Editorial to McCain: Don’t even think about it

After hearing Mark Sanford’s name mentioned first (although in a dismissive way) among possible running mates for McCain on NPR Thursday morning, I proposed to my colleagues that we should say the following in today’s paper. I had said it in passing in a column, and had elaborated on the blog, but since the newspaper backed McCain for the nomination, it seemed incumbent upon us as a board to try to warn him off a bit more formally. Here’s today’s editorial:

McCain should look elsewhere for running mate

WE TAKE GREAT satisfaction, and pride, in the knowledge that South Carolina’s choice for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain, has now secured his place on the November ballot.

As we said in our endorsement before the Jan. 19 South Carolina primary, Sen. McCain stood out clearly among his GOP rivals. His experience, integrity, independence of mind and courage — physical, moral and political — put him in a class by himself. South Carolina did the nation a great favor when it gave Sen. McCain the momentum he needed at a critical moment. It did another one in expressing its enthusiastic preference for Sen. Barack Obama, whom this newspaper also endorsed.

Unfortunately, the momentum Sen. Obama picked up here momentarily stalled Tuesday night, leaving the Democratic contest unsettled. But as the Democrats head to Pennsylvania, the Republican nominee has the leisure to face another challenge: choosing a running mate.

South Carolina can do Sen. McCain — and, more importantly, the nation — another favor. We can point out in no uncertain terms that Gov. Mark Sanford would be a disastrous choice.

The political reasons why this is so are painfully obvious. He would bring nothing to the ticket beyond his relative youth, which is not that rare a commodity. He would not bring the disgruntled cultural conservatives who voted for Mike Huckabee in recent weeks. Mr. Sanford’s appeal is confined to the more extreme economic libertarians who despise Gov. Huckabee. Our governor is constantly at odds with the sort of Republicans who are more typical of the national base. And if the GOP ticket can’t win South Carolina without a South Carolinian on the ballot, it might as well quit now.

But while those might be concerns for Sen. McCain, they are not ours. We are alarmed at even the suggestion that Mark Sanford might be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. This nation desperately needs effective, engaged, committed leadership on a range of critical fronts, from Baghdad to Wall Street and at many points between. Mark Sanford approaches elective office with the detachment of a dilettante, as though it simply does not matter whether anything is accomplished. His six years in Congress are remembered for a futon and a voting record replete with empty, ideological gestures. As governor, he has proven himself utterly unable — or perhaps worse, unwilling — to lead even within his own majority party. He is easily the most politically isolated governor we can recall. He is startlingly content to toss out marginal ideas and move on, unruffled by the fact that most of his seeds fall on rocky ground.

Fortunately, a universe of better options is available to Sen. McCain. If he wants a Southern governor who appeals to the missing portions of his base, Gov. Huckabee stands before him. If he wants someone to make up for his relative weakness on the economy, Mitt Romney is in the wings. If he’s mainly concerned with the political imperative to deliver a critical state, Florida’s Charlie Crist was there for him when it counted (Mark Sanford finally, on Thursday, endorsed him after the nomination was secured).

You’ve come too far to blow it now, Sen. McCain. We wouldn’t steer you wrong on this. Please, look elsewhere for your running mate.

57 thoughts on “Editorial to McCain: Don’t even think about it

  1. Doug Ross

    Well, at least you’re consistent in your personal vendetta against Mark Sanford.
    Two columns in a week to let us know just how much your perception of Sanford is out of sync with the people who voted for him twice. Why not just come right out and say you think we’re idiots instead of beating around the bush?
    Brad fiddles while Columbia burns…

  2. weldon VII

    So the editorial board that endorsed both McCain and Obama, something akin to endorsing both spray cleaner and mildew, has unendorsed Sanford.
    Why would McCain listen to you? You spent your credibility endorsing candidates who bear each other no real resemblance.
    And yet the lot of you remain so full of your not-really-from-South Carolina selves you can’t comprehend how arrogant you look wasting you time and several barrels of ink insulting the governor who has no more chance of making the Republican ticket than The State’s editorial board has of becoming bona fide sandlappers.
    Of course, I guess when McCain doesn’t pick Sanford as a running mate, you’ll feel all-important, as though you’ve done the nation a service, when actually you’ve done nothing more useful than warning McCain not to appear in public with his fly open.

