Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Could Sheheen have won with a better campaign?

Last night, when it was all over, I was struck by two things: How much better Vincent Sheheen’s concession speech was than any speech I heard during the campaign, and how much worse Nikki’s was.

As I said on the air last night, that “victory” speech was so… low… energy. The people in the studio laughed, saying, “It’s after midnight!” So what? I wasn’t tired (I didn’t hit the sack until about 3, and then only after a couple of beers). She shouldn’t have been, either. She should have been PUMPED! The crowd that had had the patience to wait for her (the folks in the WIS studio were puzzled she made the world wait for her so long; I told them to get used to it, because Nikki will have no more use for the people of SC going forward, as she continues to court national media) ALSO should have been pumped. But they sounded like an average group of supporters listening to an average, mid-campaign speech.

Maybe she was saving her energy to be on the Today show today. (Here we go again, folks. More of the same of what we got with Mark Sanford, Mr. FoxNews.)

As I urged people on TV last night — go to that clip I posted on the blog of her speech the day Sarah Palin endorsed her. Where was THAT enthusiasm? It’s like she had this finite supply, and it was just… enough… to carry her BARELY over the finish line in a remarkably close victory for a Republican in 2010.

As for Vincent, when he said that line about how he and his supporters “wished with all your might to take this state in a new direction,” it resonated so that I thought, “Where was THAT during the election?” Sure, he talked about not wanting more of what had under Sanford and such; he made the point — but he never said it in a way that rang out. He didn’t say it with that kind of passion.

It’s so OBVIOUS that that should have been his theme. Instead, we had the complete and utter absurdity of Nikki Haley running as a change agent. It’s so very clear that in electing Nikki Haley, the voters chose the course most likely to lead to more of the malaise that we’ve experience in recent years.

But hey, woulda coulda shoulda.

I just raise the point now to kick off a discussion: Is there something Vincent Sheheen could have done that he didn’t that would have put him over the top? Or did he come so close to winning, in the worst possible year to run as a Republican, because he ran the perfect campaign?

I mean, he came SO close. It was so evident that Nikki was the voters’ least favorite statewide Republican (yes, Mick Zais got a smaller percentage, but there were several “third party” candidates; Frank Holleman still got fewer votes than Vincent). I look at it this way: Mark Hammond sort of stands as the generic Republican. Nobody knows who he is or what he does, so he serves as a sort of laboratory specimen of what a Republican should have expected to get on Nov. 2, 2010, given the prevailing political winds. He got 62 percent of the vote.

Even Rich Eckstrom — and this is truly remarkable given his baggage, and the witheringly negative campaign that Robert Barber ran against him — got 58 percent.

So Nikki’s measly 51.4 percent, in the one race with the highest profile, is indicative to me of the degree to which voters either liked Vincent, or didn’t like her.

So the question remains: Could Vincent have won with a better campaign, or did he do as well as he did — ALMOST pulling off what would have been a miracle in this election year — because his campaign was so good?

Discuss.

55 thoughts on “Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Could Sheheen have won with a better campaign?

  1. Ralph Hightower

    Vincent was right to raise doubts about Nikki’s credibility. But he should have had ads about his plan for the state.

    Nikki just used her Tea Bagger talking points such as “Take our state back”. Also amazingly, she relied upon her experience as a small business person and accountant while dismissing her many problems.

  2. Lynn

    I’m certain Nikki waited to give her victory remarks until there was a Fox News feed/slot open.
    Or maybe she had a brief OMG monent, I won, now what do I do…the mess is now truly mine, OMG. Panic! I know I did!

    Sen. Seheen was honest to his nature, true to himself…he is low key, earnest, intelligent, and (for your basic politician) honest. He is not a Washington Dem. He believes in public service. He is not a good actor. He couldn’t fake what he is not.

    He had a good campaign team, raised money, campaigned personally and aggressively across SC. He just isn’t a Republican.

    So what is wrong with SC that a public servant isn’t good enough for us unless they carry an “R” after their name? In the imortal words of Alex Sanders, “The people have spoken, the [email protected]#$^&ds!”

  3. bud

    Brad, Here’s my take. Haley had loads of personal baggage PLUS she had Tea Party baggage. Combine that with a lethargic campaign by Sheheen which lacked that one go-to issue and we ended up with a close election but still within the margin of error for most of the recent polls. Sheheen should have produced at least one ad illustrating how high our unemployment rate is compared to the national average. And connected that with Sanford and by association Haley. I kept waiting for that but all I saw was Sheheen carrying a gun around and talking about Haley’s poor accounting skills. Both of those ads were good in and of themselves but they just didn’t give voters a reason to choose Vincent. Heck on some level the gun ad illustrates that the GOP supports the 2nd ammendment to a fanatical degree. Why choose 2nd ammendment light when you can have the real deal. And if anything that ad may have turned off the few liberals who might have come out to vote.

