Where should we go? I’m thinking Mojitos

My good friend Kevin Hall — you know Kevin; he’d probably be state Republican chairman now if a health problem hadn’t arisen (he’s much better now, I’m very happy to say) — was quite pleased with the election results today.

But he was having to face a sober reality on one front: He owes me a lunch. He had bet me that Nikki Haley would win by 8 percentage points. He didn’t realize that Vincent Sheheen would get more votes, and a larger percentage of votes, than any other Democrat in South Carolina (thereby demonstrating that if this had not been 2010, he probably would have won), while only Mick Zais — running for a job that Democrats continue to contest strongly every election — got fewer votes than Nikki among statewide Republicans.

(By the way, the best source for complete numbers remains The New York Times. It shows Nikki at 51.4 percent, and Vincent at 47.1 percent.)

I’m thinking Mojitos. I love that place

By the way, if you saw me looking down at my Blackberry while on WIS live last night, I wasn’t checking election results. I was gloating over Kevin via text messages:

ME: Where you gonna take me to lunch? Remember, you said 8 percent…

KEVIN: It’s at 5 now so stay tuned. U might still be owing me. 🙂

ME: Bunch of little Dem counties still with 0 percent reporting. Her margin’s not getting bigger.

KEVIN: Patience, Brad. Let’s see…

ME: I’m thinking Mojitos, in the Vista. Nice place. Have you eaten there yet? It’s new…

KEVIN: That works. U still might be buying…

As you can see, I can be pretty obnoxious in victory. You should probably know this about me.

Now you may think if callous of me to profit from South Carolina’s misfortune. And don’t mistake me — my sorrow for the fact that voters went for more of the same yesterday, when we so badly need a break in our state, is undiminished. Yesterday was a dark day for South Carolina (on the governor front; I really don’t much care about the other races, although I’m sad to see John Spratt’s fine career of public service end thus). And eventually, I expect the majority of South Carolinians will realize that. (Only 2.9 percentage points less than a majority realized it yesterday, so we don’t have far to go. One more thing like her cavalier attitude toward paying her taxes or her picaresque work record, and bingo.)

But hey, a guy’s gotta eat. And a free lunch at Mojitos is a free lunch at Mojitos.

13 thoughts on “Where should we go? I’m thinking Mojitos

  1. Phillip

    Our friend Doug R will continue to dispute this, but there’s no way to look at Sheheen’s numbers (with a Democrat coming this close to defeating a Tea Party, Palin-approved candidate in one of the reddest of Southern states in the middle of a national GOP tidal wave) and conclude anything other than this guy ran a darn good race. I suspect Sheheen may become governor yet. I’m very proud of the huge margin he got in Richland County, or as we like to call it, the Oasis of Sanity in the Sea of Red Hysteria.

  2. Ralph Hightower

    Considering that Rasmussen predicted a win by 9 points for Haley, Rasmussen lost big time.

    Congrats on the free lunch.

    January 14, 2015 is 1533 days away. I just wish the results were different.

  3. bud

    I dunno Brad. Given all the baggage Haley carried and Sheheen still lost by 4 points it’s hard to make that case. The one thing he should have done differently is focused on one marquee issue, jobs for instance. If he had hammered away at the fact that during the Sanford years SC had gone from a state with a lower than the US average unemployment rate to one that soared to 2nd or 3rd in the nation then I think he might have caught fire, despite the conservative wave. Besides, as a Tea Partier I’m not sure Haley had that much of a party advantage. Check out Nevada, Alaska and Colorado. In those nominally red states the Democrats won or will likely win over Tea Party extremists.

    As for Richland County, it has always been a very blue county. Nothing different this time around.

  4. Phillip

    Bud, I have to disagree about Nevada and Colorado: they went for Obama in 2008, they are most definitely not red states in the way SC is. When was the last time SC went for a Democratic presidential candidate? NV and CO both went for Obama in 2008. No, SC is way redder than those. Plus Haley, though she had some baggage, was a way stronger candidate than Sharron Angle for example, in that Haley wisely stayed away from most Kulturkampf swipes at Sheheen, and did not venture too far into “let’s abolish Social Security” or “Sharia law is now in effect in various US cities” lunacy like the real TP loonies out there, Angle included.

    No, Bud, I think Sheheen’s mountain of obstacles was huge. Plus not having at least a reasonably viable Senate candidate was also significant. Not to say that this or that thing might not have helped Sheheen or that he could have done this or that better, but I think he deserves credit for the race he ran.

  5. Kathryn Braun Fenner (Mrs. Stephen A.)

    Brad–it’s kind of rude/arrogant to have your BlackBerry at hand, and be consulting it, when you are on live TV, don’t you think?

  6. Doug Rosstradamus

    Sheheen got the same percentage Jim Hodges got and two points better than Tommy Moore. WOW! That is truly a referendum on something I suppose.

    I said 53-47 three months ago. I missed by a point. Guess I should have considered that Sheheen would have expended all his resources on negative in order to convince that 1% to switch parties. He lost the same way the last three Democrats lost : he couldn’t convince a majority of voters that he was better.

    I hope Sanford still has the two pigs he brought out during his first term. Because Haley can use them now to show just how big those symbolic pigs have grown under the current legislative branch.

    Now I can only hope Harrell loses the speakers job to a true fiscal conservative.

  7. Barry

    Sheheen did very well considering the state of affairs nationally – and considering about 35% of the citizens of South Carolina would vote for Charlie Sheen if he had an “R” beside his name. (as a conservative that votes more for the candidate than the party, that sort of stinks to have to actually type that reality out in words)

    After all David Vitter (“family values” Republican) won in Louisiana and he spent most of the last 6 years in the arms of hookers in Washington,DC.

  8. Mark Stewart

    Barry has it just about right.

    The biggest crime – short of nobody showing up at the polls on election day – is that so many of both parties voted straight ticket (witness Alvin’s showing Tuesday after everyone KNEW he’s off his rocker).

    I don’t care that people vote a party line, but the best reform the state could make is to delete that first button that allows such mindlessness. One click voting is nothing but a fraud that people perpetrate upon themselves. That’s not voting; that’s exercising one’s stupidity.

    The one push, or pull, voting has hurt all kinds of good candidates from both parties over the years. It would be in all politicians’ best interests to buck the party on this.

    Win on the merits.

  9. Doug Ross


    I’d go one step further. I would not allow party affiliation to be listed with the candidate’s name. If you know who you are voting for, why would you need that?

    That would freak the incumbents and party leaders out. Imaging having to depend on an informed electorate? The horror…

  10. Phillip

    But it can never happen…deleting one-click straight party voting, because the party in power at any given time in any state will not relinquish encouraging that option. Doug, do you know of states that abolished that and if so, how did it come about? I mean, I totally agree with you, but just don’t see legislatures ever agreeing to it.

    The only way it might happen is for a real third party to win a governorship AND some seats in the legislature, so that they could pair with the minority (major) party to pass such a bill, then get their 3rd party governor to sign it.

  11. Barry

    Had lunch with a friend today (state employee).

    He admitted to me he voted straight Republican ticket. I questioned him because he’s smarter than that.

    He said he was tired of the mess but did want to vote.

    He actually admitted to me that he felt voting for Haley wasn’t good for him – or the state.

    Some folks are going to do things that make you scratch your head. He’s just a frustrated voter.


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