  3. Bill C.

    Well I hope McCain is smart enough to ignore the advice of some 3rd rate newspaper editor and 1st rate ignorant blogger who flexes his keyboard muscles behind the safety of his locked office door. Brad… we get it, you are not a Sanford supporter, now will you please stop beating that poor dead horse? This got old weeks ago.

  4. John T.

    And another thing. When Sanford took office he appointed one of his cronies to be his so-called Legislatve Advisor to Higher Education who reportedly never attended college (Rita Allison). He has never held a real press conference or answered a single question from a single citizen. And I am still appalled and disgusted at his cowardly refusal to debate his opponent during the last election. This “photo-op” governor will one day be remembered for who he really is…a shiny conservative fraud who couldn’t care less about the citizens of this state.

  5. Gordon Hirsch

    I don’t care why you said it or how you said it. I’m just glad you said it. Sanford is not VP material. The thought of him being one step from the presidency is absurd.

  6. weldon VII

    Bill C., the horse was dead before Brad started beating it, but he’s not a veterinarian, so who could expect him to notice?
    This is the same editorial page editor that actually published a Letter to the Editor the other day urging authorities to look the other way when they see cockfighting.
    Next we’ll probably get a guest column from Michael Vick defending his treatment of dogs.
    Alas, us paeans will likely never fathom the heights of those who enjoy such privileges as (gulp) breakfast with Hugh Leatherman.

  7. weldon VII

    Gosh, Gordon. I can’t remember Brad saying anything else. It’s been Sanford this and Sanford that and oh, no, not Sanford! for weeks and weeks, and you act like he just brought it up. If McCain was going to get the point, he would have got it way back when. We didn’t need an editorial as a flailing exclamation point to weeks of anti-Sanford blogging.

  8. Bill C.

    weldon VII: It’s truly a shame that there isn’t a decent newspaper in this city. I am one of many who canceled their subscription years ago and only read it online… and apparently we’re getting our moneys worth (online viewing is free). As long as we have people like Brad behind the editor’s desk I don’t see things changing… or my subscription renewing.

  9. weldon VII

    Bill C., I just wish they’d be honest enough to change the name back to The Columbia Record. If it happens farther away than Chapin, the AP has to hit them in the head with it.
    Now that the technology finally exists to do a newspaper that has virtually no office whatsoever, The State doesn’t appear to have bureau reporters anywhere, yet it promotes itself as South Carolina’s this and South Carolina’s that.
    And there I was thinking honesty was the best policy.

  10. T. Andrew

    I find it appalling that The State finds it necessary to continually take shots at the Governor. He has been one of the only politicians that has stood up for fiscal responsibility and restraint. I would be proud to support him as a running mate to John McCain. In the future, don’t forget that the people of this state have elected him twice to the highest office. In my humble opinion, he’s been the best leader since Carroll Campbell…

  11. martin

    what is so scary is that people continue to think there is anything “there” with Mark Sanford. (kinda like Mitt Romney) People, this is not about pathologically talking the same stuff over and over, it’s about being effective and getting what’s best for the state done. He can’t do that.
    I wish that journalists would do the work, but I think this is a guy who was so unable to make a decent living in the private sector (I don’t buy how well he did; he has shown us the only thing he cares about is riding his bike and yachting), that he went looking to find a way to make $100,000 + a year, set up PACs to create slush funds, and do nothing and he found it in politics. Politics is what this career politician has done virtually his entire adult life.

  12. Bill C.

    Martin: You bash Sanford but I don’t hear you saying a damn thing about those who refuse to work with someone who is truly fiscally conservative. What about the members of the state legislature who session after session meet and do absolutely nothing but stand around and pat each other on the back? Sanford comes after their budget with his red pen and suddenly he’s the bad guy for trying to reduce pork barrel spending. Who would you rather have minding your bank account… Mark Sanford or the members of the SC legislature? What’s scary is that those with anti-Sanford tunnel vision don’t see the big picture. Then on top of it you have a newspaper editor looking through a swizel stick, flexing his keyboard muscles and reporting his view.

