Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Is Speaker Harrell making his first move in 2010 Governor's Race?

The motives for the ad campaign are good. The South Carolina Manufacturing Alliance has a television spot featuring Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell touting a website that helps South Carolina consumers find goods made in South Carolina. The website, which is found at http://www.madeinsc.org not only helps consumers find products it also features Speaker Bobby Harrell. He offers remarks on the website.

Before I get into the political analysis, let me digress to say how much I appreciate manufacturing in this state. I worked for nearly five years in a manufacturing plant. My grandfather worked decades in one. My father has spent his entire adult life working in manufacturing. Most of my mentors worked in manufacturing. Manufacturing put food on my table, clothes on my back, and helped pay for my education. I know manufacturings value and manufacturers have no bigger fan.

That said, the political side of me sees a potential move being made here by the Speaker. Though Speaker Harrell is known in political circles, he is not known all that well statewide. The ad campaign going on gives him statewide exposure without his campaign having to pay for it. As he is not yet a declared candidate for statewide office, he can enjoy the ad campaign legally. It is a smart political move for Harrell.

Yet, it could start some sort of trend. With the manufacturing alliance giving such free publicity to a potential candidate for Governor, with others follow suit? Will, for example, some education group put a potential candidate for Governor on statewide airwaves or with other interests groups, such as the Sierra Club put a potential candidate it favors on the air?

Harrell's move is groundbreaking in some ways, but it could backfire. As no major media in South Carolina have called into to question the ad campaign it could lead other groups to feel they could do the same. If several of the potential candidates for Governor who have not declared themselves as candidates get air time paid for by various groups, then Harrell's move will be a wash.

I do not doubt that Speaker Harrell sincerely wants people to buy South Carolina made products. I merely point out the political benefits he gets from the ad campaign. If others see that benefit they will likely be soon to follow, and we in South Carolina will start seeing potential candidates for statewide office show up on statewide television years before the election. Whether purposefully or not, Harrell broke new political campaign ground. Time will tell if some others catch on.


  1. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Mr. McCarty, are you really shocked that the Speaker would use big money interests to make himself a better known around the state? Drop all the coulds. The
    Speaker is using this to help himself politically. Shame on the big media for not catching on.


  2. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Be very careful Mr. McCarty, powerful people do not like what you have to say, including me. How dare you show people how things really work in this state. Who do you think you are?

  3. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    what do you have against the Speaker? What are you up to?

  4. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Brian, it could be a step towards any of three higher spots: Governor, Congress (once Henry Brown decides to step down) or Senate (TRav promised not to run against Lindsey, but this could be an option). For any of the above, it could be a step to enhance the recognition portfolio, though it doesn't hurt to solidify his base, in a county that lost John Graham Altman's seat to what some think was a Lexington county maven's meddling.

  5. AnonymousMay 02, 2007

    Go after the speaker all you want. We cant stand him here in the upstate. We will make sure he never gets elected into a statewide office, especially our Governors mansion. Keep up the good work! Expose him for what he is.

  6. west_rhinoMay 03, 2007

    I'll bet he's not trying to become Ambassador to Canada...

  7. AnonymousMay 03, 2007

    This ad will indeed backfire on the Speaker. The people of South Carolina are politically aware enough to smell someone using a loophole in law to their political advantage, and clearly (as evidenced by my neighobor from the upstate's comments) don't appreciate. Harrell will regret the day he made that ad... it will seem like pandering if he ever runs for higher office.

  8. AnonymousMay 05, 2007

    Hey, guess what cracker, I am back.

    Thought a little thing like pot possession could keep me in the man's custody for long enough to not deal with your cracker ass? Your cracker laws are a hassle, but with good street lawyers I can beat them.

    Well, I saw the ad you are writing about, and I have to say that the Speaker is about the palest ass cracker I have seen. The man is pasty white. He is so white, he is still beating slaves somewhere and probably has a slave woman in his bedroom doing the Strom Thurmond thing for him.

    I still see your comments as one pale ass cracker moaning about another pale ass cracker. Two crackers fighting. Who cares?

    GO OBAMA. TAKE THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE PEOPLE! I can not wait to see what your cracker ass has to say when Obama is President. You and Bobby Harrell won't be able to keep black men down then! Robert Ford for Governor! Robert Ford knows what the white women want.


  9. AnonymousMay 07, 2007

    Nice to hear from another putative member of the Thurmond clan...