Beaufort News

Gov. Haley's new book, 'Can't is Not an Option,' to be released in January

COLUMBIA -- Gov. Nikki Haley's new book will give the first-term Republican a chance to reveal behind-the-scenes details of her once unlikely election as South Carolina's chief executive, how she handled the state's rough-and-tumble politics and her life as a first-generation American.

The book is expected on shelves Jan. 3.

For now, Haley is mum on the details of her book, which is titled "Can't is Not an Option: My Story," the Sentinel imprint of Penguin Group announced Thursday. But Haley talked with The Post and Courier in April about her reason for penning the memoir.

She is expected to promote it later this year.

"A lot of people wanted to know what happened in the campaign," the governor said in April. "Where did I get my strength from? How did we handle when Gov. Sanford went through that situation? Did we know? Did we not know? When did we find out? How did we handle it? They wanted to know when did Sarah Palin come into the picture."

At one time, Haley was considered former Gov. Mark Sanford's hand-picked successor. But the two distanced themselves publicly after Sanford revealed in June 2009 his affair with an Argentine woman. A clandestine trip to see her defused his political career. Haley found another political champion in former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose endorsement is credited with catapulting Haley toward the GOP nomination for governor.

During the primary season, Haley, a married mother of two, also shouldered accusations of marital infidelity. Will Folks, a political blogger and one-time Haley consultant, shook up last year's gubernatorial election with his accusation. Folks first said in May 2010 that he had an "inappropriate physical relationship" with Haley in 2007, while she was a state representative from Lexington.

Folks told the newspaper Thursday that he is chipping away on his own book that will cover his time as Sanford's spokesman, the alleged affair and his life today. Folks is married with a daughter and stepson and a third child on the way.

"I am just going to lay it all out there and let people determine for themselves," Folks said.

Haley has denied Folks' allegations, and he has not provided proof of an affair. He said he does not have a date for release, but his business partner has been in touch with different publishers. Folks said his book will be titled, "Mud, Sex and Beers: My life in the dirty, seedy, drunken cesspool of South Carolina politics."

Haley said in April that people told her they wanted to know more about the impact those accusations had on her family.

"They just wanted to know how we won," she said then. "When things got really tough, how did I handle it?"

Haley said she does not want members of the public to be discouraged from seeking public office.

"After I won, people came up to me and said, 'After seeing what they put you through, I would never run for office,' and that was the total opposite of what I wanted people to feel," Haley said. "I wanted to be that person that showed anybody can do this. You have to have passion. You have to have fight. You have to have grace, but you can get this done."

Haley has tried to squash speculation that her writing a book is part of a plan to develop a national profile to help her run for higher office.

"People assume that a book means you're running for something national. That's not it for me," she said. "What it's doing is, getting people to care. Getting my story out before someone tries to speculate what they thought happened and making sure I do it."

The book also is expected to cover the governor's vision for the country and the Republican Party, according to her publishing house.

Sentinel President and Publisher Adrian Zackheim called Haley an "all-American success story" and "a rising star in national politics."