When big girls act like little women ...

lfarrell@islandpacket.comSeptember 14, 2011 

I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for a little girl talk.

Hmm. What. Shall. We. Discuss? Let me see, little girl talk ... little girl talk ...

Oh, I’ll just get right to it because who has the time these days. What the heck is up with Gov. Nikki Haley?

Eh, eh, eh. Hang on just one second, I have no interest in partisan chat or getting into a whole thing about which side wears the better color necktie to presidential speeches, so put down your angry typing fingers and relax. I’m sure all of our elected Republicans and Democrats are fine citizens who occasionally have our best interests at heart — except the ones who openly steal from us and take supersexy pictures of themselves, obviously. (Speaking of, we really should make those people wear skinny piano ties and frilly cravats for the rest of eternity just so we’re all clear on exactly how seriously to take them. That or sentence them to a life of applying Boehner’s self-tanner and Biden’s veneer bleach — by the way, I’m not saying that those two should explore this, but if they had a baby, tell me it wouldn’t be Guy Smiley ... with prettier, more bored-by-the-democracy eyes.)

OK, back to Gov. Haley and her situation. All I’m saying is, I can’t help it that a South Carolina politician has once again wandered into my Coliseum of Cattiness. I didn’t invite her in, people. I was actually hoping never to see her here because I had some nifty high hopes that the first female governor of our fine state might be above the time-wasting drama and self-preservation traditionally employed by the narcissistic face-shaving politicians across the land — regardless of what any foppishly toupeed or bloggy, text-y type guys might have accused her of back when she was campaigning.

In other words, this column was supposed to be about the little girls on “Toddlers & Tiaras,” not politicians who snidely call grown women “little girls” just because they don’t like being inconvenienced by pesky questions such as, “How did you spend our money?” and “Why so fancy with our cash?”

Earlier this month, Post & Courier staff writer Renée Dudley reported on the governor’s weeklong economic development trip to Europe in June, which cost the taxpayers at least $127,000 for things such as five-star hotels, French cuisine and an upgraded appearance at the Paris Air Show. More than two dozen South Carolina officials were on the trip, and it’s still not clear whether it resulted in any finished deals with foreign employers.

Last week, Gov. Haley dismissed the report and 25-year-old Dudley by saying, “God bless that little girl at the Post and Courier. I mean, her job is to try and create conflict. My job is to create jobs. In the end, I’m going to have jobs to show for it.”

I know. Who’d have thought the governor had such long Lee Press-Ons in her weapons bag?

I’d like to think her reaction is just an ill-timed pitch for a “Real Housewives of Columbia”-type spin-off as opposed to being a sign of Who She Really Is, because I can’t quite figure out why it had to go there. First, I know Renée Dudley, who is a former Packet reporter, and she is smart, tough and way ahead of the pack. If she’s a “little girl” then watch out, world.

Second, when integrity and sound judgment are at the heart of decisions made on behalf of the populace — which deserves to know what those on the state payroll are up to, by the by — then nobody needs to be throwing cocktails and stomping out of the pool party when questioned.

So I say, God bless us. And let’s hope Gov. Haley’s business-negotiation skills are somewhat better than that lame apology deal she offered in response to the uproar over her comments: “I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.”

Dare I say it, but even the contestants on “Toddlers & Tiaras” have more maturity than that.

Liz Farrell is the editor of Lowcountry Current. Follow her at twitter.com/elizfarrell.

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