  13. Bill C.

    Martin: You bash Sanford but I don’t hear you saying a damn thing about those who refuse to work with someone who is truly fiscally conservative. What about the members of the state legislature who session after session meet and do absolutely nothing but stand around and pat each other on the back? Sanford comes after their budget with his red pen and suddenly he’s the bad guy for trying to reduce pork barrel spending. Who would you rather have minding your bank account… Mark Sanford or the members of the SC legislature? What’s scary is that those with anti-Sanford tunnel vision don’t see the big picture. Then on top of it you have a newspaper editor looking through a swizel stick, flexing his keyboard muscles and reporting his view.

  14. Cal

    Brad,For years the State editorizes the lack of will to improve and modernize SC. Along comes Mark Sanford who has challanged the legislature to lower taxes, spend our money wisely, turned his back on the good ole boy network, put Sc first over his own interests, exceeded all past economic development accomplishments, etc and etc, yet the State bashes Sanford almost daily. Have you forgotten the the wasteful emphasis and debates of the past that put the lottery, the flag, and video pocker at the forefront of our states agenda? Get over your personal dislike of Sanford and acknowledge his accomplishments and steadfast determination to not buy into the good ole boy legislature that has held us back for generations. Your personal agenda is tainting your chosen career and your employer.

  15. Bill C.

    For those sick and tired of Brad’s constant bashing of our governor, please let Brad’s boss (Henry Haitz III, President & Publisher)know at [email protected]. It’s clearly obvious that Brad’s comments and editorials are nothing more than a personal vendetta against Governor Sanford.
    Newspapers normally love controversy, it sells newspapers. But constant bashing like this, I believe, is costing The State money. I know as long as Brad Warthen is allowed to keep writing editorials like this I will never pay for another issue of The State.

  16. some guy

    Cal — It would seem to me that it’s great for a governor to reject the “good ole boy” system and to try and push for positive reform. But at the point that a governor is so unwilling to work with legislators that very little gets done, then that’s not effective leadership. If the “good ole boy” system is part of the package of government, then maybe a governor has to engage those folks and figure out other ways to bring about change — ways other than bringing pigs into the Statehouse to embarrass people.
    And perhaps a school choice plan that would offer free money to middle-class families to buy private education but that promises nothing to the poorest citizens — indeed, the students with the most need and who are generally bringing our state’s test scores down — doesn’t demonstrate a particularly healty view of government and “reform.”
    Brad may be pretty strident. But I think his arguments may be pretty valid.
    Regarding the flag, that debate may have been a wasteful use of time and energy, to an extent. But, wow, why did the GOP put a flag referendum on its primary ballot in 1994? Why did they have to use the pro-rebel flag crowd to stir up voters and political advantage?

  17. Gordon Hirsch

    OK, somebody list Sanford’s “accomplishments” as governor– not his TALK, not things he opposes, things he has actually done to bring about worthwhile change.
    And, please, spare us the environmental drivel on behalf of his real estate cronies. And, no, you can’t blame his failures on the Legislature. Effective leadership is about making things happen, even in the face of opposition.

  18. Gordon Hirsch

    Here’s some help, from Sanford’s own web site. Even he can’t come up with much to crow about:
    http://www.scgovernor.com/about/
    Governor Sanford’s adopted budget proposals have saved tens of millions of dollars. In 2003, South Carolina was in a $1 billion financial hole, including a $155 million unconstitutional deficit. In contrast, the 2007 budget process started in the black for the first time in 16 years.
    Under Governor Sanford’s leadership, South Carolina passed comprehensive tort reform and cut the marginal income tax rate – both firsts in state history. Today there are over 170,000 more people working than there were when Governor Sanford took office – a 15-year record for employment growth.
    The DMV was brought into the governor’s Cabinet, and reforms there have reduced average wait times from 66 minutes to 15 minutes. The landmark campaign finance reform and Commerce disclosure reform bills signed by Governor Sanford have brought much needed sunlight and accountability to state government, and, for the first time ever, campaign disclosure reports are now available online. The governor has held monthly “Open Door After 4” meetings in his office, where anyone from anywhere in the state can come by for a visit.
    The state passed first-of-its-kind charter school legislation to allow parents more choices in where their children attend school. As well, more land has been set aside during his governorship than under any other administration in South Carolina history.

