Sorry not to have blogged in the last few days; I worked all weekend on a consulting project, and I’m still finishing it. But as I waited for someone to send me back something related to that, I checked my e-mail, and found this at the top:
June 30, 2009
News Release – For Immediate Release
Today, Democratic candidate for Governor Mullins McLeod made the following statement regarding the latest developments in the deepening Governor Mark Sanford scandal.
“Let’s not forget that the most important crisis we have right now remains our 12% jobless rate. The sad and disturbing Mark Sanford crisis is another order entirely. Our politicians in Columbia are busy tearing themselves apart with this scandal, focusing on their own political ambitions, while too many South Carolinians are losing their jobs. The hard working families of this state deserve better than this circus.”
Nothing particularly wrong about this release, except that it tries yet again to strike that “I’m the guy who cares about what the Real People care about” tone, and again fails to connect. I don’t know; maybe y’all think its fine. But it strikes me that of the three at-bats I’ve noticed Mullins having in this ball game, he’s yet to get a hit.
If you’re only going to put out a press release every once in a while, it seems like you’d wait until you have something clear and useful to say. But his statements so far seem to be, I don’t know, muddy. If he were putting out several a day, this one wouldn’t strike me as odd, but when I get this after a silence of days or weeks, and it’s so blah, I wonder why he bothered.
For instance, when he says, “The sad and disturbing Mark Sanford crisis is another order entirely,” what does he mean? Does it mean it’s worth talking about whether Mark Sanford should continue to serve as governor or not? He seems to suggest not, but he’s not clear. Note that he sent this out about an hour or so after AP reported that the governor got together with his girlfriend five times in the past year, not three, and that he’s “crossed lines” with other women, but not gone, you know, all the way. So is Mullins reacting to that, and saying we shouldn’t be talking any more about such salacious stuff? Or was he unaware of those developments, and just saying we shouldn’t talk about Sanford at all? Or what? “Another order entirely” doesn’t tell me anything.
He also seems to be suggesting (but nothing clearer than suggesting) we should be talking about unemployment instead of Mark Sanford. Which, come to think of it, is the same message Andre Bauer’s putting out — saying that if the governor quits and he takes his place, he’ll focus on “jobs, jobs and jobs.”
Andre went on to say other things that sound oddly like what Mullins is saying:
“My thought is that we’ve got to take politics out of it. We have got to move it forward as a state. Somebody’s got to show some leadership…”
Maybe Mullins has a different position from Andre’s, but I can’t tell. I can’t even tell if he means to hold Gov. Sanford responsible for the high unemployment, which would explain why he juxtaposes the two concepts. But he doesn’t say.
Like I say, there’s nothing really wrong with this release, but there’s nothing right about it either. And I’ve pretty much gotten that same impression from this campaign’s previous efforts. His releases seem to be generic, boilerplate, stuff politicians (whether they’re Andre or Mullins or whoever) say all the time. They don’t say ANYthing about why we should be interested in Mullins McLeod and what he has to say specifically. And this strikes me as odd.
The Republican version of McLeod seems to be Gresham Barrett, who after weeks of trying to get an interview with him really didn’t have any reasons to offer why he, in particular, was running.
Here’s hoping Mullins has more to say next time he makes an announcement. And that we start hearing more worth hearing from all the candidates. We need some substance here, people.