The morning after Texas A&M dismantled the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Texas Gov. Rick Perry posted a photo on Twitter of he and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley standing next to the 40-pound bronze trophy that Perry brought from Austin to commemorate the winner of the annual meeting between the Gamecocks and Aggies.
“@NikkiHaley great way to start a new tradition. See you next year at Kyle Field in College Station,” the A&M grad tweeted.
The trophy that Perry commissioned of James Butler Bonham, a Saluda County native who became a hero at the Alamo, was not presented on the field Thursday because the schools took a pass.
“It’s not a rejection,” USC president Harris Pastides told the Buzz. “We’re not miffed. We just weren’t involved in the the planning of it.”
It doesn‘t appear Bonham will ride into a stadium any year soon. Pastides said he expects the trophy to remain at what he called the “governor level.” (That also means no bets between the state CEOs wagering boiled peanuts and chili con carne.)
But the bronzed Bonham might have done the trick for a 2016 White House hopeful to win attention while visiting South Carolina last week.
Perry got plenty of media time with his trophy with television and sports radio interviews. He was a popular snapshot buddy while tailgating at a Cockaboose owned by former state commerce secretary Joe Taylor before the game – even taking a selfie with Yolanda Smith, mother of former USC great Marcus Lattimore.
The Lone Star boss has not said that he’s going to run for president for sure. He told a group gathered at a S.C. Republican party fundraiser Wednesday that he was visiting Columbia for the game and to help Haley’s re-election bid – in what was his third trip to the South’s first presidential primary state in a year. (You get our hint.)
Wearing a Texas A&M golf shirt and very Aggie-looking maroon sports coat, Perry thanked South Carolina for sending heroes like Bonham to the Alamo. Seven South Carolinians fought in the famed battle, including the fort commander William Travis.
“And you continue that great tradition of South Carolinains helping out the great state of Texas,” Perry told state GOPers. “We appreciate you sending (former USC star defensive end) Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans.”
Buzz Bites• The son rises: The S.C. House’s new budget director has a familiar last name in the General Assembly. House budget analyst Daniel Boan, son of former House Ways and Means Committee chairman Billy Boan, is succeeding Paul Patrick, who went to work at the College of Charleston.
• Palmetto presidential ties: Jason Miller, who worked on Mark Sanford’s successful re-election bid as governor and return to Congress, is helping Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s communications and digital push in a likely 2016 presidential run, the Washington Examiner reported.
• No. 4: The Dems have kept South Carolina first in the South for presidential primaries in 2016 but has put the Palemtto State fourth overall. The national party tentatively set Feb. 27, 2016, for the South Carolina presidential primary – after Iowa (Feb. 1), New Hampshire (Feb. 9) and Nevada (Feb. 20), according to news reports last week. The Dems could change dates, but these four states will hold primaries first. No firm date yet for the 2016 GOP presidential primary.
• Coming next week: The Legislature’s medical marijuana study committee meets for the first time Wednesday. The panel will hash out cultivating, taxing and marketing medical marijuana if sales are allowed. No word on who’s bring snacks.
• Sign of the week: “You are being photographed,” read a warning posted outside a Charleston hotel where Senate petition candidate Thomas Ravenel spoke last week. The sign from the production company shooting Ravenel’s “Southern Charm” reality show suggested people stay out if they did want to appear in the program.
• Tweet of the week: “When I’m Governor, we'll ban the Aggies from the State Capitol grounds!” – Democratic gubernatorial challenger Vincent Sheheen, after hundreds of Texas A&M fans performed their Midnight Yell ritual at the South Carolina landmark.