The announcement that Haley inked a book deal between signing the vetoes didn’t help.
“There’s a lot of people saying the staff is running a campaign instead of governing,” said Chip Felkel, a longtime Republican operative in the state. “What’s the book going to be titled? ‘How to lose friends and make enemies: My memoir’ by Nikki Haley?”
The book’s actual title, “Can’t Is Not an Option: My Story,” complete with a press release touting her as “a rising star in national politics,” has set off some snickers in Columbia. Several state lawmakers told POLITICO they were flabbergasted by Haley’s decision to veto a proposal to spend an unexpected revenue windfall on education and to replenish unemployment insurance funds borrowed from the federal government — especially since Republican leadership in the state House and Senate felt as if they had reached an agreement with Haley’s staff on the bill before she issued the veto. The Legislature overrode those, along with other vetoes that struck funds for the state arts commission and public television.
Haley even put state pride on the line: Though the presidential candidates have all come calling — even latching onto her pet issue of attacking the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing — she’s put the first-in-the-South primary in jeopardy by vetoing state funds for to pay for operations.