Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nikki Loves America

 

Ambassador Nikki Haley believes America is the greatest country in the world, and she’ll tell you why. She thinks well of our society and people, while being clear that she has seen and experienced real racism and sexism and that socialism is making a troubling resurgence in popularity. In her account of her time in the Trump administration, Amb. Haley raises concerns, which she raised publicly while in office, about the arrogance of mere appointed officials, carrying no independent constitutional authority or accountability, while contending that the real Donald J. Trump is always willing to listen and respects respectful, professional, direct expressions of disagreement. Nikki Haley puts this all together in a slim, readable volume: With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace.

The title comes from a small but significant moment in the former South Carolina governor’s tenure as United States ambassador to the United Nations. She had gone out on a national show and spoken the last known administration position on new Russia sanctions. However, President Trump made a different decision when the staffed recommendation came to him, before Amb. Haley’s media appearance.

Instead of the Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor Bolton, or Larry Kudlow simply speaking the truth, they went into avoidance mode, until Kudlow made the mistake of saying on the record that Nikki Haley must have just been confused. This painted the only woman in the loop, the U.N. ambassador President Trump had elevated to cabinet-level and given direct access to National Security Council deliberations, as confused, not really in the loop.

After giving Larry Kudlow one last chance to man up, Haley called Dana Perino of Fox News The Five just before showtime and said she had a brief statement for the record: “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” This brought Larry Kudlow back to the phone, where he still tried to weasel out, until she put his back to the wall, whereupon he called the New York Times to completely retract his, and Kelly’s position: “She was certainly not confused, I was wrong to say that–totally wrong.”

Ultimately, this happened because everyone understood that President Trump had Amb. Haley’s back, because she was truly following her oath of office by working for the elected President of the United States, instead of substituting her or her staff’s judgment in the false and self-serving name of “the Constitution.”

with (all due) respect
(also with (the greatest) respect)
used to express polite disagreement in a formal situation

Cambridge Dictionary

This account is tucked in the middle of the book, yet got more attention than any other part except the account of the confrontation between herself, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Secretary of State Tillerson. That incident has been repeated in every media forum. The passage has sufficient specificity to allow Kelly to deny what he is claimed to have said with specificity. He has not, going instead for an indirect reprise of the “Nikki must be confused” gambit. Indeed, it is telling that when a disloyal administration official boasted in the New York TimesI Am Part of the Resistance,” it was not John Kelly but Nikki Haley who responded with a counter opinion piece in the Washington Post: “When I challenge the president, I do it directly. My anonymous colleague should have, too.

John Kelly was brought in as Chief of Staff to impose some order, yet appears not to have got that Cabinet officials do not work for, or report to, the Chief of Staff. This is a contrast to most military organizations, where there is a senior staff officer who rates all the other senior staff. Not getting that Ivanka Trump was literally raised in her father’s offices, that the President had invested his time in his first-born and informally tutored her in business from the time she started walking, was a bad mistake. Underestimating a woman with a lifetime of training in running a cut-throat business is foolish. Comments on the record from John Kelly, in the midst of the Deep State and Democrats’ Ukraine impeachment hoax, tend to make him look more disconnected from political reality and a bit self-serving–indirectly reinforcing Nikki Haley’s claims.

Meanwhile, President Trump and his hand-picked U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, are being proven more and more right on the Middle East generally and Iran in particular. It is the senior men who quit or were abruptly dismissed who are looking more like the foolish ones, wedded to received wisdom and the safety of the herd, the foreign policy “consensus.” Yes, it is too soon to tell, and events can go in many bad directions, but the ayatollahs and their bully boys, the IRGC, have responded poorly to a real high-pressure policy, losing their senior strategic leader, then shooting down a third country’s civilian airliner, then lying about it, prompting both domestic and European negative responses. The regime looks unsure, its primary enforcers grossly incompetent, hinting at internal vulnerability.

As for America, Nikki Haley is clear-eyed about the danger of the rising generation embracing what they are being fed about socialism. She shows how quickly a country can spiral into despotism and squalor under socialism, laying out the case of Venezuela. She walks us through a bad cop wrongly killing a truly innocent and harmless black man, and the white supremacist who walked into a historic black church, sat with them as they included him in their prayer service, then coldly blew away as many as he could.

