“Has-been.” This is the quote of Tim Pearson, campaign manager of gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, referring to John Rainey, a South Carolinian from Anderson and a conservative Republican for many years. This remark has yet to be repudiated by Ms. Haley.
Mr. Rainey is a senior citizen who has served his country and state magnificently over many years and, indeed, continues to serve. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam. He was responsible for eliminating the corruption that had infiltrated Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s largest state agency. He and his family have supported improvement projects in the Midlands, Anderson, and throughout the state. He has helped recruit new businesses to South Carolina. He has worked valiantly and persistently across party lines to improve education throughout the state. In short, this is a senior citizen who has contributed mightily to us all.
Yet he is called a “has-been” by Ms. Haley’s campaign manager, simply because of his age. This can only mean one thing. If you are a senior citizen in South Carolina -- no matter if you have contributed publicly to the state as a teacher, state employee or volunteer, or privately, by raising your children, working in a mill, being a farmer or small business person -- you are a “has-been” and your opinion does not matter. If our opinion does not matter, how can we expect Ms. Haley to look out for our interests? And if she will not look out for our interests, why should any senior citizen vote for her? We are all “has-beens” to her.