Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where's Ric Flair when we need him?

This year's race for the South Carolina Gubernatorial nomination has been one of the most fluid and unpredictable races in the history of gubernatorial politics.  Outside the core supporters of each of the four candidates, each of the four have had times in which they seemed to have the "Big Mo," and then saw it slip away.

Eventually, we have to endorse one of the candidates.  As such the staff of VUI, which contrary to nasty comments, does exist outside the head of our editor, have debated the candidates.  One retired politician VUI often goes to for insight had none to offer, remaining undecided and noting the weakness of the field.  One staffer said he would be voting for Gresham Barrett, but wondered aloud, "Where is Ric Flair when we need him?"

That staffer meant the question as a joke.  But, when you think on it, it is a serious question.  Ric Flair in his professional wrestling career had the star power to carry the show.   Flair was loved and hated, but he had the star power to get attention for his profession, make people pay attention and be, as he put it, "the man." 

Indeed, professional wrestling and politics are a lot like.  There is a lot of grandstanding and exaggeration.  The most exciting moments are all too often just downright fake.  The difference is, wrestlers only claim to entertain, political candidates claim to have what it takes to run the state.

Over the past couple of years, the race for Governor has unfolded.  Now, there are four candidates for the GOP nomination.  Each had their chance to be the man or the woman.  Each slipped under the spotlight.

Attorney General Henry McMaster entered as the heavy favorite.  Yet, McMaster could not close the deal.  As the campaign hits the homestretch, stories about bizarre threats on the Attorney General's life are getting more attention than McMaster's campaign message.

Lt. Governor Andre Bauer works as hard as any politician for a vote.  But, Bauer suffered a bout of foot in mouth syndrome a few months ago that seemed to get him off message just when it seemed he was taking the spotlight.

Congressman Gresham Barrett had money to spend.  He spent it.  But, his ads were ill targeted and were panned as weak by marketing folks who know a lot more than VUI. Then, the upstart campaign of Nikki Haley got Barrett off message and into things like suing her supporters.  Regardless of the merits of the lawsuit, it took Barrett off his message.  Then, came allegations that some of Barretts people pushed the Haley-Folks rumors.

That brings us to Nikki Haley.  She had the "Big Mo" at the right time, then came allegations from blogger Will Folks of an affair.  Frankly, VUI does not know who to believe.  But, Folks keeps offering up information that seems like the political version of Chinese water torture for the Haley campaign.  Frankly, the fact that Haley addressed the issue in anything other than a curt dismissal hurt her and got her off message.

That brings us to where we are today in the GOP Governor's race.  All four candidates have had their chance to take it over, and all four slipped.  Thus, the race remains fluid.  Bauer has more money left for the crunch than the others.  Barrett still has a good bit of money.  McMaster has the advantage of maturity and some sympathy for being under some kook's death threat.  Haley has people enraged and motivated over the allegations against her.

If forced to call it, VUI sees Haley and McMaster in the runoff, but we would not want to bet a cup of coffee on it.  There is no clear star of the show that will guarantee excitement and votes in the Fall. As of yet, we endorse no candidate. 

Which brings us back to Ric Flair.  Where is Ric Flair when we need him?  Of course, Flair could file as a petition candidate.  Wooohhh.


  1. AnonymousMay 30, 2010

    Bite my ass. Barrett has this thing wrapped up like a Christmas present.

  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2010

    You are just pissed that Haley did not mess around with you.

  3. Brian, you know Will is telling the truth. Of all bloggers, you know it. You used to hang in the bars and the places were Will and Nikki hung out as they hooked up. You have no ax to grind, so to speak, so come on man, tell the truth. Blog about what you saw and used to tell me about way back when. You told me you thought Haley and Folks were a couple in 2007 You did not know she was still married, I will give you that. But, you saw what you saw and you talked it up a good bit. Why don't you step up now and give us the goods?

    Come on Brian, stop this Haley thing before it starts. SC can not afford another Governor with a sex scandal.

  4. Can anyone tell me why those who say that Sanford and Haley are nobody's business are some of those who rant and rave about Graham's sexual orientation?