  19. Doug Ross

    All the legislators have to do in order to get things done is come up with bills that are veto proof.
    How come these wonderful people can’t all get along to get things done? Why can’t they all work together?
    Mark Sanford is not responsible for what is wrong in South Carolina today. The fact that he sticks to his principles on what he views as the proper role of government is a positive trait in my book (and probably in the view of the majority of South Carolinians who voted for him).
    While we’re slamming Sanford, please tell me all the great things accomplished by Beasley and Hodges. Where’s that list?
    I only moved to SC during Carroll Campbell’s second term but I’m having a hard time recalling all the great progress he was responsible for as well. Are things a whole lot better now in SC than they were in 1986 because of him?

  20. Julie Wade

    I was pleased to see the editorial today.I actually crossed party lines to vote against Mark Sanford in the last election. Once I heard his name mentioned on Fox News Tuesday night I almost fell out of my chair. The only consolation I have at this point is I have not heard his name come from John McCain’s mouth.
    In January I worked on the primary campaign. I made over 100 phone calls in support of him. My support will end immediately if John McCain chooses Mark Sanford as a running mate.I will not cross party lines this time but I have never stayed home during an election. Hopefully I won’t have to this time either.

  21. weldon VII

    Julie, it won’t happen. Sanford gains McCain nothing, and everybody here ought to know that, especially Brad.
    But for some reason, Brad just keeps piling on and piling on. Maybe it’s because Sanford and his people keep coming up with rebuttal columns whenever The State opposes him, so Brad wants to stay one insult ahead of the governor.
    I suspect, however, there’s something else in the background we don’t know about, else Brad wouldn’t be so adamant.
    At worst, Sanford seems to be a do-nothing governor, content with being laissez faire and contrary. That makes three do-nothing governors in a row, but Sanford seems to be getting the worst of it from The State.
    Seems like Brad’s trying to rub his nose in something. I wish he’d tell us what it is.

  22. brian

    Here’s my input…
    I am not a Mark Sanford supporter; I voted against him this last time. I did hold my nose and vote for him against Hodges; we had two governors in a row that were sleazy and I wanted a change. Beasley and Hodges were sleazy; Sanford is not. I do not agree with him on most issues; I firmly believe that the governor should be a very, VERY weak position; esentially a figurehead that shows up for public events and signs a few papers. I trust my legislature and I want any and all government business to move at a fraction of a snail’s pace.
    All that said, I would vote for a McCain/Sanford ticket. I don’t know that much about McCain, but even though I don’t agree with most of his politics, I can be assured that Mark Sanford is not sleazy. That is why he was elected governor.
    Brian

  23. Art Morin

    Brad, I agree with your statement, John McCain certainly needs to look elsewhere for a running mate. When this man was a congressman (little “C” intentional)he did little of nothing for the people and especially veterans. So, the world is a big circle, what goes around comes around and now its his turn.

  24. homeboy

    Let’s not forget that Brad endorsed Sanford. Not only did Brad endorse Sanford, but Brad also endorsed George Bush. Brad should support both George Bush and Governor Sanford: After all, he helped them both get into office.

  25. WTF

    I think that if SC really wants to end the Sanford regime, then we should all push for him to become McCain’s running mate. After the devastating and embarrasing loss that McCain will undergo in November, Sanford too will be too tainted to return to office. Just like Dan Qualye before him, Sanford will be reduced to obscurity. And yes, if you voted for Sanford not just once but twice, then you are an idiot.

  26. Moe4

    The only thing that Sanford would add is a large nose and an arrogant(misplaced) attituade.

  27. Moe4

    The only thing that Sanford would add is a large nose and an arrogant(misplaced) attitude.

