the press.
    O/T, but where is the post on Blumenthal? I was prepared to agree with what I expected to be a stinging rebuke.

  2. If she would actually face real questions once in a while, things like that possibly wouldn’t happen. She is a public figure by choice and McGinniss has the right to live wherever he wants.
    Your Blumenthal piece is dead nuts on. Just as I think the family values pols who cheat on their spouses are properly subject to greater invective for their hypocrisy, the “law and order” crusaders have to be purer than Caeser’s wife.

  3. McGruber,
    No one has said this goof couldn’t live next door to her. She has not asked law enforcement to evict him or anything. She did tongue in cheek mock him for moving in next door. His actions AFAIK are not criminal, just creepy.
    She may be a well known person, but she is not currently holding office or running for office. As such she has no immediate obligation to face questions. She has given interviews because she wanted to sell her book. Beyond that, it is her choice (unlike the POTUS) whether to submit to a hostile audience. If she decides to pursue elected office again she will have to go through that otherwise no need.

  4. Hatch wants to pass a law that makes it illegal to lie about one’s military record. I say pass it retroactively. It’ll give us yet another reason to dig up Reagan’s dead body and spit on it.

  5. Largebill,
    First of all, when she was running for office, after suffering humiliation from being unable to answer softball questions coherently, she avoided all but Faux News. It is good to see you agree that when she does run in the future, she will need to face questions from real media outlets.
    Second, she is running around the country apearing at public events to endorse candidates and offering ggems like these:
    “I think it’s appalling and a violation of our freedom of the press.” —Speaking about the negative media coverage of Republican congressional candidate Vaughn Ward, Boise, Idaho, May 21, 2010
    Since she voluntarily inserts herself into elections, and speaks utter nonsense, she ought to have the courage of her convictions and try to explain her idiotic statements.

Comments are closed.