She brings us back to her childhood as a brown child in a black-and-white town. She and her sister were disqualified from the town pageant because the town always picked a black and a white winner and the two little girls in the middle did not belong to either group. She briefly cites both white and black politicians attacking her racially in the midst of state politics. And.

Nikki Haley loves America as it already is. She loves the opportunities afforded her parents as immigrants to a small Southern town. She loves the opportunities afforded to her. She loves how the people of South Carolina responded to the sort of situations that resulted in polarization and rancor elsewhere the country. I’ll put her down in the camp of clear-eyed optimists.

Be prepared to agree with some points and disagree about others in this brief, readable book, well organized and including a brief index. With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace is not co-written, but a close reading of the acknowledgments suggests Ambassador Haley relied upon Jessica Gavora,* who wrote Ambassador Haley’s U.N. speeches, after helping Sarah Palin with a book and helping Governor Haley with her 2012 book, Can’t is Not an Option: My American Story. Whatever the future holds for Nikki Haley and this country, we can count on her responding with a Southern woman’s “grit and grace.”


* It is worth noting that Jessica Gavora is married to Jonah Goldberg but has her hand in both Sarah Palin’s and Nikki Haley’s public cases against the establishment. I take this as an instance of professionalism and as a counterexample against the natural inclination to attribute motive and viewpoint by association.

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There are 32 comments.

  1. Rodin Member

    Love the footnote about Jessica Gavora. Nikki truly does love America. Hope to have a chance in the future to cast a vote for her. 

    • #1
    • January 15, 2020, at 7:05 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Jon1979 Lincoln

    I’ve already seen some people on conservative websites’ comments sections already set to cancel Haley out, apparently because of the South Carolina flag thing. Not sure who those people are going to go for in 2024, but Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley at the moment seems to be making the most overt play to win over Trump’s most staunch supporters, so no matter what happens this November, the jostling for position is going to be interesting to watch (and obviously if we end up seeing Trump win in ’20 and then have Haley’s back in the run-up to ’24, that would make things even more interesting for those who’ve started trying to write her off from the outset).

    • #2
    • January 15, 2020, at 7:35 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Nikki ’24 has the makings of a Super-PAC https://www.standforamericanow.com/

    She has a good story and a good resume. She’s a little too establishment for me.

    • #3
    • January 15, 2020, at 7:55 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    some people on conservative websites’ comments sections already set to cancel Haley out, apparently because of the South Carolina flag thing

    That’s not going to amount to anything in the real world. No candidate for state or national office is standing up for flying the Confederate flag in front of state capitals, not even in the first state to secede from the United States. Just not a real thing.

    • #4
    • January 16, 2020, at 12:42 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Columbo Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Love the footnote about Jessica Gavora. Nikki truly does love America. Hope to have a chance in the future to cast a vote for her.

    Tis a shame that Jessica doesn’t have more influence over the stubbornness and intransigence of her husband.

    • #5
    • January 16, 2020, at 4:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Columbo Member

    Go to 5:48 on this CBS Evening News interview with Norah O’Donnell …

    Haley remains a fierce Trump loyalist, and especially on the Ukraine affair and the impeachment circus.

    • #6
    • January 16, 2020, at 4:30 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. Columbo Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Go to 5:48 on this CBS Evening News interview with Norah O’Donnell …

    Haley remains a fierce Trump loyalist, and especially on the Ukraine affair and the impeachment circus.

    Nikki Haley campaigned for Marco Rubio in the GOP primaries and did not initially like President Trump’s style of rhetoric. It says a lot about her and President Trump that they became a team following this beginning. She grew to like, appreciate and respect him. They both fiercely love America and fully agreed on a strong foreign policy … KATN. It’s working.

    • #7
    • January 16, 2020, at 4:46 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Clifford A. Brown: Nikki Haley loves America as it already is.

    Can I just take us down a slight side track?

    The question becomes: What is this America that Nikki Haley loves? Or to ask it more generally: what makes America great? Why is America great? What it is about America that makes people want to come here despite its warts?

