What SC celebrities would make strong politicians?

February 8, 2014 

With “American Idol” star Clay Aiken deciding to run for Congress in North Carolina, The Buzz wondered what some S.C. celebrities might offer for elected office.

We asked four Palmetto political watchers for their unattributed takes on the prospects of some S.C. notables. (Look, we wanted honest answers.)


Bill Murray

Actor, Folly Beach resident

“He was able to get girls into and out of Russian-occupied territory in ‘Stripes.’ That alone qualifies him for a slot in the race for comptroller general.”

Darius Rucker

Musician, Charleston native, attended USC

“Hello, new mayor of Charleston.”

“Would be great. Has the support of the country music crowd now, too. Congress.”

Stephen Colbert

Comedian, Charleston raised

“Great position to win most any election in S.C. Liberals love him and conservatives think he’s laughing with them.”

“Young people (under 40) love him. The problem is that young people in S.C. don’t always vote. He has all the money in the world and can debate anyone at any time. Might make a good congressman from Charleston and the rematch of Colbert family vs.(U.S. Rep. Mark) Sanford would be priceless.”

Vanna White

“Wheel of Fortune” letter turner, North Myrtle Beach native

“The seniors that live (in the Myrtle Beach area) love her show and love her. If she wanted to run for Congress, Tom Rice would be in serious trouble.”

“Lots of assets and vowels. Mayor of hometown North Myrtle Beach.”

Pat Conroy

Author, Beaufort resident

“No one can tell a story better than Pat Conroy, but he angered some alums of The Citadel with ‘Lords of Discipline,’ and he is as liberal as Nancy Pelosi on some issues.”

“His oratory would fit in well in state Senate.”

“The guy is a genius. He could never get elected in S.C.”

Leeza Gibbons

TV talk show host, Hartsville native, USC grad

“Friendly, popular and works hard. She could be an excellent candidate for governor. She would charm her opposition to death. Also, strong USC ties.”

“Would add some glamor and style, probably find receptive voters on coast. State senate.”

Sports figures

George Rogers

USC Heisman Trophy winner

“Lieutenant governor. All you do is cut ribbons and smile. Big George’s got that down.”

Alex English

NBA Hall of Famer, USC grad, Columbia native

“U.S. Senate. Seriously. Serious person, has served in serious positions, has serious money.”

“English has name, money and loyal fans all over the state. He would make an excellent candidate for Congress from the 6th District one day. A great heir to (Jim) Clyburn’s powerful legacy.”

Steve Spurrier

USC football coach

“It’s a shame it couldn’t have been arranged so that Dabo (Swinney, Clemson’s coach) and Spurrier could have run against each other for lieutenant governor. It’s the last time we’ll ever elect a lieutenant governor in S.C. The debate would have been epic. If Dabo wins, he gets to wear purple, his second favorite color. If Spurrier wins, he gets to enjoy the free beer at all those legislative receptions.”

Dabo Swinney

Clemson football coach

“Dabo and Congress. It’s not unthinkable until you think it.”

D.C. guys

Ben Bernanke

Former Federal Reserve chairman, former Dillon resident

“Not many even know he grew up in Dillon. Tough sell.”

Charles Bolden

NASA administrator, former astronaut, retired Marine general, Columbia native

“This guy’s future is limitless. He is a hero, great leader and has all the smarts to do almost any job. The only concern is his politics. Let’s face it: If Bolden were a Republican, he could be a senator or governor. But as a Democrat, the best he can hope for is a state Senator.”

“Politics is not rocket science, might bore him. (State) Superintendent of education. Certainly a great example of what commitment, focus and education can lead to.”

Andrew Shain

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