Governor working his (national) constituency

From time to time I mention the constituencies that our governor cultivates with a success that stands in sharp contrast to his inability (and/or unwillingness) to get anything done working with elected officials of his own party here in South Carolina. So you regular readers know what starry-eyed fans he has among the Club for Growth and the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.

Between them, those two did all they could to construct an alternative universe in which Mark Sanford was seen as a viable second banana on the national ticket this year.Cato

But I have been remiss in failing to note that there’s another group out there that is a natural part of the constituency that our governor continues to cultivate: The Cato Institute, of course.

Guess where that libertarian think tank held its annual retreat? And guess who spoke to them, and got his picture featured as the dominant art on the organization’s most recent slick newsletter? You guessed it! Y’all are so smart!

Oh, as long as I’m keeping y’all up with the governor’s doings on the national front — and you’ll notice that he seems to be devoting a lot of energy to heading the Republican Governor’s Association, and writing for the WSJ, and speaking to Cato, and generally keeping his name out there (and quick, name three things he’s done for SC in the past month, or even ONE thing other than complaining about Mack Whittle, while he’s been doing all this national stuff) — I should give you a link to his latest op-ed piece in the WSJ, saying he does NOT want the federal gummint sending any bailout-style aid to SC.

You say I already TOLD you about that? No, this is ANOTHER piece in the same paper, saying the same thing. The only difference is that this time, he got another governor to sign it.

So that makes two brave boys standing on the burning deck…

Actually, though, I think maybe Gov. Perry deserves the top billing he got on this one. It’s a little better written, the cliches not nearly as shopworn as those in the piece the gov penned all by his lonesome. It’s also different in that it doesn’t engage in naked self-aggrandizement to the extent that the first one did. See if you agree.

21 thoughts on “Governor working his (national) constituency

  1. Brad Warthen

    Well now, here’s an interesting tidbit.

    No wonder that op-ed piece reads so differently from something Mark Sanford would write by himself. In looking for a link about Gov. Rick Perry of Texas above, I ran across this from his official Web site. It’s on his official bio page, so this is something he really, really wants folks to know about him:

    Governor Perry’s administration has focused on creating a Texas of
    unlimited opportunity and prosperity by improving education, securing
    the border and increasing economic development through classical
    conservative values. Under Governor Perry’s leadership, lawmakers
    recently passed a $153 billion budget, financing:

    • a $3 billion cancer research fund
    • a health opportunity pool that will help more Texans buy private health insurance
    • more college financial aid
    • a new incentive program for colleges and junior colleges
    • $100 million to border security

    Additionally, Governor Perry signed a school finance reform package
    that provides a 33 percent school property tax reduction, $2,000 pay
    raise for teachers, record funding for classrooms and a reformed
    business tax.

    Can you imagine, in your wildest dreams, Mark Sanford boasting about some of those things — a $3 billion cancer research fund? A pay raise for teachers? Record funding for classrooms? I can’t.

    The closest he’s come on the cancer fund is that he DID recently get into a little spitting match over spending with the president of the public medical university where OUR major cancer center is located. So that’s something, I guess.

  2. Hairy S Truman

    Sanford is a big-time whacko presiding over a failed record in a failed state. His stance on the auto bailout is unpatriotic and un-American. He is puzzled as to why we should help Americans in America.

  3. Doug Ross

    Your Sanford-envy knows no bounds.
    Anyone familiar with Texas politics would tell you that the Governor of Texas has even less power than the Governor of South Carolina. According to several sources, it is described as “the mostly ceremonial head of the executive branch of Texas’s government”.
    So just like George Bush, Rick Perry takes credit for things he didn’t do.
    I’m sure if Mark Sanford proposed a 33% property tax cut, you’d be first in line to engage in your own personal spitting match.
    Every post you make denigrating Sanford makes your pontificating about supposed Bush haters more laughable and more hypocritical. We get it. You don’t like Sanford because he doesn’t buy into your “all government, all the time” manifesto. Unfortunately, your slings and arrows bounce harmlessly to the earth. You do understand that he can’t run again, right?

  4. Doug Ross

    And maybe you ought to take a look over on Fitsnews to see what’s going on at the State House. What Bobby Harrell is doing to run his little kingdom would normally get the attention of a real editorial board instead of throwing spitballs at Sanford.
    Or do you know that attacking Sanford will help you with Mr. Harell?? Hmmmm…

  5. p.m.