  28. Brad Warthen

    Those who are mystified at why I keep making sure the extremely good reasons why Sanford should not be on that ticket need to pay attention more closely. Disagree with me all you want — obviously, given that I provide y’all with this forum, I encourage that.
    But people who think I “keep taking shots” at the governor miss the point that I only say something about every fourth or fifth time I hear his name mentioned in national media. Also, as I said above, I’ve only dealt with the subject once in the newspaper before this editorial — that was way down in a column about a different subject, and I brought it up only to dismiss it as something that showed how out of it the person who had brought it up was. That’s all the attention such an absurd idea deserves.
    But it kept coming up, and in more and more worrisome contexts. It came to point that — again, as I clearly explained — it seemed that a newspaper that endorsed McCain and knew clearly how awful a pick Sanford would be ought to make that point officially — editorially. So we did. Once.
    And weldon, as for this “for some reason, Brad just keeps piling on and piling on. Maybe it’s because Sanford and his people keep coming up with rebuttal columns whenever The State opposes him, so Brad wants to stay one insult ahead of the governor.” What newspaper have you been reading? The thing the governor’s folks have been going on about is something we agree with them on — the whole Ports/Tumpy Campbell thing. In fact, my Sunday column was about the fact that such Sanford critics as Carol Fowler and Jake Knotts are going after him for the wrong things.
    Maybe you don’t read the actual paper, but just come here. If you’d seen the paper, you’d know that this editorial ran on the same page as a column by my associate Mike Fitts giving the governor credit on the ports thing, and across from one by Tom Davis, the governor’s chief of staff, on more or less the same topic.
    As for this veep business, there has been no “rebuttal” column and there won’t be, because it would be inconsistent with the governor’s whole Zen “oh, I don’t really care about this” thing. To the extent that there is an action-reaction thing going on, there is this stupid echo that keeps coming out of the national media (a function of pure intellectual laziness, as each mention is based on having seen it mentioned elsewhere, not on any legwork or special knowledge), and periodically, I respond to it.
    That’s what I do, you know — there’s stuff in the news, and I comment on it. And the very persistence of this insane rumor has in itself become something worth commenting on.

  29. lawzoo

    The VPOTUS is tailor-made for Mark Sanford. Just another job where he would not have to do any work and get paid for it.
    That’s why he would be a bigger hero to the Repugnuts than John McCain.

  30. Doug Ross

    Brad,
    How about the endowed chairs issue? That editorial only ran a couple weeks ago.
    Sanford’s rebuttal editorial was a complete evisceration of the entire program. I have not seen any response to all of the factual information he provided.
    Or did you just realize that he was right on the issue and didn’t want to admit it?

  31. bud

    … there is this stupid echo that keeps coming out of the national media (a function of pure intellectual laziness, as each mention is based on having seen it mentioned elsewhere, not on any legwork or special knowledge) …
    -Brad
    That is a pretty good summary for the national media fixation on the McCain is a “straight-talking maverick” mantra. That claim may have had some credibility in 2000 but it’s just plain ridiculous now.

  32. HWP

    I think SC needs Governor Sanford RIGHT HERE. For as long as it takes to get to the bottom of “things”!!! Thanks for all you do, Guv.

  33. weldon VII

    Brad, I read the editorial, and the Mike Fitts column, and the Tom Davis guest column. I see The State every day, online and in dead-tree format. However much the Fitts piece propped the governor up for three-quarters of its duration, it spent its last five grafs bringing him down, so I saw it as a double whammy.
    To quote from Mr. Fitts: “Does the port deal … outweigh Mark Sanford’s shortcomings as governor? It’s hard to give him that much credit.”
    Yet you say that is “giving the governor credit”?
    Furthermore, your Sunday column may have been about people going after the governor for the wrong things, but your headline accused him of “governing as a hobby” and you supplied a damning conclusion suggesting he has a “hit list” of people in the State House he wants to use out-of-state money to defeat.
    Of course, the hit list is just a rumor that Sanford denies, no doubt supplied by people in the State House that he’s crossed, but you gave it the power of ink anyway.
    I read the paper, Brad. And it seems I remember it better than you do. Like anybody else who’s paying attention, I can see Sanford’s on your hit list.
    What I don’t understand is what you’re so worried about. As little as you like the governor, and as much as you like McCain, how on Earth could you fear they’d end up on a ticket together?

  34. Gordon Hirsch

    weldon … I actually hope Brad does have a hit list. It would be a refreshing return to the days when newspaper editors were “worth shooting.”
    And so what if he says something more than once. Repetition is the soul of mass communications.

