Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, used to be an engaging figure, what we in the newspaper business called “good copy.” Now Harpootlian’s more of a loud bore. His latest rant involves his excoriation of Gov. Nikki Haley for hiring campaign staffers for high-paying government jobs, which is exactly what Democratic governors have also done. Harpootlian basically says it was all right for Dems to do that, but it’s not OK for Haley because she said she was going to be a different kind of governor.
We agree that the practice of engaging campaign staffers for top-paying jobs isn’t a practice most South Carolinians like. It smacks of the proverbial good-old-boy system, yet it is a fact of life not only here in the Palmetto State but across the country. The standard explanation is that those people are “proven quantities,” the best choices to do important jobs. Ho hum. Republicans doing it is no better or worse than Democrats doing it, and vice versa.
Meanwhile, prominent Republicans are firing back. It’s all just a show, of course, more bombast than substance. But Harpootlian was at least fresh and entertaining a few years ago. No more.