The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Nikki Haley recalls decision on Confederate flag as Republicans present her as potential vice-presidential running mate


Welcome to the 33rd week of the year.

▪ “It’s courageous to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. We all need to listen more.” — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaking about what she learned in the wake of her successful effort to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol.

A Republican, Haley said she believes that supporters of the flag were not racist. Their backing of the flag, she added, was more a reflection of their own ancestry, and they didn’t realize the pain the flag was causing. The Republican Party showcased her last week before the first GOP debate in Cleveland and, in the process, showed why she can be viewed as serious vice-presidential timber.

▪ ▪ “I made a decision to laugh at all the sexual harassment, but to this day I’m not sure it was the right response.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill writing in her new memoir, Plenty Ladylike, about how she dealt with difficult issues in the Statehouse when she was a state lawmaker in the 1980s.

McCaskill’s struggle over how to deal with improper treatment is a struggle that so many women are forced to endure. That McCaskill still questions herself only begins to speak to what treacherous terrain this is for women.

“Young women often ask me if they can `have it all.’ Absolutely you can, but you can’t do it all perfectly.” — McCaskill reflecting in the book on another problem common to women who want to work and have families.

Adds the senator, “You must keep your priorities straight and keep your guilt in perspective.”

“Don’t be afraid to offend. Many women have the disease to appease, but you have to be willing to offend in order to make any progress.” — more McCaskill.

Adds the senator, “You can’t be a leader without making someone mad.”

▪ “You can’t afford to underestimate the power of social media and the 24-hour news cycle.” — St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCulloch reflecting on lessons learned in the wake of the Ferguson crisis one year ago.

McCulloch was in the cross-hairs over his decision on whether to prosecute police officer Darren Wilson. Staying on top of flying tweets and posts, which law enforcement officials struggled to do, is one of McCulloch’s takeaways. “In a matter of minutes on any given day, rumors were flying and they were all over the place out there, and there was just no way to really counteract them,” he recalled. “… You have to be aware of that, and recognize that it is a force.”