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The Smallness: The Sad Chronicle of Nikki Haley

With the future of an entire region of the country hanging on the unfolding of something called a top kill, I really don’t want to talk about another political affair. I don’t care who politicians and staffers pair off with, who does what to whom and in whom and whether said whom was married or not married at the time. All I will say about this latest sorry episode in South Carolina is that it does offer a window into crisis management, and the smallness of the people in whom we end up investing enormous amounts of power through elections.

This chronicle of text messages between a reporter, Nikki Haley’s campaign manager, a supporter of an opposition campaign and Will Folks, the blogger and political operative who alleged an affair with Haley, documents minute-by-minute how people plan to cover a story, cover up a story, throw up blockades to get others off the trail of a story, and basically all of the sausage making that goes on before you sit down to read your paper every morning. It’s twisted and sad and reflects a real megalomania amongst everyone involved. The truth isn’t seen as particularly important or even relevant – only the spin, the way to “present” the story.

There would be nothing interesting about these people or this episode if it didn’t have a direct bearing on the lives of millions of South Carolinians. It begs the question of how, and why, small men and women get into jobs that are so big.

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David Dayen

David Dayen