What Did You Think of Nikki Haley’s Speech?

 

I just finished watching Nikki Haley’s speech this afternoon about removing the flag from the statehouse grounds.  You can watch the video of it below. It’s about nine minutes or so, including applause breaks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msmy-KAD6S4

I don’t usually watch political speeches. I don’t watch news shows. I don’t watch the news. For me, it’s all words on a screen and still pictures. So — while I’ve heard and seen Haley speak before — I don’t think it’s been more than a couple of times.

I’m also always pretty skeptical of politicians, what they do, what they say. One of the reasons that I don’t watch political speeches is that you can usually tell a politicians is lying simply because his lips are moving. I’m about as cynical as you can get when it comes to politicians, and consider almost all of them guilty until proven innocent.

That being said, I thought Haley knocked this one out of the park. The tone and delivery were perfect. This is an emotional and intense issue for both side in South Carolina, and she walked the line of respecting both points of view while taking the position she did. The speech writing and delivery were perfect in every way.

But that’s just me. I invite you to watch the speech. And please watch the whole thing. It was worth my nine minutes and it’ll be worth yours. And what do you think about how Haley did?

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  1. user_2505 Contributor
    user_2505
    @GaryMcVey

    Fred, I agree that she did about as good a job as was possible, in a tough and emotionally charged situation.

    I have a bias, of course, since I also agree about the substance. We have a German-American club in Santa Monica; many of its oldest members emigrated after the war. I doubt most were older than 25 when the war ended, and most are long gone by now, but their kids, especially their sons, kept the clubhouse and the mailing list going. I’d suppose they love their departed fathers, honored their bravery, but knew they fought in a deeply evil cause.

    They’ve never had the slightest trouble with their (many!) Jewish neighbors. But then again, the GA club doesn’t fly the Nazi swastika on a flagpole outside the clubhouse.

    • #1
  2. AUMom Member
    AUMom
    @AUMom

    Those of us who live in SC have had a week. The folks who live in Charleston are even more shell-shocked. Gov. Haley did an excellent job of understanding the grated nerves of both sides of the issue.

    It’s true that the members of Emanuel AME Church and the surrounding area have shown extraordinary grace and courage with the CSA flag flying. But its symbol of hate supersedes its historical significance on the grounds of the State House. I wish it could come down before Senator Pinckney lies in state there.

    Senator Pinckney almost certainly is the descendant of slaves. The Pinckney family represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress. They were some of the most confirmed proponents of slavery.

    • #2
  3. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Fred,

    I think she did what she had to do and no more. However, not only because of what she said but because of who she is, South Carolina is lucky tonight. I wouldn’t exactly call this making lemonaide out of lemons. This is bitter stuff no matter what. Haley has the talent, one hopes, to get them through it. We’ll see.

    Her comments especially about those outside the state are most important. The President, First Lady, and VP are going to attend the funeral. The President is expected to actually deliver the eulogy. He is no healer. He has demonstrated for 6 years that he is incapable of bringing anyone together. On the contrary the maxim of his first chief of staff continues as the administration’s guide “..never let a crisis go to waste”.

    We’ll see.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
  4. Mark Coolidge
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Like you I don’t usually watch political speeches but on your recommendation I watched the whole thing.  Thought the Governor did an excellent job.  The manner in which she did it, focusing on the positive side of the state and not attacking people, will probably maximize political suppport for the move.  If it’s a big deal for you and you are opposed it probably won’t change your mind but it should be effective for many people for whom it’s not a big thing one way or the other.

    • #4
  5. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Mark:If it’s a big deal for you and you are opposed it probably won’t change your mind but it should be effective for many people for whom it’s not a big thing one way or the other.

    Yeah, and anybody who opposed it would at least feel respected.

    There’s a word for what she did.  It gets thrown around improperly and far too often.  But I think she did it here.  That word is “statesmanship.”

    • #5
  6. Mark Coolidge
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Fred Cole:

    Mark:If it’s a big deal for you and you are opposed it probably won’t change your mind but it should be effective for many people for whom it’s not a big thing one way or the other.

    Yeah, and anybody who opposed it would at least feel respected.

    There’s a word for what she did. It gets thrown around improperly and far too often. But I think she did it here. That word is “statesmanship.”

    Yes.  I support the substance of her move but having watched Obama enough I know if he gave a speech supporting the same thing he’d annoy me and, more importantly, offend and insult me so I’d get ticked off and oppose him.

    • #6
  7. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    James Gawron:

    The President, First Lady, and VP are going to attend the funeral. The President is expected to actually deliver the eulogy. He is no healer. He has demonstrated for 6 years that he is incapable of bringing anyone together.

    I’m with you James, I hope he keeps the eulogy non-political.  This is a chance to bring the country together for a little while.  President Obama will ruin that moment if he uses the eulogy as a platform to talk about gun control or what an intrinsically racist nation this is.

