A sometimes irreverent look at S.C. politics
Gee, that took longer than expected!
How long did it take Gov. Nikki Haley to bring up, in a political setting, First Husband Michael Haley’s impending deployment to Afghanistan?
Michael Haley’s deployment was announced last Monday. Last Tuesday, Gov. Haley told a Michigan rally for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney that her husband soon would be deployed. Some of the gathered Romney supporters, captured on YouTube, audibly gasped.
The Buzz wishes all American military members, including Mr. Haley specifically, safe deployments and safe returns.
The Buzz also wishes their service would not be used to score political points. ... And that Buzz had wings and could fly. (Oh, wait!)
At least, the Buzz now has a good idea on the odds of Michael Haley’s deployment being in Gov. Haley’s first re-election ad in 2014.
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, Tea Party-Greenville, was one of the big winners in last week’s U.S. Senate GOP primary in Texas, which saw upstart Ted Cruz defeat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
DeMint’s political action committees spent $2 million to help Cruz beat onetime favorite Dewhurst, the preferred candidate of the Texas GOP establishment, including Gov. Rick Perry, The Washington Post reported.
In conservative Texas, Cruz is a shoo-in to win in November. And if GOP U.S. Senate nominee Richard Mourdock — who DeMint supported indirectly — wins in Indiana, the DeMint-led Senate Tea Party caucus will get even bigger, posing all sorts of issues if the fractured GOP wins control of the Senate.
As a political godfather, DeMint has been something of mixed bag for Republicans. He helped elect to the Senate Mike Lee in Utah, Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida. The uncompromising DeMint also helped Democrats keep their Senate majority in 2010 by backing Sharon Angle in Nevada and Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell in Delaware.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal suggested last week that former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — who helped give you S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley — actually is upstaging DeMint as the most effective GOP political endorser this election cycle. (Palin backed Cruz, too.)
It’s summer; there’s no news. We’re bored ...
Newsday blogger Bill O’Reilly — not that one — decided Friday to endorse Gov. Nikki Haley as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate.
“My reasoning may be obscured by two personal weaknesses: I’m a long-shot bettor and I have an irreversible crush on the South Carolinian. Who wouldn’t? She’s lovely,” O’Reilly wrote. “Three things weigh against Haley ... 1.) The governor has removed her name from consideration; 2.) she isn’t from a swing state; and 3.) Haley would have to readdress an old, unfounded charge by an aesthetically challenged former press secretary of Gov. Mark Sanford that she once had a steamy liaison with him. The general consensus among South Carolina voters? He wishes.”
And O’Reilly went on. Haley would help with women voters. (Rape crisis centers veto?) And minorities. (Voter ID?) She’s “a staunch conservative with a soft demeanor.” (Soft?)
Breathe into a bag for a while, Mr. O’Reilly. Buzz swears that once the dizziness passes, everything will be OK.
Haley never could survive a sober vetting process. (Also, please replay Dick Cheney’s comments on Sarah Palin.)
Still, the prospect does raise an intriguing question.
Would Haley hurt the GOP ticket in South Carolina? Or could she help it, attracting votes from even opponents, who yearn for maturity in the Governor’s Mansion again?
Even some Republicans uneasy with prospect of Chairman DeMint
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, Far Right-Greenville, has said he has no plans to run for a third term, “pending unforeseen circumstances.” And, Politico reports, that would suit some of his fellow Senate Republicans just fine.
In fact, some are worried that if the GOP takes control of the Senate in November, DeMint will become chairman of the Senate’s Commerce Committee, potentially grid locking highway, space and internet policy and spending.
If DeMint becomes committee chairman, “he has a decision to make, what he wants his role to be,” outgoing U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the committee’s top Republican now, told Politico. “Does he want to have an impact on legislation that can pass? Or is he going to stop the legislation from ever being good enough to pass? If he wants to continue to be the strong voice for not passing legislation that has compromise in it, perhaps he would bypass being the chairman and continue to have that warrior role, but not a governing role.”
How do Democrats view a possible chairman DeMint?
“God forbid,” U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey told Politico.
Too political? Or apolitical? Are we talking about the same job?
The Buzz doesn’t claim to be a sports expert. (What’s a split end? A hair-fashion emergency, of course!)
But consider the comments of USC’s outgoing and incoming athletic directors on the role of politics — Buzz’s specialty — on USC’s athletics program.
Outgoing AD Eric Hyman: “The politics, the political part. I’ve been told before about it and didn’t understand it until I got immersed in it. The political part of it is a very difficult challenge. ... I’ve talked to other athletic directors, and they don’t have some of the challenges that we have here. It’s the political nature of our system here in South Carolina. It is what it is. It’s been that way for a long time and it’s going to be that way for a long time in the future. Politics is part of everything.”
Incoming AD Ray Tanner: “My experience with the board ... hasn’t been that way. Because I’ve been here for 16 years, I’ve developed a relationship with many of the board members, not all 20. ... A large majority of the board, I have a relationship with. I’m very comfortable with them. I don’t sense it (political infighting).”
One says USC is overly political. The other says he has seen no sign of that.
Huh? Are we talking about the same job at the same school?