Count your blessings, SC: Andre won’t be our governor

Amid all the hoo-hah over Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett and Vincent Sheheen, and Converse Chellis losing his job and all that down-ballot stuff, it’s easy to forget to be thankful for something:

Andre Bauer is not going to be our governor.

You’re going to scoff, now, and say “How absurd; he was never going to be our governor!” And I say, how soon we forget.

Remember that last year, when we were all suffering Sanford fatigue and thinking how great it would be not to have to look at his long, morose face any more, mooning over his soulmate, we’d get to the point of talking about getting rid of him, and somebody would always say, “Hold on! No way! Then we’d be stuck with Andre.”

Now I thought that was wrongheaded. I thought the very best way to make sure that Andre would NOT be elected governor would be to make him our interim governor. I felt certain that the best way to inoculate ourselves against him was with a big dose of scrutiny. And to make him governor at a time when that office was under unprecedented close attention would guarantee he’d have no chance at the ballot box.

As things worked out, he got enough scrutiny for voters to say “No way.” But if he had been serving as governor, there would have been so much more. There would have been another “free-lunch school kids are like stray animals” moment practically every day.

To me, the secret to Andre’s success was that he had to do something extremely outrageous — such as driving over 100 miles per hour in his state car and evading a ticket by reminding the trooper who he was, or alarming a city cop so much by his wild behavior in broad daylight on Assembly Street to cause the cop to draw his weapon, or crashing an airplane — to draw attention. As governor, we’d be watching him more, and seeing more.

The reason knowledgeable folks were having these debates — would letting him be interim governor give him a better chance or worse chance? — was that we all knew something about Andre: No matter how dim you think his chances are, he always wins elections. He seemed like a weak House candidate — but he won. He seemed like he’d never make the senate — but he did. When he sought statewide office, no one worried — but he became lieutenant governor. And from the moment that happened, everybody knew what he would try for next. The “hardest-working man in SC politics,” as both friends and detractors styled him, would never quit before he had won the top job. This is the guy who came in second in the primary in 2002, but won the runoff. Then, the same thing happened in 2006, which we all thought meant the voters had enough of him — but he won the runoff AGAIN. You just could not count him out.

The idea he would become our governor, in keeping with this maddening illogic of inevitability, has been a worry nagging at the back of my mind for the past eight years. But now, none of us has to worry about that any more.

So thanks for that, Nikki Haley. And Jake Knotts. And Larry Marchant. And Chip Saltsman (remember? the “Barack the Magic Negro” guy). And all the unsung heroes who have played a role in making sure that we wouldn’t be saying “Governor Bauer” a year from now.

Now — once Nikki has dispensed with Gresham Barrett — we just have to ask ourselves one question: With Andre out of the way, which candidate — Nikki Haley or Vincent Sheheen — would be more likely to get us on “The Daily Show” the most? And then, we most vote for the other candidate.

9 thoughts on “Count your blessings, SC: Andre won’t be our governor

  1. Brad

    Now I have to brace myself for the feedback from all of Andre’s fans, who have always thought the only problem with Andre is that we smart-aleck scribes are so mean to him.

    Even some detractors will get on me for kicking a man while he’s down.

    But they will be missing the point. I felt like someone needed to take note of the fact that not long ago, we were worried about him becoming governor, and with good reason. And now that’s not a worry any more.

    Oh, and lest someone misunderstand: I don’t dislike Andre. He’s a friendly, earnest guy. I even respect how hard he’s worked, and even grown in office. But like him or not, I just really, REALLY didn’t want him to be governor of South Carolina. And his recent “children as stray animals” comment, which you’ll notice he never really backed away from, is an excellent example of why I feel that way.

  2. Susan

    What about Alvin Greene, who beat Vic Rawls? Have you heard anything about him? I think he might get us back on The Daily Show — he’s gotten us on the political blogs, that’s for sure! An unknown who has a pending felony charge for showing Internet porn to a USC student — really, we couldn’t make this stuff up any better.

  3. Michael P.

    Just curious, did Andre’ laugh when you lost your job?

    I wouldn’t have voted for Andre’ if he was the only person on the ballot. And I thought it was kind of comical that he was boo-hooing on the news last night, as if he had a chance. Maybe he’ll grow up now that someone finally told him, “no”.

  4. bud

    I’m certainly not an Andre fan but really Brad. This coming from the man who endorsed George W. Bush twice and the ticket with Sarah Palin on it??? You could use a bit more humility sometimes. Frankly four years of Andre would be a thousand times better than the catastrope of George W. Bush.

  5. Maude Lebowski

    If Andre needs a job he could always work for the Humane Society in their Trap, Neuter, and Release program for feral cats.

  6. Brad

    Yeah, I just posted something about ol’ Alvin separately. Thanks, Susan. I fail to watch the Web for a couple of hours, and see what happens?

    Michael, I’m not laughing at Andre. Not a bit. I’m dead serious. I’m very thankful he’s out of the running.

    And Bud — say WHAT? I’m missing the connection here. Unless you’re inspired by the only connection I see — which is that George H.W. Bush endorsed one of Andre’s primary opponents, one of the two who came in ahead of him initially but then lost in the runoff.

    I’m serious, folks — until yesterday (or until recent events leading up to yesterday) — Gov. Andre Bauer was a definite possibility.

    And I just thought someone should note that, because we’ve been subjected to so much trash lately that you may have forgotten…

    I don’t want to make Andre feel bad. And I hate to think of him reading this, and it making it awkward next time I see him (although I doubt he’ll take a slug at me the way Michael might imagine). I was just taking note of something I hadn’t heard anyone mention yet.

  7. Matt

    As much as I hate the notion of voting for a candidate because you like their skin color, or religion, or gender, etc. or even because you want to alleviate some sort of self-guilt by helping a candidate break some sort of barrier–I still think that the election of Nikki Haley as governor of South Carolina will be an event that gets our state into the news for all the right reasons, and not for Daily Show jokes. This will be a major story line as this campaign unfolds.

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