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Two thoughts:

    • Wow, that was well dome. Really, really well done.
    • As much as I like both the content and the presentation, I can’t help but think this is too soon. Could we wait a week until the ruckas calmed down a little?
    • #8
  9. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Are they going to replace it with the rainbow gay pride flag? That way they can destroy / replace the past with the new future.

    • #9
  10. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Real Jane Galt:Are they going to replace it with the rainbow gay pride flag?That way they can destroy / replace the past with the new future.

    How about just, you know, an American flag?

    • #10
  11. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    • As much as I like both the content and the presentation, I can’t help but think this is too soon. Could we wait a week until the ruckas calmed down a little?

    Nah.  Why not douse the fire now?

    • #11
  12. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    @fredcole#10: you old romantic you. You should know those that hate the confederate flag hate the American flag also. Both stand for evil in their minds. They will not be happy till all old symbols are replaced with newer more progressives ones. Be it flags, pictures on bills, religious symbols, it all has to be updated with the new regime’s symbols.

    • #12
  13. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Real Jane Galt:@fredcole#10:you old romantic you.You should know those that hate the confederate flag hate the American flag also.Both stand for evil in their minds.They will not be happy till all old symbols are replaced with newer more progressives ones.Be it flags, pictures on bills, religious symbols, it all has to be updated with the new regime’s symbols.

    C’mon, dude.  You can’t have a problem with the Confederate flag without hating the American flag?

    The meaning of symbols changes over time.  Ask anybody who used to use the swastika as a good luck symbol.

    • #13
  14. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    I just hate playing into the narrative that this actually means something. A hate-filled little [preemptive self-edit] murdered people under some of the most perverse circumstances; I don’t want to take him seriously enough to even make a gesture against him.mThat said — and for what very little my opinion matters on this — I’ll be glad to see the CSA flag go.

    • #14
  15. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:I’ll be glad to see the CSA flag go.

    Why do you hate America?

    • #15
  16. Darth Vader Jr Inactive
    Darth Vader Jr
    @NedWalton

    Fred, thanks for bringing this to the fore. The graciousness and forgiveness of the members of the AME Church and the Governors speech are inspiring. I would like to visit South Carolina.

    • #16
  17. Herbert Woodbery Member
    Herbert Woodbery
    @Herbert

    As much as I like both the content and the presentation, I can’t help but think this is too soon. Could we wait a week until the ruckas calmed down a little?….

    Of course not, because there is a presidential campaign going on. Each day that passed, would wound all the GOP contenders (those who refused to take a position on the flag (everyone but Bush)), in the general election. I’m sure Reince was hounding her hourly to put a end to the debacle.

    • #17
  18. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Fred Cole:

    Real Jane Galt:@fredcole#10:you old romantic you.You should know those that hate the confederate flag hate the American flag also.Both stand for evil in their minds.They will not be happy till all old symbols are replaced with newer more progressives ones.Be it flags, pictures on bills, religious symbols, it all has to be updated with the new regime’s symbols.

    C’mon, dude. You can’t have a problem with the Confederate flag without hating the American flag?

    The meaning of symbols changes over time. Ask anybody who used to use the swastika as a good luck symbol.

    It’s also worth noting that there’s a lot of people who don’t hate the CSA flag, but are happy for it to go. I don’t think that Haley, Scott, or Graham hate the CSA flag. I’m confident that they greatly appreciate the US flag (and the South Carolina flag). It’s true that there’s a fringe that hates a lot of stuff, but I don’t see any reason to let opposition to them dictate our policy, just as I wouldn’t want a desire to agree with them dictate our policy.

    • #18
  19. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Not a very good speech, nor a very good speaker. It could have used the work of someone who does not write phrases like ‘traditions of history’–that’s not any kind of attempt to reckon with the Civil War. I suppose, everybody believes, no reckoning is necessary.

    But the reckoning is necessary. Remember Lincoln’s Biblical phrase:

    “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

    • #19
  20. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Two thoughts:

    • Wow, that was well dome. Really, really well done.
    • As much as I like both the content and the presentation, I can’t help but think this is too soon. Could we wait a week until the ruckas calmed down a little?

    I too wish that they hadn’t used these people’s deaths to acquiesce to these particular protestors, whatever someone feels about the issue. These are the same outside rabble rousers who caused trouble in other states, like flies to horse crap they show up when something happens. The flag in question hasn’t been an issue for quite some time but it was the one thing they could glom onto knowing it would garner national news coverage. I don’t expect non-southerners to understand all the mixed feelings that come with the Battle flag (no, it wasn’t the national flag of the CSA) but it would help to get a little grace from people that aren’t from here to not compare us to Nazi’s. No one alive here fought in the civil war and this guys actions were devastating to us because of how shocked and horrified we were by them. In the midst of all that we’re also the only part of the country that’s supposed to hate their past. No symbol prior to 1970-ish would be acceptable to people outside these states. A little grace folks, please.

