If you like cheesy grits, you might not be Southern.
That’s the assessment of comedy talk show host/pundit Stephen Colbert as he chatted with Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, a Democratic strategist, on the eve of two Southern GOP presidental primary contests Tuesday.
Saunders, a guest on “The Colbert Report,” explained the Southern culture of “fight, sing, drink, pray” and the Southern values of “God, guns and gays.”
Colbert, a native of Charleson, took on a Southern lilt (although not a Charleston-sounding one) as he asked Saunders the difference between South Carolina and the mid-South.
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“I always heard that South Carolina was too small to be a country, and too big to be a mental institution,” Saunders replied. He was parphrasing a quote by James L. Petigru, who remarked in 1861 after the state seceded from the Union: "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."
The “Gods, guns and gays” values were coined by another South Carolina political icon, the late Lee Atwater, who famously helped turned the South toward the GOP in 1980.
Colbert and Saunders discussed how a politician “not from around here” can relate to Southern voters by saying “y’all” and eating cheesy grits.
“I think cheese was brought there by the Yankees,” Saunders said.
“Can you go too far in pandering to Southern (voters)?” Colbert asked. “Without question,” Saunders replied.
See the video here: http://www.colbertnation.com/