Sunday, April 1, 2007
not a good VP choice
1 , 2007 -- Gov. Mark Sanford announced today that he expects
to be picked as the Republican vice presidential candidate
In fact, about the quickest, surefire way around the Statehouse
to get a bunch of rolling eyeballs, exasperated looks or pregnant
pauses is to ask a simple, nine-word question: "Mark
Sanford for vice president - - good idea or bad idea?"
It's a good bet Sanford will be on a short-list as a vice
presidential choice for several Republican presidential contenders.
"There's some wonderful people right here in this state,
as you know, Gov. Sanford being one of them," said former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney when asked about a running
mate during a recent Bluffton campaign stop.
For Romney, Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani, Sanford could add balance to a GOP ticket.
like carrying two pigs into the Statehouse lobby endeared
Sanford to S.C. voters, but not to state lawmakers.
First, Sanford essentially is an anti-government Washington
outsider now, although he spent six years in Washington as
a congressman in the 1990s. He's also seen as a darling of
fiscal conservatives and conservative think tanks.
Next, he's a governor, which could help folks like McCain
and Giuliani. Governors tend to be seen as more active than
Washington insiders. Cases in point: The last two presidents
were governors, not Beltway bandits.
Third, he's Southern - - something McCain, Giuliani and Romney
certainly are not. And while Democratic politicos say the
South of the future will become more Democratic, Southern
states remain solidly red today. As such, a big part of the
GOP base is in the South, which means a non-Southern candidate
may need a Southern running mate.
Finally, Sanford is smooth and handsome. He has a good demeanor
about him, notes College of Charleston political scientist
Bill Moore: "He makes a good impression. He could be
But Sanford - - the guy who most of the time doesn't seem
to have his whole heart in being South Carolina's governor
- - as the guy who is one step away from leading America?
"We [in America] would all be in trouble," one
House Democrat said.
A senior House Republican wagged, "I'd like to see him
do it so we can get back to business. He's killing the state
in economic development."
A key GOP member of the Senate added, "I don't see it
in the cards."
Sanford's record - - or lack of it as governor - - speaks
volumes about why he isn't vice-presidential material.
In the past four legislative sessions, he's gotten no major
initiative of his own passed. He's failed on reducing income
taxes for his rich friends. He's failed on school vouchers
for rich friends. He's failed to curb runaway spending as
the state, under GOP legislative control, has boosted spending
more than $1.5 billion in the last four years.
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Other things to keep in mind under the Sanford administration:
- His annual vetoes and stunts have earned him longstanding
scorn of the General Assembly.
- Time magazine rated him one of the nation's three worst
governors a couple of years back.
- He's got no real jobs plan. The state has lost tens of
thousands of manufacturing jobs under his watch and the
state's unemployment rate has been in the top five in the
nation for months. The state Commerce Department essentially
was gutted under his watch, although it has started being
built up again.
Yes, there are some positive things from the last four years.
Sanford has a good record as a conservationist due to his
support of funding the Conservation Bank and use of the bully
pulpit to urge lawmakers to stop raiding conservation trust
funds. He also recently helped broker a deal to build a port
in Jasper County with Georgia, although it still is unclear
why a third port is needed.
But for all his time as governor, Sanford's maverick, I'm-right-you're-wrong
style doesn't come close to the kind of person needed to be
the nation's second-in-command.
Let's hope for America that GOP presidential candidates give
him a pass as a running mate.
You can reach Andy Brack, publisher of
SC Statehouse Report, at email@example.com.
Another great cartoon by Bill McLemore:
3/26: House off-base on ultrasound vote
To the editor:
It sickens me that the men in the House of Representatives
have the audacity to interfere in a woman's reproductive life.
These decisions do not come easily for the women they affect.
These men don't even know what goes on with the women in their
own lives, because it is a personal decision to have an abortion
and nobody ever tells Daddy.
-- Ree Mallison, West Columbia, S.C.
To the editor:
I urge you to use your news writings to condemn the continuous
murder of unborn babies -- 44 million to date. Your article
seems oblivious to the terrible tradegy (sic) of abortion.
P.S. The abortion of children makes the World War II holocaust
miniscule in comparison.
-- George W. Dargan, Darlington, S.C.
- 3/20: Payday
lending is sought-after service, Ken Compton, Spartanburg,
- 3/16: SC
on track to becoming nuclear chump, Leslie Minerd,
- 3/16: Everybody
loses with payday lending, Earl Capps, Summerville,
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