  35. Bob

    Don’t worry Brad, McCain, like Lindsey Graham has been bitten by the Kennedy liberal bug, so , i believe that McCain will pick Rudy or someone like him.
    The voters in November are guaranteed liberal or liberal lite and that was by design especially with the Republican machine politicians.
    Why do you think Fred Thompson stayed in just long enough to suck support away from Mike Huckabee who would have won South Carolina.

  36. Wiley

    Sanford is all talk. Plain and simple. He rasies political capital by talking low taxes, less government, etc.
    He never spends the capital by FIGHTING for those issues. He just moans and groans…and pretends to battle with the Gen Assembly.
    So he keeps his political capital and his high poll numbers. And we pay higher taxes.
    Sanford knows exactly what he is doing. That is why I loath Mark Sanford.

  37. Ralph Hightower

    If I were to give a performance review of Mark (“Fred”) Sanford, I would say his biggest fault is that he does not work well with people. I would classify him as an iconoclast. Continually making enemies with the people that he interacts with and has to work with is not the best method to influence people to get things done.
    Mark Sanford has accomplished nothing in his five years as “governot” (sp. Intentional misspelling of governor).
    The Vice President of the United States of America is one heartbeat from being President of the United States. Dick Cheney as POTUS is a scary thought. That is probably the biggest deterrent to some crackpot attempting to assassinate POTUS 43: George W. Bush.
    South Carolina has had several “do-nothing” governots, David Beasley, Jim Hodges, and now, Mark Sanford. As much as I wish “Fred” Sanford was not our governor, that “one heartbeat from being president” is scarier to me. So, South Carolina will have to endure another term of a do-nothing governot.
    Mike Huckabee? I want to know why he destroyed state property, many computer servers and hard drives, in his last days as governor of Arkansas. [Title: “Drives Destroyed as Governor Exits”, reference: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=282516%5D
    Mitt Romney? I know as much about Mormons as I know of Scientology, which is not very much. But Mitt failed to answer the question of his religion that John F. Kennedy so eloquently answered about his Catholic religion. I was looking for humorous editorial cartoons on http://www.cagle.com/ and decided to read his blog. I was willing to give Romney a pass on his religion until I read a blog entry from December 18, 2007, from editorial cartoonist Steve Benson, (grandson of former Mormon leader, Ezra Benson), disputes that Mitt will not be directed from the Mormon Church. Read the blog entry from an ex-Mormon about his grandfather, Ezra Benson, who at the feeble age of 94, was still able to lead the Mormon Church. Steven Benson, visiting his grandfather, knows the capabilities of his grandfather from a family perspective. I encourage those thinking about Romney to read http://www.cagle.com/news/BLOG/Sept-Oct-Nov-Dec-2007.asp.
    PS:
    While Sanford is content to bring pigs into the statehouse, he has not bothered to invite an animal that represents the Best of South Carolina, K-Run’s Park Me In First, callname “Uno”, a three-year old Beagle that became the first Beagle to win Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club. Uno and his handler, Aaron Wilkerson from Lugoff, SC, have received an invitation to the White House (Washington, DC).
    However, the House and Senate recognized that which is best in South Carolina. [http://www.scstatehouse.net/cgi-bin/query.exe?first=DOC&querytext=4756&category=Legislation&session=117&conid=3574886&result_pos=0&keyval=1174756]

  38. Watson

    Mark Sanford’s idea of good government is to hide 200 million dollars at Health and Human Services, and let other agencies starve.
    I call that arrogance, not good government. Conservative government should champion transparency. Mark Sanford drowns us in info that is useless, while hiding what is important.