    I had a conversation with a friend the other day, who was lamenting a rise in nationalism in the evangelical community. He’s right to some degree when Christians put nation ahead of faith. But, as I said to him, I’m one of those True Believers. I believe that God ordained this nation for His purposes. And what are those purposes? Christianity is a religion that universalizes the Jewish faith, and it emphasizes the individual relationship over the corporate expression of worship. It means that anyone can become a Christian and participate in the inheritance that was once afforded only a select group of people. Sound familiar? It also means that participation is voluntary, and individual. America is both of these things. It is a place where anyone can be free and prosperous. Anyone. And it is a place where who you are as an individual is important. So God’s purpose in bringing forth a new nation on this continent is to further the cause of liberty.

    People are free to achieve, and they are free to flounder. They are free to love, and free to hate. They are free to be joyful, and free to be angry. They are free to see the good among the bad, and free to see the bad among the good.

    I haven’t read the book but I have a feeling I know what Nikki Haley sees.

    • #8
    • January 16, 2020, at 6:55 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    some people on conservative websites’ comments sections already set to cancel Haley out, apparently because of the South Carolina flag thing

    That’s not going to amount to anything in the real world. No candidate for state or national office is standing up for flying the Confederate flag in front of state capitals, not even in the first state to secede from the United States. Just not a real thing.

    Which I’m fine with, as far as their limited influence. I’m just saying the hyper-aggressive online types that were for Trump in 2016 (and many of whom were for Ron Paul in 2008-12 as the angriest guy in the field) are also the ones who are acting hostile to Haley now. They will be a thorn in her side which will be far easier to deal with if Trump’s saying nice things about her.

    • #9
    • January 16, 2020, at 7:25 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Jon1979 Lincoln

    (Sorry. Double post. Stupid iPhone keypad…)

    • #10
    • January 16, 2020, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Rodin Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Love the footnote about Jessica Gavora. Nikki truly does love America. Hope to have a chance in the future to cast a vote for her.

    Tis a shame that Jessica doesn’t have more influence over the stubbornness and intransigence of her husband.

    I am of two minds about Jonah. I used to watch/read him routinely, but stopped when he was too much embattled with Trump and a fear about Trumpism. So I don’t know whether he has ameliorated his positions lately. I think he has been trying to emulate the status of Charles Krauthammer — a disinterested commentator who has the ear of conservatives. Krauthammer before his death was similarly disdainful of Trump. Had he lived whether he would have reframed his thinking about the utility and essentialness of Trump in the fight against progressivism generally is unknown, but I suspect he would have taken a stance not dismissive of Trump voters and acknowledging the benefits that Trump’s presidency has brought the nation. 

    What some do not seem to understand about the “Trump Train” is that it has many engines, only one of which is Trump himself. Yes there are some cars directly attached to Trump who might disengage if he is not pulling, but there are many more who are attached to policy engines that serve their needs and that they support that would accept another engineer if they were as dedicated to those outcomes as Trump has proven thus far to be. And those of us pulled along in the cars attached to those engines do not believe you can simply derail Trump without endangering the policy engines. In fact it is hard to imagine derailing Trump without derailing the whole train.

     

    • #11
    • January 16, 2020, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. Bill Nelson Member

    Clifford A. Brown: she was truly following her oath of office by working for the elected President of the United States, instead of substituting her or her staff’s judgment in the false and self-serving name of “the Constitution.

    I just watched here taking the oath, as UN Ambassador, to protect and defend the Constitution.

    Doesn’t seem very self serving.

     

    • #12
    • January 16, 2020, at 11:26 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Clifford A. Brown:

    The title comes from a small but significant moment in the former South Carolina governor’s tenure as United States ambassador to the United Nations. She had gone out on a national show and spoken the last known administration position on new Russia sanctions. However, President Trump made a different decision when the staffed recommendation came to him, before Amb. Haley’s media appearance.

    Instead of the Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor Bolton, or Larry Kudlow simply speaking the truth, they went into avoidance mode, until Kudlow made the mistake of saying on the record that Nikki Haley must have just been confused. This painted the only woman in the loop, the U.N. ambassador President Trump had elevated to cabinet-level and given direct access to National Security Council deliberations, as confused, not really in the loop.

    Clifford, this is such an interesting story. Can you provide further details? What went wrong?

    If I’m understanding the timeline correctly: (1) the staff made recommendation about Russia sanctions; (2) President Trump made a different decision; (3) Amb. Haley was not informed of the President’s decision; (4) Amb. Haley made a public statement that did not accurately reflect the President’s decision. I presume, but do not know, that Amb. Haley’s incorrect statement reflected the staff recommendation but not the President’s decision.