  4. Bob

    I wish James Smith had not deferred to his friend Mr. Sheheen. James is also a lawyer, but his ads talking about him joining the military after 9-11, and then deciding to become a line officer (rather than an adjutant like Senator Graham) and serving in Afganistan would have been more powerful than anything Mr. Sheheen could say. James Smith in 2014!

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

    Why do we give a flying duck how much energy Nikki Haley had/has? Why “should” she be pumped? We need to get away from the sports announcer/Project Runway approach (and what *was* up with that ill-fitting powder blue suit she was photographed in The State wearing)!

    Look, her policies and ability to carry them out should be what won or lost the day. Fortunately, I am comforting myself that she has virtually no hope of carrying out her plans, other than “burning” legislators who displease her.

    Vincent was the better candidate because he would have soberly led our state to better things–nothing flashy–just good old-fashioned, roll-up-your-sleeves slogging away–lots of frog-kissing to attract jobs, negotiating with the legislature….

    We need to grow up and stop expecting to be entertained, dazzled, charmed….stop looking for the quick fix. This isn’t some movie–there’s no story arc, with a nice climax and denouement.We just need to put one foot in front of the other and soldier on.

    Chop wood; carry water.

    That is all.

  6. Phillip

    Bud, this somewhat echoes my reply on another thread…but re Haley’s TP “baggage,”—she did have baggage, but they were not specifically Tea Party related (tax issues, the rumors, etc.) She got the TP “anointing” from Palin, embracing the basic political philosophy where the economy/role of government is concerned, but had the wisdom (and, one hopes, the integrity) to then stay away from any extraneous kookiness that the worst TP candidates elsewhere engaged in. For example, though she criticized Sheheen on the immigration issue, for obvious reasons she never ran the kind of racist ads that Sharron Angle did in Nevada, complete with sinister-looking dark-skinned people threatening your white children. She never uttered any O’Donnell-isms or Paladino-isms. She avoided giving Sheheen a bigger target. She too has to be credited for running a smart race.

  7. Brad

    Sorry you don’t care Kathryn, but Nikki’s moment of “triumph” last night was decidedly weird.

    Just go watch the first few seconds of her speech; note the WEIRD tone and facial expression (she even rolled her eyes) when she said “Get ex-cit-eddd…”

    I got the distinct impression of someone who had just gotten terrible news that she wasn’t inclined to share, and was trying to put a brave front on while fulfilling an upleasant social obligation.

    It was WEIRD. And weirdness matters.

    And Burl — Nikki doesn’t care about the burden of governing, any more than Sanford did. She did what she set out to do. If anything, she could have been experiencing an emotional slump because, for her, it’s all over. That was all she cared about.

    Anyone have a better explanation?

  8. Lynn T

    The SC budget next year is going to be very painful without that nasty old hated federal stimulus program. How can Haley pretend to lead South Carolina and grab lots of limelight, while still trying to avoid association with the unpopular decisions that will be inevitable? My money would be on trying to blame everything on the existing Republican legislative leadership, since Democrats don’t have enough power in the state to make a credible scapegoat. It should be interesting, in the sense of the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

  9. KP

    I think Sheheen got every last vote it was possible to get in the reddest of all red years. People have reservations about Haley. Not as many as they’re GOING to have, of course.

  10. kc

    Nikki’s probably bummed because she just figured out she won’t be able to take any more lucrative “consulting” contracts.

  11. kc

    I got the distinct impression of someone who had just gotten terrible news that she wasn’t inclined to share

    Folks is finally going to release the pictures?

    KIDDING!

  12. Brad

    Oh, yeah? What’s to stop her?

    As to KP’s comment… as long as we’re engaging in alternative history here, this convinces me more than ever that I was right to wish the campaign could have gone on another month.

    Frankly, given the results, I think Vincent would have won if the governor’s election had been postponed a single DAY. Just remove the decision from the context of a day in which you have loads of people voting a straight-party ticket, and you make the choice what it always SHOULD be — a choice between two individuals. And from what we saw yesterday, Vincent would have won that. Remove the factor of Nikki riding a Republican tidal wave that has nothing to do with her merits, and she loses.

