Nikki Haley’s opponent: I’m a Christian family man who won’t embarrass the state; Update: Bad rap?

posted at 4:23 pm on June 10, 2010 by Allahpundit

The words “unlike some people” aren’t uttered but they’re clearly implied, just as they were implied when Huckabee pulled this same nasty trick on another conservative whose Christianity is suspect in the eyes of some. The irony of Barrett’s oblique smear is that it’s actually a reminder of how ineffective this line of attack is even in the supposedly xenophobic south. Remember how Jindal’s enemies would sometimes refer to him by his given name, Piyush, in order to foreign-ize him? Didn’t work then and, as Tunku Varadarajan writes, it ain’t working now:

Another explanation for Jindal/Haley could be that it’s a myth, or an outdated perception, that the South is inimical to racial minorities. Conventional wisdom has it that Southern whites vote Republican because the Democrats are the party of civil rights. That may have been true in 1964, but has been much less so since. (James Taranto wrote a terrific op-ed on this subject in The Wall Street Journal in 2004, and his points all hold true today.) It is more accurate to say that blacks vote Democratic (both in the South and elsewhere) because they perceive the Republican Party to be racist, and that today’s white Southerners vote for the GOP because they are conservative on other matters such as religion, abortion, guns, the size of government, and national defense. This does, however, give rise to an appearance of a racially polarized electorate, which, in turn, keeps alive the stereotype of Southern intolerance…

I will close with another question: Why has no Indian-American liberal risen as high in the Democratic ranks as Jindal and Haley have done in the GOP? Could it be that because Democrats put more of an emphasis on identity politics, an Indian-American Democrat would have to contend with other ethnic constituencies that might think that it’s “their turn” first? And once you go down the “identity” route, your success as a politician tends to rest more on the weight of numbers—the size of your ethnic constituency, or your racial voting bloc—than on the weight of your ideas. The most striking thing about Jindal and Haley’s success is not that they are Indian-American politicians who have triumphed in conservative Southern states, but that they are conservative Southern politicians who just happen to be Indian American.

As I write this, news is breaking that Jake “Raghead” Knotts may be asked to resign over his own smear. The latest numbers according to an internal poll from Haley’s campaign: She leads Barrett, 62/28, and her favorable rating stands at … 74/7. That last number strikes me as unlikely, but even if you flip 15 points on each side of it, she’s still almost net +40. Congrats to Will Folks, Larry Marchant, Knotts, and the rest of the gang: In three weeks, you’ve made her one of the most popular Republicans in America.

Exit question for South Carolinians: If, as expected, she beats Barrett in the runoff, what are the odds that Bauer, Barrett, et al. will start working with Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen behind the scenes to take her down in the general? Over/under is 80 percent.

Update: A South Carolina reader e-mails to say that this ad has been running for weeks in the state and that the “Christian family man” bit is aimed at Mark Sanford, not Haley. I’m not sure that’s true, though: Barrett was running another ad featuring a drill sergeant, but this one was posted to his YouTube account only yesterday. As far as I know, it’s brand new. And given what’s been going on with Haley, it’s safe to say that the “Christian” part carries some extra meaning.

Update: As I suspected, yep, it’s a new ad.


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Heh…I thought he was into miniture ponies….I would have KILLED my ‘naive’ friends….

HornetSting on June 10, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Yeah, something like that. It isn’t girls. I no longer associate with those friends. Forget about all the other stuff…. an attorney and a politician – no way!

Cody1991 on June 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

She has a brother named Mitti.

PrezHussein on June 10, 2010 at 5:29 PM

he’s two points from Forrest Gump.

HornetSting on June 10, 2010 at 5:08 PM
Don’t you dare insult Forrest.

MadisonConservative on June 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM

*hangs head in shame*

HornetSting on June 10, 2010 at 5:29 PM

She has a brother named Mitti.

PrezHussein on June 10, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Now we know why Mitt Romney is supporting her.

Holger on June 10, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Mr. Barrett,

From one Christian family man to another. Your ad is despicable in its implication. Repent.

pugwriter on June 10, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Exit question for South Carolinians: If, as expected, she beats Barrett in the runoff, what are the odds that Bauer, Barrett, et al. will start working with Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen behind the scenes to take her down in the general? Over/under is 80 percent.

The whisper seems to be this is exactly what they will do, and it would not surprise me in the least. The Garnet Spy hears the whispers…

And they won’t stop besmirching Haley after the primary. Oh no! If she’s a runoff finalist, they’ll continue to sell their souls to retain control. How bad will it get?

Sources tell me a prominent South Carolina Republican has made a lucrative financial deal to help take Haley down should she win the nomination. This Republican has made the deal with state Democrats. That’s treachery AND whoredom! (Specifics are waiting for verification of details.)