  39. weldon VII

    Gordon, Brad can have whatever hit list he pleases, but when he tells me A is B and B is C when I know better, he best dot every I and cross every T, else I have no choice but to call him out.
    Fitts’ column was NOT supportive of the governor, and Brad’s “governing as a hobby” column was no exception to his continuous spray of spitballs for Sanford, either.
    For him to say otherwise, or even imply otherwise, is either a LIE or his failure to communicate what he meant to say and understand what his minions write.
    Pardon me, but I read just about all the drivel The State has to offer, online and in print. To be told “maybe” I “don’t read the actual paper” insults my reading comprehension.
    I’ve written enough to know what gets communicated isn’t always exactly what’s meant, and if that’s the case here, well, fine. But somebody ought to say so, rather than insult me and imply he’s doing me a favor to “offer y’all this forum” which invites disagreement.
    I’m just sick of this, “Oh, no, not OUR governor” routine. I could say the same thing if somebody threatened to nominate my representative for lieutenant governor, because I know just about ALL of my representative’s flaws.
    But what I don’t know is all the flaws of the other fellows who might be nominated to be lieutenant governor, and neither can Brad know how all the other possible nominees for vice president stack up against Sanford, for exactly the same reason.
    Sure, he knows our guy, and our guy has plenty of faults. But how can he know everybody else’s guy doesn’t have the same faults? They don’t call him and ask his opinion like Sanford once did. He doesn’t cover them, and nobody else who works at The State does either.
    The irony of this is that I don’t really want Sanford to be the GOP VP nominee either, but only because I see no way he could help McCain get elected. If McCain can’t win a red state like South Carolina without Sanford, McCain has NO chance of being elected president, the supposedly multitudinous faults of the governor the people of South Carolina elected twice notwithstanding.
    Sorry, but the idea of a South Carolina editor trying to bring a South Carolina governor down on a national stage for what seems to me the most unlikely of reasons, the one chance in 10,000 that he’ll be the vice-presidential nominee, really disgusts me.

  40. Gordon Hirsch

    weldon … Your sensibilities are your own, and your complaint with Brad is between you guys. My perspective is a bit different. I read day in and day out what a milktoast paper we have, how the “media” are a bunch of slackers, etc., and often agree with those sentiments.
    Then one day I see The State’s editorial board (not Brad alone) stand up on its hind legs, on a national stage, and punctuate its ongoing complaints about Sanford with credible certainty. I happen to agree with those complaints and believe they are worth saying – repeatedly, loudly. Just because we have heard them before doesn’t mean that others have, especially outside of SC. Stating the case against Sanford again, as his VP potential is mindlessly replayed by national media, was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
    We can only hope that Sanford took it personally and might actually try to do something with what’s left of his term.
    As for the credentials of other veep prospects, let those who know them speak up as The State has about Sanford.

  41. Gordon Hirsch

    btw weldon, your Columbia Record observations have been on the mark! The State had an uncontested franchise and the bean counters trashed it over pennies. The cost of maintaining those bureaus was peanuts — I know, because I was one and eventually managed them all.

  42. weldon VII

    Thanks, Gordon, and BTW, I hope you understand I don’t really begrudge you, or Brad, or Bud, or Lee, or Karen, or Doug, or Dave, or anyone else here their opinion. I’m just tired of the Sanford thing, even though I wish he’d done better, too.
    He once seemed so promising, so principled. But that appears in hindsight to have been grandstanding, and my research into the Highway Patrol incident hasn’t exactly boosted my opinion of the governor.
    So I’m just suffering through seeing the guy who once had a chance to be one of my heroes exposed as something else again, or at least portrayed that way. I resent it, and I still don’t want to believe it, I guess. Could be I’m blaming the messenger.
    Could be, too, I’m just sick of stuff like Susan Smith, the guy who got 428 years for what he did to the girl in the Lugoff bunker, the Confederate flag, Thomas Ravenel and this assistant agriculture guy with the starving horses being what the nation sees of our state.
    Still, I think the duty of a newspaper is to raise hell, not just placate the advertisers, so maybe I should just shut up, at least for the time being.

  43. jab

    The idea that John McCain needs a very Red Governor in order to boost his campaign just shows show how much trouble McCain is in the general election. During the primary battles, McCain failed to win any state that traditionally votes Republican in teh general election. If McCain has to waste his time trying to get the Republican states to vote for him, how is he supposed to win the crucial swing states like Virgina, Ohio & PA?
    He can’t and your Sanford idea justs proves it.
    If Sanford is foolish enough to go for the, then he deserves the bashing that he too will endure in the Fall.