    So, Brad, since you were so involved spitting at Sanford you didn’t bother to say, please tell us: Do you agree with the Perry-Sanford piece, or is what it said not important, just who wrote it?
    Why don’t you call the WSJ and the NYT and let them know you pore over their op slop every day? Maybe they’ll let you write an obit for them sometime.
    Between your senseless obsession with Sanford, the money you want South Carolina to waste on fighting smoking and your insane promotion of a $2/gallon gasoline tax, you’ve quashed whatever dash of credibility you might once have had.
    Being a McCain backer who champions Obama now doesn’t exactly smell quite right, either.
    But, in the shadow of Williams-Brice, where finishing second for want of effort never goes out of style, where winning matters less than commiserating, where credibility couldn’t possibly matter much, congratulations on having found a place that suits your style.
    Should you tire of patting yourself on the back and foolishly praying government onto our our backs and into our faces, here’s hoping you can quit cold turkey.
    I’m way past sick of your socialist shenanigans.

  6. jfx

    Is Mark Sanford an idiot? He’s obviously looking out for #1, promoting himself tirelessly in an effort to springboard from SC Governor to….something else. He’s left US, the South Carolinians, far behind.
    But I don’t understand his actual aim. Is he trying to win the love of an increasingly marginalized arch-conservative right wing, or an even more marginalized libertarian anti-everything survivalist faction?
    If his aim is higher office….as in President….he’s already crashing and burning something awful. As a Governor of record, he’s so easily eclipsed by Pawlenty, Jindal, Perry, and even Palin, that his disturbing lack of depth and nuance affords little for prominent viability in rote political terms.
    I can only conclude that he has, in a moment of surprisingly cogent self-awareness, recognized his own irrelevance as regards actual front-line national politicking, as has instead opted for the lifetime cushy-post opportunities afforded by such insulated entities as Cato and perhaps the Heritage Foundation. These are glorified country clubs, and Sanford will fit right in. I wonder if he and Bob Barr are tight. Perhaps Bob gave him the hot tip on how the libertarians are such pushovers, and how easy it is to live well and be a Big Dawg amongst such gullible loons.

  7. Rich

    Our dear governor reminds me so much of Elmer Fudd. As our fearless leader, he has been almost invisible at the helm for the last eight years–a fitting state-level complement to Republican fecklessness at the national level.
    Although I agree with Sanford about the bailouts, it’s not for the same reasons. Sanford’s program is essentially that of the Hoover presidency of 1929-1933. As the State newspaper reported today, our fiscal difficulties are due in part to our recently reformed taxing regime in this state. While it is commendable not to tax groceries, we could use higher taxes on gas, cigarettes, vehicle purchases, and more reasonable property taxes to fund schools to the extent desired at the local level.
    But I am sure that Sanford’s approach to the budget difficulty would be to turn the clock back to ever more minimal government while our schools and social service agencies suffer, our workforce remains under-educated, and our prisons stuffed with the second highest rate of incarceration in the world after the Russian Federation.

  8. martin

    He’s just looking for the next job where he can get paid the most amount of money for the least amount of work with absolutely no accountability.
    I honestly don’t see how so many people are so impressed with what he says when he accomplishes nothing. Is that the definition of ideologue?

  9. Lee Muller

    Brad, bud, martin, Rich, jfx all sputter baseless personal insults at Governor Sanford, but they avoid confronting the ideas he has expressed in the WSJ opinion piece.
    For a contrast, you should look at the interview and discussion with Mark Sanford this morning on MSNBC, by knowledgeable financial reporters. They might not have agreed with him 100%, but they asked intelligent questions, and they had a polite and thoughtful give-and-take.
    All Mark Sanford is doing is stating economic reality, the truth of how markets work, and why many of the so-called “bailout” and “stimulus” proposals will not succeed. All they will do is enrich some handlers at the top of each sector, who happen to have political connections.

  10. bud

    Between them, those two did all they could to construct an alternative universe in which Mark Sanford was seen as a viable second banana on the national ticket this year.
    This from a man who endorsed Sarah Palin for VP. Unbelievable.