    This looks like a breakdown in communications. It’s not clear, from your account, where the fault lies.

    • #13
    • January 16, 2020, at 12:28 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Manny Member

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    • #14
    • January 16, 2020, at 12:56 PM PST
    • Like
  15. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A really helpful and incisive review @cliffordbrown. I’ve seen Nikki Haley criticized harshly as a “globalist” in other forums. I have never understood why. To me she appears to have a spine of steel and the grace of a swan. She is one of the few former members of the Trump administration who appears to have always maintained the trust and respect of the President. Personally, I do not agree with the position that being America First is being anti-global. It takes a great deal of strength to do a great amount of good.

    • #15
    • January 16, 2020, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    It’s not me. I like her. I can’t comment on whether it’s just you.

    • #16
    • January 16, 2020, at 1:34 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    I don’t get that myself; what are you seeing or hearing that gives you that impression?

    • #17
    • January 16, 2020, at 1:56 PM PST
    • Like
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    The title comes from a small but significant moment in the former South Carolina governor’s tenure as United States ambassador to the United Nations. She had gone out on a national show and spoken the last known administration position on new Russia sanctions. However, President Trump made a different decision when the staffed recommendation came to him, before Amb. Haley’s media appearance.

    Instead of the Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor Bolton, or Larry Kudlow simply speaking the truth, they went into avoidance mode, until Kudlow made the mistake of saying on the record that Nikki Haley must have just been confused. This painted the only woman in the loop, the U.N. ambassador President Trump had elevated to cabinet-level and given direct access to National Security Council deliberations, as confused, not really in the loop.

    Clifford, this is such an interesting story. Can you provide further details? What went wrong?

    If I’m understanding the timeline correctly: (1) the staff made recommendation about Russia sanctions; (2) President Trump made a different decision; (3) Amb. Haley was not informed of the President’s decision; (4) Amb. Haley made a public statement that did not accurately reflect the President’s decision. I presume, but do not know, that Amb. Haley’s incorrect statement reflected the staff recommendation but not the President’s decision.

    This looks like a breakdown in communications. It’s not clear, from your account, where the fault lies.

    You have it right. Where the fault lies cannot be determined from publicly available information.

    If the administration sends out a senior official to talk to the press, you would expect the staff, especially one led by a retired four star general, to update the talking points on getting the President’s decision, unless they wanted to wrong foot the woman they resented or thought little of, or disagreed with the President and wanted to highlight the change in decision between staff and president. Or it could be a simple oversight in the rush of 24/7 governing.

    Background: the UN ambassador is not usually cabinet level and does not get a seat in the NSC policy deliberations. President Trump elevated the status just for Nikki Haley because he wanted her to help him drive foreign policy. She did so, to the extent that he gave her the all-star send-off. Her unusual status was disruptive of business as usual, so would naturally cause some resentment or at least confusion in the usual staff processes.

    • #18
    • January 16, 2020, at 2:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: she was truly following her oath of office by working for the elected President of the United States, instead of substituting her or her staff’s judgment in the false and self-serving name of “the Constitution.

    I just watched here taking the oath, as UN Ambassador, to protect and defend the Constitution.

    Doesn’t seem very self serving.

     

    Cute.

    • #19
    • January 16, 2020, at 2:16 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Love the footnote about Jessica Gavora. Nikki truly does love America. Hope to have a chance in the future to cast a vote for her.

    Tis a shame that Jessica doesn’t have more influence over the stubbornness and intransigence of her husband.

    It is commendable that they can differ professionally without tearing at each other, in sharp contrast to George Conway’s gross disrespect of his wife.

    • #20
    • January 16, 2020, at 2:19 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  21. Bill Nelson Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    Calculating. Or, a good politician. Which can also mean phony to some.

     

    • #21
    • January 16, 2020, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Spin (View Comment):
    Christianity is a religion that universalizes the Jewish faith, and it emphasizes the individual relationship over the corporate expression of worship. It means that anyone can become a Christian and participate in the inheritance that was once afforded only a select group of people. Sound familiar? It also means that participation is voluntary, and individual. America is both of these things.

