Saturday, May 29, 2010
Where's Ric Flair when we need him?
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 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.