  44. Bill C.

    The only thing stopping me from fully backing Sanford as a vice presidential candidate… the fact that Andre Bauer would then take over as governor of South Carolina. That’s scary enough to make me vote for Hillary.

  45. Doug Ross

    Here’s the perfect example of why Mark Sanford has no control over how things are done in the State House. This from Will Folks’ FITSNEWS blog:

    This week, it was State Rep. Nathan Ballentine – although it’s kinda hard to call it “accidental” seeing as Ballentine wrote it on his blog:
    ‘It’s inevitable the budget always passes the House pretty much the same way it came to the floor and many would argue it’s an exercise in futility to even attempt to amend the budget once it comes from Ways and Means.
    In a nutshell, if you’re not on Ways and Means – you really have little impact on shaping the budget. There. I said it.
    I guess I was naive to think people would listen to debate from the floor and vote accordingly but the overall theme is “no amendments pass” and the Republicans play defense the whole week while the Democrats are usually the ones offering amendments (on offense). ‘
    That’s exactly how it works, people. The House Ways & Means Chairman drafts the budget, gets it approved by the Speaker’s Office, and then those two politicians and their cronies spend “Budget Week” basically shoving it down people’s throats in a mock display of deliberative process.
    —-
    But, really, it’s Sanford’s fault… because… because… well, because he won’t play the games. That’s why.

  46. Gordon Hirsch

    Doug … Actually, Sanford claims he has been able to make a difference in the budget, at least according to his web site:
    http://www.scgovernor.com/about/
    “Governor Sanford’s adopted budget proposals have saved tens of millions of dollars. In 2003, South Carolina was in a $1 billion financial hole, including a $155 million unconstitutional deficit. In contrast, the 2007 budget process started in the black for the first time in 16 years.”

  47. John W.

    “He has never held a real press conference or answered a single question from a single citizen.”
    REALLY? What about the open door policy program where he allowed citizens to come in and talk with him openly. Brad – we get it – you don’t like Sanford. But honestly, nobody cares – I think the pundits in Washington are much more qualified to make a VP selection than you are just like South Carolinians are better informed to make a gubernatorial choice.
    For someone who constantly derides both parties you should support Sanford who is willing to put his ideology ahead of partisan politics. You contradict yourself again Mr. Warthen and you sound like Don Fowler whining after the Democratic Primary.

  48. HWP

    Food for thought: I wonder if Attorneys General would still want to abolish parole if they were the ones going to prison…

  49. Lee Muller

    Ask Elliot Spitzer.
    And John W, don’t you know that Governor Sanford’s Open Door Policy doesn’t count with the media, because it bypasses them.

  50. Wilson

    Sanford is all talk. Every event is spiced up to make it look like he has done something, but at the end of the day he is all talk.

  51. Terri

    Give me a break. You guys are falling back on the “open door” policy?
    Sanford has a handful of people, mostly friendly types, into his office for 5 minutes each. Big deal.
    Just try to get the man on the phone. Or to get an straight answer for a real question.
    Jees…the open door sessions…you guys are really desperate now.

  52. Lee Muller

    I have corresponded with Mr. Sanford and his staff. I don’t recall any other governor who even made such an effort.

  53. Terri

    I am so over the Libertarians…to them SanfordSpeak is all that is important. They ignore the fact that while the Libertarian is in charge taxes soar and government grows.
    SandfordSpeak is everywhere…but the GUTS required to combat the growth in spending is nowhere to be found in the Libertarian in charge. Only moaning and groaning and posturing. And the Libertarians are happy with that.
    Man, am I over the libertarians.

  54. Gordon Hirsch

    Lee … Were you comparing notes with Sanford on your Aryan Nation ideas? (sorry, couldn’t pass that one up). … But seriously, I’m headed out tomorrow to a third-world country populated by the kind of dark-skinned people you fear will overrun us in the near future, so here’s the double-jeopardy quiz question for name that nation:
    What island government requires that only landowners may leave to work abroad (or leave at all, for that matter)? The idea being that if they own land, they’ll come back — or else — the government takes their land. … No land? No go.
    Guess this is one country you won’t have to worry about too much, Lee.
    Answers when I return.

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