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It Took Gov. Nikki Haley To Lead Some Republican Presidential Candidates

June 23, 2015

From ABC News Rick Klein comes the best short political summation of the Confederate flag mess.

In a 2016 field with no clear frontrunner, yet no shortage of candidates, it took a non-candidate to recognize a major national moment and, well, lead. Gov. Nikki Haley did what governors and leaders more broadly seek to do all the time — to unite, to push forward, and to heal, all in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. Yes, this raises her veepstakes stock. But that’s almost secondary to the example she set. She managed to drain the politics out of a charged debate over the Confederate flag that’s been popping up for longer than she’s been alive. She consulted with national and state leaders in both parties to a degree that she could appear with both Democrats and Republicans in announcing her new position. She cut through a muddled, half-hearted set of responses from 2016ers and now sees them drafting behind her leadership. Out of a tragic story, this is politics at its best — not as pejorative but as a force for the positive.

8 Comments
  1. tom permalink
    June 24, 2015 7:32 PM

    You are certainly right about Walker and ethanol. That was a major disappointment.

    As far as ebay and other private entities, here your comments are a little lacking. It is obvious pandering bull for ebay to stop selling the confederate flag and to continue selling other items: everyone has been offended by something, so why stop at the confederate flag? What about items with the Russian flag (old or new)? The North Korean flag? The Saudi flag? What country is free of sins? They are all weak hypocrites.

    The difference between us is that you admire this type of censorship because it makes you feel good–it appeals to your specific values. I think individuals should choose for themselves. Censorship always terrifies me. When I was more liberal, I thought liberals cherished freedom of speech. Sad that they no longer do.

  2. June 24, 2015 6:06 PM

    You are so off the mark, Tom, that is really laughable.

    First, there have long been questions of presidential candidates about the confederate flag in SC like there are questions in Iowa each cycle about ethanol. The fact is that Scott Walker has the brainpower of a moped and cannot foresee the questions coming or a way to answer them.

    I am not sure what your criteria is for leadership but ducking out on the social calls for improvements, like Walker did, does not make it high on my list for what I want in a candidate.

    It was your party that made itself look foolish when it came to sanctions on South Africa and honoring MLK. My wing of the Democratic Party has had it right on these and other matters long before the rest of the country came on board.

    If you want to get upset over something how about launching into corporate selected blindness from EBay and Amazon etc over selling Confederate flags, etc. until the heat got to high and they felt the burn. That is what you might find more troubling than if a candidate running a national race knows what some small time independent button producer is marketing.

    Walker made a serious and unfathomable misjudgment that speaks to his lack of a moral center and weak leadership abilities. But you should be glad that this blog and so many in the press stepped in to alert you to the shortcomings he has so you can get your money, time, and support behind another contender for the White House.

    You are welcome.

  3. Journalism 101 permalink
    June 24, 2015 1:59 PM

    speaks volumes that tom uses an article from breitbart to support his position. all he needs to do is google “breitbart false stories.” “takes about a minute” I guess it could be worse, he could use the Onion as his main news source. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/29/fooled-by-the-onion-8-most-embarrassing-fails.html

  4. tom permalink
    June 24, 2015 1:00 PM

    It does not matter if it is not an “official” campaign button! the question is: did Hillary make a statement at the time saying she strongly rejected the confederate flag being used on any button (or in her fund-raising materials)? Scott Walker isn’t a racist southern democrat, but you expect him to immediately repudiate the flag. Why don’t you expect Hillary to account for any of her actions? (That assumes a reporter could ever ask her a question, of course) Your double standard on this issue is really troubling. The only conclusion one could draw is that you are not concerned about the flag, but only wish to take whatever shots at Walker or other conservatives that you can. That’s fine, but kind of lowers your ethos as a writer and amateur historian, don’t you think?

  5. June 24, 2015 10:38 AM

    Tom,

    You are wrong–the button was NOT an official campaign button. That is the point. I collect political buttons and there are many outside groups that do all sorts of things. I have one that reads”Jayne Wyman Was Right” but it was not from the Mondale campaign. On the sides of official buttons there is a campaign disclaimer. Here is a link to my buttons from a post in 2012.

    https://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/political-buttons-all-hung-for-the-fourth-of-july/

  6. tom permalink
    June 24, 2015 8:25 AM

    Here you go. Took about one min on google. You’re lucky I don’t like Elvis.

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2015/06/23/hillary-clinton-confederate-flag-merchandise-surfaces-on-ebay/

    There is a long history regarding the Clintons and the Confederate Flag. I guess their positions get to “evolve” over time, but the positions of Republicans don’t get that grace. Perhaps before you wrongly criticize Walker, you should insist that your own candidate has answered a few questions. Oh wait, being Hillary means you never have to answer questions.

  7. June 24, 2015 1:15 AM

    First there is no way that any official campaign button for Clinton had the Confederate flag on it. Zero. Never happened. So then one has to ask where you even came up with something like that. I would stake my RCA Elvis collection on my statement. In other words I am 100% correct.

    Second, having you mention Strom as a Democrat in the way you did would be like me comparing Thomas Jefferson to the GOP simply because they both were called republicans. While Southern Democrats once were a powerful force so once was the GOP–the party of Lincoln–allies with black Americans. Both are no more.

  8. tom permalink
    June 23, 2015 10:35 PM

    We should note that it was Democrats who determined the flag should fly there in the first place. We should also note a Republican gov. tried to remove in back 1992. Strange that some are all over Republicans over this issue when it is the Dems who wholly own the confederate flag and all that goes with it. It is the Dems who in the wake of the civil war polluted America with the institutions of hate. Antone remember Strom Thurman?

    We should also note Hillary Clinton’s campaign buttons from 2008 which feature the flag. The Clintons probable got a hoot out of that while they sipped mint julips at their all-white country club.

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