    • #20
  21. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    No amount of “statemenship” will prevent the neo-jacobins from beheading you.

    Never forget this point; never give them an inch unless you were going to do it anyway.

    • #21
  22. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Sorry, who are these “neo-jacobins”?

    • #22
  23. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Guruforhire:

    Wouldn’t this mean–civil war? Wouldn’t it mean they are the enemy, not just neo-jacobins, but also people who agree with them or vote for them? Wouldn’t it mean that no deliberation together is possible, & no trust?

    • #23
  24. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    I watched it yesterday.  It was superb — one of the best speeches I’ve seen from a political leader, ever.

    That is true, I think, even if you disagreed with her final decision, because it wasn’t just about the flag.  She genuinely spoke to both sides of the issue in a way we very rarely see done, and in a way that truly promotes healing and unity.  It’s a stunning contrast to the president’s response.

    She also rebuked, graciously and firmly, the media stereotype of South Carolina.  She knows the South is presented as still deeply racist, and that troublemakers will use these horrific events to stir up trouble — and she’s not having it.  Her tone as she bragged on her state — her tone throughout — was pitch-perfect.

    She did well by her state.  She was gracious, decisive, compassionate, and managed, in this dark moment, to offer hope and a justified optimism.

    I also loved hearing this daughter of immigrants speak of “our history,” claiming those events from years before her family came to SC as part of her heritage.  There is something deeply American about that.

    • #24
  25. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    Fred Cole – The meaning of symbols changes over time.  Ask anybody who used to use the swastika as a good luck symbol.”

    On “The Night Stalker” there was a great episode, “Horror in the Heights“, with a creature that was repelled by the swastika. Unfortunately, the creature was attacking a Jewish neighborhood. Oh, that Kolchak.

    And if someone like Nikki Haley in on the Republican ballot, even at the bottom of the ticket, how could it not move some of the idiots who would vote for Hillary just because “it’s time for a woman”?

    • #25
  26. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Leigh:I watched it yesterday. It was superb — one of the best speeches I’ve seen from a political leader, ever.

    That is true, I think, even if you disagreed with her final decision, because it wasn’t just about the flag. She genuinely spoke to both sides of the issue in a way we very rarely see done, and in a way that truly promotes healing and unity. It’s a stunning contrast to the president’s response.

    She also rebuked, graciously and firmly, the media stereotype of South Carolina. She knows the South is presented as still deeply racist, and that troublemakers will use these horrific events to stir up trouble — and she’s not having it. Her tone as she bragged on her state — her tone throughout — was pitch-perfect.

    She did well by her state. She was gracious, decisive, compassionate, and managed, in this dark moment, to offer hope and a justified optimism.

    I also loved hearing this daughter of immigrants speak of “our history,” claiming those events from hundreds of years before her family came to SC as part of her heritage. There is something deeply American about that.

    Just because a “Like” isn’t enough for this comment.  Thanks; it was perfect.

    • #26
  27. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Fred Cole:Sorry, who are these “neo-jacobins”?

    The current progressive zeitgeist

    Titus Techera:

    Guruforhire:

    Wouldn’t this mean–civil war? Wouldn’t it mean they are the enemy, not just neo-jacobins, but also people who agree with them or vote for them? Wouldn’t it mean that no deliberation together is possible, & no trust?

    Yes.  That.  Exactly.

    I don’t like enemy as a label much, as it implies we had a choice in the matter.  They don’t want to coexist or deliberate, they just want everybody who disagrees to be forced out of society and all of its institutions.

    • #27
  28. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Real Jane Galt:Are they going to replace it with the rainbow gay pride flag?That way they can destroy / replace the past with the new future.

    Refer to the end of the video, where she said the state flag, and the nations flag, and no other.

    • #28
  29. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Fred Cole:Sorry, who are these “neo-jacobins”?

    You, for one.

    • #29
  30. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    I hope that Obama watches Nikki Haley’s speech and learns that it is possible to speak on a racially charged subject without indulging in non-stop race-baiting. (Stop laughing.)

    It was already past time to remove the Confederate Flag from state government flagpoles; it was doing nobody any good there. Well, that’s not fully accurate: it gave the Left something to they could use so as to frame indictments against America.

    Nikki recognized that  Dylann Roof’s massacre created the political space necessary so that this flag could be removed and she took it.

    I didn’t know much about Nikki Haley’s political skills before I saw that speech.  She impressed me.  She obliquely acknowledged the issues underlying the grievances surrounding the Confederate Flag without explicitly citing details that everybody in the audience knew perfectly well and didn’t want to hear again because they were all sick of hearing about it.  She neutralized any opposition to the removal by framing it as a kind of retribution for a racially motivated massacre.  She removed a political irritant which, I think, that most South Carolinians were ready to be rid of.

    Nikki Haley’s response was an example of positive political leadership. Obama would have just blamed the massacre on America and called it a night. (My work here is done!)

    • #30
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