    Which of course makes me wish more than ever that political parties would dry up and blow away. They are SUCH destructive factors in our public life…

  13. Burl Burlingame

    Maybe Nikki was low energy because she realized the easy part was over — propaganda and spin now has to give way to actual work. Work that will be under a huge magnifying glass, given her new position. And when you’re under a magnifying glass, you either grow or you’re a bug that bursts into flame.

  14. Luke

    What I find weird is the infatuation the Sheheen sheep have toward Haley. The women has people watching her every move hoping for a slip up. The guy with the biggest bead on her is named Brad Warthen. Brad it’s very clear that you hope she fails and fails miserably. For someone who preaches on the high hopes for the state of South Carolina, you sure seem to wish for bad things for Haley.

  15. Brad

    No, Luke, I don’t wish anything bad upon anyone. But I’m afraid that bad things (starting with the VERY bad thing of the situation at our State House not getting BETTER) are pretty much inevitable now.

    I think everyone, including Nikki, would have been better off if she had lost.

  16. Burl Burlingame

    What? How can it be all downhill from here? Nikki finally gets to put her ideas into practice to make SC the greatest, most productive state in the union. Maybe she was all a’twitter with excitement.

  17. Ralph Hightower

    I agree with Kathryn’s comments.

    Never in Nikki’s six years in the House did she “chop wood” or “carry water”.

    Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat in a Republican state, has demonstrated that he can “chop wood” and “carry water”.

  18. Shannon aka Scout

    Is Nikki an introvert? Could the video weirdness be a calculated effort to look excited because of being aware of the scrutiny but it just not being something that comes naturally due to having a low key personality? I don’t know. I have only ever seen her in these calculated campaign kind of situations, so I don’t know. Something about the prosody of her speech really annoys me – always has. Bush did the same thing to me. Something about it is calculated and not natural. Whatever I’m hearing in Haley’s prosody may be a result of the multicultural thing.

    About Vincent’s campaign, I have wondered why candidates in this day and age don’t do things like host live chat sessions with voters – like a virtual town hall. I think his integrity and intelligence would come through in such a setting and I think he could reach many more people that way. Also Phillip’s idea about using the short videos as commercials would have been good.

  19. jfx

    There ya go. That’s what Vincent could’ve done better. Drawn attention to her weirdness. I don’t recall him ever saying she’s weird…not even once.

    He did a fine job pointing out her inconsistencies, shortcomings, and general incompetence…but he totally neglected the most obvious thing: she’s weird. That whole Sanford cabal has turned weirdness into a black art. Her most ardent apologists will excuse it as folksiness (or Folks-iness, har), but we all know weird when we see it.

    And people don’t want to vote for the weirdo. But sometimes people need to be told what they’re seeing, in plain, blunt terms. Otherwise they see without seeing, and let weirdness slide. My hindsight advice to Vincent is that he should have stumped more aggressively deep in Haley country (Lexington, Greenville), repeatedly and explicitly belaboring that point: “She’s weird. I’m not.” To many of us, Vincent is the paragon of normalcy, sanity, reason. It seemed obvious that he was the less weird candidate. But he…and we…took that for granted. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to spell it out. Sometimes you have to march deep into Red Bank and explain to the salts of the earth that the tax-delinquent with the wild eyes, the bad dresses, and the McMaster butler ain’t quite right.

  20. Tom Fillinger

    He could have run as a Republican. There is no rational denial possible that the Democrats have a platform that is out of sync with the nation and even more so with SC. they support and promote the “slaughter of the innocents” – Abortion. Since Obama tokk office there have been no less than 30 policy initiatives promoted and passed that provide for abortion.

    Mr. sheheen seems to me a fine and credible man. If he were a Bill buckley republican he would be Governor. there is no way to refute that fact.

  21. Mark Stewart

    I am still (a day later) struck by all the comments of people who felt Sheheen ran a negative campaign and that put them off. To me, a negative campaign is a smear campaign built on twisted half-truths. That wasn’t Sheheen’s campaign. However, his did seem unfocused and without the marketeer’s clear program. He needs to tighten that up next time. Only the Ronald Reagan type message can slice through the Sinclair Lewis-like elements in this state. How anyone can reveal in the status quo is beyond me. Kathryn is dead on about that.

  22. KP

    Actually, I don’t think it would have mattered if we had had another month. South Carolina was not going to elect a Democrat this year. Not for Senate (if we’d had a candidate), not for Governor, not for Superintendent of Education — not for anything. I could not have more respect for the race Sheheen ran or the showing he made, and I hope he tries again.