  11. Bill C.

    I didn’t bother reading Brad’s article… let me guess,he slams Governor Sanford. Brad is nothing but a hack reporter who is stuck in a rut with his hatred toward the SC governor and can not and will not attempt to get out of this rut.
    The best thing readers can do is complain (which will do absolutely nothing) and cancel their newspaper subscriptions… you can still read the little that is worth reading online, and it doesn’t cost you anything and The State doesn’t make a dime off of you.

  12. Birchibald T. Barlow

    Mr. Warthen,
    Now you’re just being petty.
    It’s one thing to take issue with the poor job the Governor has done in office, but this is just pettiness.
    Attacking Sanford’s writing ability – what a waste of time. Who cares? I’m sure there are those who write better than me out there — those who write better than you. Does that discredit my viewpoint or yours? But forget it, let’s just point out the fact that Sanford doesn’t meet your standards as a writer and ignore the topic of the governors’ article.
    Also, what does adding the adjective “slick” to the description of that organization’s newsletter add to this post? Frankly, I, especially after reading your blog for a few months, take it simply that you are going to continue to take a closed-minded approach towards people who fundamentally disagree with you.
    Also, your comment about Sanford’s “naked self-aggrandizement” just goes to show that we attack those politicians we don’t like for being politicians but give the ones we do like a pass. Self-aggrandizement is what the leaders of this country specialize in.

  13. Tyler

    You should be so lucky to have Sanford. Right now the only political future the GOP ‘should’ pursue is Sanford or Gary Johnson of NM. Every other pillar within GOP has proven politically, economically, and morally incompetent.

  14. Brad Warthen

    What you meant to say is, “I’m sure there are those who write better than I out there,” not “better than ME.”
    Sorry. A little editor humor there.
    Hey, y’all think I talk trash about the gov. That’s nothing to what bud talks about ME. He keeps claiming that I endorsed Sarah Palin, an assertion that has no basis in fact whatsoever.
    To remind bud and the rest of you — if you’ll recall, I took grief from detractors for not mentioning Sarah Palin in any way in our endorsement of John McCain. She simply wasn’t a factor. If she HAD been a factor, she would have been a negative one, which of course is why y’all wanted me to mention her. It’s like, if I had been endorsing Obama, I wouldn’t have mentioned Jeremiah Wright, or Bill What’s-his-name, or his position on judicial selection. Endorsements don’t allow enough room for the GOOD stuff about candidates we like; why clutter them up with reasons NOT to endorse them (we save that for our “lesser of two evils” endorsements, like the presidential endorsement in 2004).
    So find something else to fling at me. There’s plenty of ammunition, based in my actual sins. You don’t have to make up any.

  15. Birchibald T. Barlow

    I is not a good righter.
    And bud is the only one I’ve seen pushing the Sarah Palin thing. Most everyone else realizes she was not important to your decision. The VP only has as much power as the President will allow (except for a rare vote now and then). And I doubt a heavyweight like John McCain would have been influenced much at all by any of Sarah Palin’s squacking.

  16. Dino

    Some observations are in order:
    Neither Sandford, nor Perry attended law school – a bonus for competent Republicans with excellent communication skills, and in sharp contrast to Nixon and Ford, as well as the Bushs.
    Elected non-lawyer Democrats are relatively scant, and notably include the severly problemmatic administrations of Johnson and Carter.
    In recent South Carolina history, however, we are experiencing the rare (or possibly the only) instance of non-lawyers as state governor and one U.S. senator simultaneously.
    Lawyers, including some readers critical of Gov. Sandford are besides themselves over such competition.
    Super, whine on as much as you like!

  17. Bill C.

    I think Brad has a man-crush on the governor and the governor is ignoring him. How else can you explain the negative obsession Brad has with Sanford. If he can’t have him, nobody can.

  18. p.m.

    But, Brad, a blogger talking trash about an editorial page editor isn’t equivalent to an editorial page editor talking trash about the governor.
    John Q. Public bitching out the blogmeister is one thing. The State’s opinion maestro aiming punches below the governor’s belt is something else altogether.
    No professional restraint is required of bud, but you…
    Well, it should go without saying.

  19. John

    Brad has had to many luncheons with the boys from the Statehouse. He is a hostage to the Cap City Club crowd. He doesn’t care about our wallets; he cares about his cronies.

  20. Lee Muller

    Brad seems sore that Mark Sanford has a national constituency, while he doesn’t have one outside a few coffee houses in Coble Village.

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