In one of the most self-serious remarks of the 2010 Governor's race, Tumpy Campbell, son of the legend Carroll Campbell, all but threw his hat in the ring.
Such would be truly noteworthy if Tumpy had the record of his legendary father going into the race. Carroll Campbell was one helluva man. Campbell was a state senator, a Governor's Chief of Staff and a Congressman when he sought the Governor's chair. The late Governor was instrumental in building up the Republican Party in South Carolina when being a Republican was not popular. The late Governor was both a leader and team player.
It is out of the tremendous respect for Carroll Campbell, Jr, the late Governor, that I only remark that Tumpy Campbell's resume is light compared to his fathers or to the others expressing interest in the Governor's race. I will not use the harshly negative rhetoric employed by other political bloggers.
Perhaps Tumpy Campbell should take note of the examples by the Thurmond sons. Paul Thurmond and Strom Thurmond, Jr., share their legendary father's love of politics. However, they sought their first elective offices at the local level, like their father did. Paul was elected to Charleston County Council. Strom, Jr. was recently elected to the Solicitor's post in Aiken County. Both men wisely declined making their first bid for office statewide.
Of course, some will point to the Bush brothers as sons of a famous Republican to win statewide. However, Tumpy and everyone else should note that George W. Bush had ran and lost for Congress, and had been a popular general manager of the Texas Rangers baseball team before he ran for Governor of Texas. Jeb Bush served as a Florida insurance commissioner before he ran for Governor. Both men paid dues.
By comparison, Tumpy's resume is light. All he has is a controversial stint on the Ports Authority and no elective office. His brother Mike's defeat for Lt. Governor should have made clear that even people with great last names ought not reach for the brass ring before they are due.
Tumpy Campbell ought to do himself a favor and do the hard work of building up a resume and a base before he reaches for the Governor's office.
Again, this post is hard to write. Governor Campbell was one of my heroes. All I am asking is that Tumpy think about his father and how his father worked through the ranks to earn respect before he became Governor. That is the right way to do it. Shoot, regardless of what you think of the outgoing President Bush, even he had to get beat for Congress and turn around the Texas Rangers baseball club before he was a viable candidate for Governor of a state.
Tumpy should ask no less of himself. Rumors are Henry Brown might not run in 2010. Maybe that seat is best for Tumpy to seek. Then, in 2014, Governor might not make political bloggers laugh.