    I really wonder, in fact, when we will ever elect another Democrat to statewide office. I cut my teeth in politics as a Republican (back when Republican wasn’t cool), but nothing is healthier than a two-party system.

  23. Joanne

    “Infatuation,” Luke? Mine is shock and disgust. “Hoping for a slip-up?” That’s already happened, but the R-bots didn’t care.

    Nauseating. It’s hard to have high hopes as a teacher in this state. We’ve pretty much been given the finger.

  24. Steve Gordy

    I don’t know if a “better” Sheheen campaign would’ve won, in a deep red year. I personally wish he had hammered relentlessly at the Sanford connection. That the Guvnot has any following at all is probably due to his battles with the General Assembly. Sheheen needed to pound away on how SC’s employment picture has deteriorated under Sanford’s watch and point out that Nikki promises more of the same.

  25. Barry

    I agree with Steve.

    I am not sure it would have mattered in South Carolina – especially this year.

    I think the fact that Haley won with such a narrow (relative) margin, was quite interesting.

    It’s odd because so many of my conservative friends (and I am conservative) couldn’t stomach voting for her – and were vocal about it. That was quite unusual to me – at least in my experience.

    I wonder what the educational breakdown of the voters happened to be between Haley and Sheheen. I wonder the percentage of college graduates Sheheen received compared to Haley (as one example).

  26. Barry

    @ Joanne –

    I feel sorry for teachers today in South Carolina.

    It has to be pretty humbling to look up and see Haley as governor and a guy that is going to work everyday to push private school vouchers on South Carolina (which I think would eventually end up in the SC Supreme Court and they would put an end to them after an expensive battle)

    I am also disappointed in my local community. The folks here simply don’t see to give a rip about schools, roads, things like libraries, etc (they think these things are supposed to be free apparently).

    It makes my wife and I think about sitting down with our children to discuss the possibility if maybe we should move to a different area of the state. South Carolina is a head scratcher state.

  27. Doug Ross

    Interesting. I’ve yet to see a Sheheen supporter mention what he would have accomplished as Governor. It’s all about Haley’s faults.

    That’s why he lost. To get people to vote FOR you is a lot harder I guess than trying to get them to vote AGAINST the other person.

    Sheheen made a strategic mistake to focus the majority of his message against Haley. In a red state, in a year with a very energized Republican base, it was like Steve Spurrier deciding to use his third string quarterback against Alabama.

    Sheheen ran a forgettable campaign. It should have been about jobs and education.

  28. Greg Jones

    Haley may have been sobered by the fact that she will now have a legitimate, reasonable paycheck (something apparently her family has needed at times), but that she will have to work harder at it than anything she’s ever done in her life.
    I’d really like to hear some discussion on Richland’s failed penny sales tax. I led opposition to a school bond referendum in my county a few years ago, and was astonished how ludicrously simple it was to defeat it, merits notwithstanding.

  29. Doug Ross

    @Joanne

    You’ve had a Democrat in the office of Supt. of Education for 12 years. Maybe you should be asking what they did for the teachers. Jim Rex couldn’t even win the primary even with the highest name recognition of any candidate. That should tell you something.

    I’ll be waiting to see all the nasty things Haley does to education. Please keep track of what she specifically does to impact education in this state.
    The governor has no power to do anything but it’s nice to have an easy target to blame.

  30. Lynn

    Elections have consequences. Now all South Carolinians get to live with the consequences. Monday morning quarterbacking time is over, now it is time to move on. Any one interested in buying a bottle or two of Curry BBQ Sauce. It’ll help you join the movement. Guaranteed!

  31. Earl Capps

    Brad, I posed the same question back in September (http://earlcapps.blogspot.com/2010/09/time-running-out-on-sheheen.html). There’s a lot they could have done, but didn’t.

    Sheheen’s people can’t put the blame on the red tide. Theodore got 49.something percent on Beasley back in 1994, which was another strong year.

    Haley and Beasley share the rare distinction of being the only two winning GOP gubernatorial candidates to lose Charleston County, a hotbed of center-right maverick voting behaviors, in their first bids. The weaknesses that cost Beasley Charleston County cost him the entire coast, and the governorship, four years later.

    Could this be an omen for 2014?

  32. Doug Ross

    @Barry

    I only have two problems with Richland County as a resident:

    1) The developers were given free reign to build multi-thousand home developments without ever once considering the impact on infrastructure. Had the county been proactive and conservative with growth, we wouldn’t need to even consider a penny tax to fix the roads. What we have now is a result of the greed of developers combined with the greed of the Richland County politicians who loved the idea of a huge increase in the tax base.

