Sunday, April 29, 2007

This and that from Lexington County Convention

I was a delegate to the Lexington County Republican convention on Saturday.

Here are some random thoughts.

First, hats off to Romney and his people. They won the straw poll going away. As reported on SC Hotline, Romney got 67 votes, his closest challengers were McCain at 29 and Rudy at 26. Non candidate Fred Thompson got 9 votes. The Romney folks continue to do their work at the grassroots in South Carolina very well.

Second, the best speech of the day was from Senator Lindsey Graham. He articulated the necessity of victory in Iraq in a way that I wish the President could. When I told the Senator such, he replied, with class, that the President had to be more careful in how he put things. Yet, still, if the President could articulate the argument as well as Senator Graham, I believe the country would feel better about the Iraq situation.

Third, Senator DeMint was also present and did fairly well in his remarks.

Fourth, Governor Mark Sanford gave a short but blunt speech about overspending in Columbia. I have to give the Governor credit for coming to Lexington, where he lost the GOP primary vote last year, and where State Senator Jake Knotts is boss, and giving a blunt assessment of the legislature's spending practices. I also must say, the Governor had no entourage and was very nice when I talked with him while he was sitting behind me. The Governor was sitting and talking with Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, who was a delegate in a precinct seated behind mine. Like him or not folks, the Governor had the courage to come to the "belly of the beast" so speak and speak his mind and the Governor is perhaps one of the most approachable politicians of his caliber I have been around in recent years.

Other notable politicians present were Attorney General Henry McMaster, who spoke for the McCain campaign, but his speech seemed more like his own stock stump speech. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was also present, sporting a Rudy lapel sticker. Congressman Joe Wilson was also there, basking in the glow of his hometown crowd. Mary McAbee, who is running for the President of the SC Federation Republican Women, worked the crowd. The only Presidential candidate who showed up in person was some guy from Alabama I have never heard of. (And, that is something, when a political junkie like me has never heard of you. I believe his name was Cort.)

Last but not least, a nod to Joshua Gross of SC Hotline, who was a delegate as well. Gross made the necessary motions to remove from the list of resolutions approved en bloc a resolution that was basically for open borders and against Israel. Kudos for Gross for putting aside the need to go to lunch to pay attention to what was going on and pointing it out to the convention.

All in all, not a bad convention. However, I believe turnout would have been higher if it had not been held on a sunny Saturday. Also, while I was glad to have chance to speak with the Governor, my congressman and my two senators, I was disappointed that no big time Presidential candidate showed up.

There was talk from the new county party leadership about having Lexington County presidential debate. I hope it happens.


  1. Wow. What a shock. Cracker Brian was among the big cracker gathering in Lexington.

    Did you and Jakie Knotts lynch a brother for fun?


  2. Mary C. McAbeeApril 29, 2007

    Thank you Brian for mentioning my name in your comments on the Lexington County Republican Convention. In making my bid to be the next President of the SCFRW, I have traveled around the state to about a dozen conventions. Some have had some real fireworks; others have been rather dull and uneventful; all have given me insight into who are Republicans in this state. Some have had most of the Presidential candidates; some had no Presidential candidates(only representatives). All in all, Lexington had the most elected officials attending both as guests and delegates. I was glad to see Katrina Shealy elected as chairman. Also I was thrilled that Verona Shealy and Irby Schultz were recognized for their hard work in the Republican party over the years. These are two of the grand ladies of the GOP. Thanks again for your recognition.

  3. Yeah, all in all a fun day. Graham and Sanford had the speeches of the day, but I share your disappointment that we couldn't get a top-line Presidential contender (Dr. Cort doesn't count).

    And it was a pleasure to finally meet you in person!


  4. Ty,

    Very enlightening comment. Thank you for playing.

    Posters Anonymous

  5. AnonymousMay 09, 2007

    Although Governor Sanford did not win the primary in Lexington County he did have strong comeback in the general election taking 55% of the vote. I can only see bigger and better things in store for the Lexington County Republican Party.