    I like the sidetrack, Spin. Thought-provoking. I’ve been thinking along similar lines on the interrelation between being a national citizen and one whose “citizenship is in heaven” since reading a part in Daniel J. Mahoney’s “The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity” last night. It suggested the importance of not taking individualism too far (and placing our reliance and subordination properly). In talking about Orestes Brownson, it mentioned:

    “Brownson rejected ‘absolute sovereignty’ and the emancipation of the human will from divine or natural superintendence. Only in recognizing our fundamental dependence on an order of Being outside ourselves can human liberty and dignity be sustained. Brownson opposed Jeffersonian democracy’s assertation of a pure individualism (not always self-consciously), which has no grounds for rejecting the utterly fallacious claim that human beings are gods. In particular, ‘pure egoism’ undermines the loyalty and duty at the foundation of citizenship. Without the subordination of the self to what is outside and above it, democracy ceases to be a true republic dedicated to the common weal or common good. It gives rise to unrestrained oligarchy and various manifestations of moral anarchy. (…) American practice must be protected from a misplaced theory (social contractualism of the sort proffered by Hobbes, Locke, and Rosseau) that undermines all the legitimate aspirations of the American people to a dignified and ordered liberty.”

    I personally think America is great because it’s struck an incredible, if not always perfect, balance.

    • #22
    • January 17, 2020, at 12:35 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    She’s a politician who often stands up and reads prepared speeches. Rare is the person who can do that and make it sound extemporaneous and spontaneous, so they just sound fake.

    • #23
    • January 17, 2020, at 6:39 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Manny Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    I don’t get that myself; what are you seeing or hearing that gives you that impression?

    She’s an establishment candidate. She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South. She criticized Trump during the primaries in a way that was somewhat insulting, and yet once he won she took a job and started saluting the Trump flag. And once she left was initially critical of Trump when it looked like re-election was going to be tough, but once things started breaking in Trump’s way, she was on board again.

    At least this has been my impressions of her.

    • #24
    • January 17, 2020, at 10:07 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):
    She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South.

    Show me evidence that this is true. Not the switch, the reason for the switch.

    • #25
    • January 17, 2020, at 10:31 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Manny Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South.

    Show me evidence that this is true. Not the switch, the reason for the switch.

    I have no idea why she switched. But it is convenient switch for South Carolina. For all I know it may be sincere, but it seems to fit a pattern of convenient switches that I’ve noticed.

    • #26
    • January 17, 2020, at 10:45 AM PST
    • Like
  27. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Is it me, but Nikki Haley strikes me as extremely phony?

    I don’t get that myself; what are you seeing or hearing that gives you that impression?

    She’s an establishment candidate. She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South. She criticized Trump during the primaries in a way that was somewhat insulting, and yet once he won she took a job and started saluting the Trump flag. And once she left was initially critical of Trump when it looked like re-election was going to be tough, but once things started breaking in Trump’s way, she was on board again.

    At least this has been my impressions of her.

    Hey Manny, your gut is what you listen too and I have no issue with that. In the primaries many of us spoke ill of Trump. I saw him as a possible Trojan Horse. He was a New York Democrat, so I thought. He had supported Hillary and many other Democrats with donations. Yet once he won and began performing in his job as POTUS, I too began saluting the Trump flag. Also, I remember looking for Haley to be critical once she resigned. I never saw that happen. Can you to anything specific that she said after leaving the U.N. that was critical and undermining of the President?

    • #27
    • January 17, 2020, at 11:04 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South.

    Show me evidence that this is true. Not the switch, the reason for the switch.

    I have no idea why she switched. But it is convenient switch for South Carolina. For all I know it may be sincere, but it seems to fit a pattern of convenient switches that I’ve noticed.

    If you have no idea, then why did you state previously that it was “to make it perfect for the South”?

    • #28
    • January 17, 2020, at 12:17 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Bill Nelson Member

    It is not uncommon for one to change to a religion which is more common where one lives.

     

    • #29
    • January 17, 2020, at 12:47 PM PST
    • Like
  30. Manny Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    She’s switched her religion during her life to make it perfect for the South.

    Show me evidence that this is true. Not the switch, the reason for the switch.

    I have no idea why she switched. But it is convenient switch for South Carolina. For all I know it may be sincere, but it seems to fit a pattern of convenient switches that I’ve noticed.

    If you have no idea, then why did you state previously that it was “to make it perfect for the South”?

    Because it is perfect for the south. How many non Protestants get elected in South Carolina?

    • #30
    • January 17, 2020, at 2:08 PM PST
    • Like