We know why this is happening. “They” don’t want Nikki Haley to be governor because “they” will find it so much more difficult to cheat voters and taxpayers if she is elected.

Absolute power (which the establishment GOP has in Columbia: both chambers of the Legislature…which is why they and Mark Sanford butted heads so often) corrupts absolutely. You should’ve seen the fight Sanford had with them re: illegal immigration. He eventually won that fight, but they have over-ridden several common sense vetoes of his. Say what you want about Mark Sanford’s “morals”, but it should be obvious to everyone by now that Sanford knows what a slime bucket Bauer is and that alone kept him from resigning. I respect Sanford for that. I believe he stayed in office for the good of South Carolina.

SouthernGent on June 10, 2010 at 6:12 PM

How’d the last “Christian, White, Family man” governor of South Carolina do?
Don’t know if that’s really a strong selling point thanks to Sanford.

OxyCon on June 10, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Mr. Barrett,

You appear to a flaming friend of Lindsey Graham.

jake-the-goose on June 10, 2010 at 6:24 PM

‘New York Times’ Bans the Word ‘Tweet’

Phil Corbett, the latest standards editor at the Times (maybe the greatest job in the world?), has issued a proclamation! Yesterday, the following memo went out, asking writers to abstain from the invented past-tense and other weird iterations of the magical noun-verb “Twitter.”

J_Crater on June 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM

This is a copy of that lame McCain border-fence ad, except that instead of being about something that really matters, illegal immigration, it’s about tagging his opponent as not a ‘real’ Christian.

Tzetzes on June 10, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I am really disappointed at the vitriol being dished out by the HA commenters. You people are pulling out all the stops in an effort to demonize a political opponent.

Refusing to bow out of a runoff to which he is legally entitled does not merit the vicious condemnation to which he is being subjected on this website. The efforts I see to demonize this man are what I would expect from liberals, not conservatives. What I see here are people eager to believe the worst about somebody.

Frankly, I think you people should be ashamed of yourselves. You can get your candidate elected just fine without stooping to this.

BTW, I have kept an eye on Barrett’s voting record. I can assure he is no Lindsey Graham.

backwoods conservative on June 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM

And let’s not forget the left’s outrage at anyone questioning Obama’s Christian credentials.

Disturb the Universe on June 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM

‘New York Times’ Bans the Word ‘Tweet’

Phil Corbett, the latest standards editor at the Times (maybe the greatest job in the world?), has issued a proclamation! Yesterday, the following memo went out, asking writers to abstain from the invented past-tense and other weird iterations of the magical noun-verb “Twitter.”

J_Crater on June 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I tweet, I twat, I have twotten?

Tzetzes on June 10, 2010 at 7:54 PM

We may have given the country Lydsey Graham ( can’t blame me, I refused to vote on that race )but we also gave you Sen Jim Demint and Congressman Joe Wilson. Don’t worry, South Carolina’s next Governor will be Nikki Haley.

SandyToes on June 10, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Barrett is a schmuck!

MCGIRV on June 10, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Barrett is supposed to be our congressman,he has been so busy running for governor that hasn’t had time to do what we pay him to.Haley is going to win this one.Now we have to be rid of Lindsey Graham.

badpenny on June 10, 2010 at 9:37 PM

I hope that Halley wins in a landslide. The SC GOP is a huge embarrassment!

Hilts on June 10, 2010 at 11:27 PM

WORD TO ALLAHPUNDIT:

1. The Huckabee smear as you described it never happened…

2. Mormons aren’t a recognized sect of Christianity – as observed by ALL sects of Orthodox, Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic Christians…

MuscleHead on June 10, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Is it a personal character failing that I am automatically distrustful of people who tout themselves as great “Christians?”

cynccook on June 10, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Not at all. I trust those types about as much as I trust a government employee who is there to help me.

I also think an apt comparison is the one who, within 10 minutes of meeting you, tells you he was a Seal | Special Forces | Ranger, or has a black belt in some martial art or another. They almost never were in an elite corps, and they almost never know a darn thing about that in which they claim to hold the black belt.

friendlygrizzly on June 11, 2010 at 7:34 AM

Update: A South Carolina reader e-mails to say that this ad has been running for weeks in the state and that the “Christian family man” bit is aimed at Mark Sanford, not Haley.

That was my read the first time I saw this. I think Gresham Barrett is smarter and classier than Bauer and won’t slip into the dirty Bauer campaign territory. He’ll run on issues and his record in Congress. And he’ll lose because he can’t catch up with Nikki Haley’s momentum. It’s a shame, he should have stayed in Congress.

dczombie on June 11, 2010 at 10:28 AM

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