A lot of people, the Blogland included, had it's skepticism about how Governor-elect Nikki Haley would approach. We agree with WYFF-TV's op-ed that picking Greenville attorney David Wilkins, former State House Speaker and Ambassador to Canada, to lead her transition efforts was a smart move:
In Wilkins, Haley gets a seasoned political mind and a strong voice in the South Carolina political process. She also gets a name which is widely recognized and accepted as a party leader who is separate and apart from the Sanford Administration. Finally, Wilkins is respected by both parties and may be someone who can help unite the legislature with the Governor's office after a rocky eight year run. We believe David Wilkins is the right man at the right time to help Governor-elect Haley mold the Governor's Office and he may mend some legislative fences along the way.
In the 1990s, Wilkins proved his ability to lead in the State House, building consensus for GOP proposals in the State House before Republicans took control after the 1994 elections, as well as leading the chamber after Republicans took control. He did a lot of heavy lifting to move through legislation regarding restructuring, property tax reduction, auto insurance reform and truth-in-sentencing.
Two years after his return from Canada, where he won considerable praise as the United States ambassador, he'll be back in thick of state government via the Haley transition team. His experience will be invaluable to helping get the Haley administration off to a good start.
We hope this kind of smart thinking about combining conservative principles with smart governance will become the standard for doing business in the Haley administration.