    2) The school system has focused more on frills than basic education. We now have two high school football stadiums that would be the envy of many colleges. Blythewood’s practice football field is better than many of the regular fields of the teams it plays.

    All that money could have been spent on items of much higher priority.

    We have a great library system, plenty of parks, relatively good schools (but trending downward due to the increased enrollment – there is only a finite supply of good teachers).

    Any problems in the county are self-inflicted wounds from a country council and school board with no sense of fiscal stewardship.

  33. Juan Caruso

    Vincent will now involuntarily give voters 4 years to confirm whether he is exactly what the Foundation for Governmental Excellence and Nikki said he was (another liberal lawyer), or what he tried to convince Republicans and independents he was (a conservative Democrat).

    The truth will emerge for both candidates during the next 4 years.

    The mysterious Sheheen will have plenty of his own baggage by 2014, including his vote for Alvin Greene.

  34. Mark Stewart

    Doug,

    How can you keep harping on your notion that Sheheen has never articulated what he would do as Governor, and then flip and poo-poo the office as powerless and irrelevant?

    You can’t really think that Haley is going to right-size government to your satisfaction and cut your taxes (and all your perceived government waste – but just the waste), can you, given your opinion that the office is a powerless figurehead?

    Which is it?

    More of interest to me is that Vincent Sheheen is dedicated to institutional political reform. That’s not a red/blue issue. That’s positive, progressive realpolitik. That’s what we need in South Carolina. Not a bunch of pointless party sloganeering and short-sighted, unaccountable legislative branch manipulation.

    You are right about the legislature as a body – the citizens of this state should be very concerned about the structure of the place and its terrible effects on the state’s ability to grow. That’s what makes Harrell, McConnell and the others such a danger to progress – not them as people or legislators, but as enforcer’s of a shadowy, self-serving quagmire.

  35. Doug Ross

    @Mark

    Haley + Tom Davis + Tim Scott + others hopefully will be able to overthrow Harell + Leatherman + Cooper + Knotts + etc..

    As for harping on Sheheen’s lack of ideas, I only need to point you to his website. Haley’s at least had specifics on what she would try to do. Sheheen’s was weak and non-specific. “Let teacher’s teach”. “Work together”

    Actually, if Haley was smart (jury still out there), she would go to Sheheen and say “Let’s work together to pass that bill of yours for restructuring government”. She should have made that request during her victory speech. That would have been a very interesting tactic to see just how interested Sheheen is in the state versus his own political ambitions.

  36. OneWhoCares

    Whine. Whine. whine.

    You people just can’t accept it, can you. The lady is so far ahead of the “good ole boys”, and it warms the soul.

    The State paper says her speech was great — you couldn’t stand it.

    You liberal b……ds make me sick.

  37. Abba

    @Doug Ross

    You say, “You’ve had a Democrat in the office of Supt. of Education for 12 years. Maybe you should be asking what they did for the teachers.” If you are concerned about the teachers, you should be directing your criticism to the General Assembly, first and foremost, as well as to the Governor who signs their legislation. They are the ones who (via legislation) impose mandatory minimum salary schedules for certified staff (including teachers) and then tell local school districts that those salaries must be maintained at least at the levels of the previous year. They are the ones who (via legislation) impose mandates on local school districts to teach certain subjects, maintain certain positions, do X, Y and Z, but then provide little to no funding for the districts to accomplish those mandates. They are the ones who (via Act 388) took away local property taxes that used to fund those things and replaced them with less funding from the State that remains uncertain.

    The State Superintendent and the State Department of Education are charged with implementing and overseeing the administration of these educational mandates and of the funding, much of which is distributed in dribs and drabs through individual grants from the State and the federal government and must be accounted for to the penny. The State Superintendent and the State Department of Education serve also as the conduits of information between the schools, on the one hand, and the General Assembly and the Governor, on the other, regarding educational and funding issues. Jim Rex spoke clearly to our elected officials about what was needed in our schools to accomplish the mission they were given. It is up to our elected officials in the State House and the Governor’s Mansion to listen and respond appropriately. From where I sit, it looks like any blame for shortcomings should lie with the those who run the General Assembly and the Governor, who control the funding and who issue mandates so cavalierly.

    Incidentally, any funds raised through the sale of bonds for capital improvements in school districts MUST be used for capital improvements. They cannot be diverted to other uses, such as to pay teacher salaries. It is the same for grant money.

  38. Brad

    What liberals you talkin’ ’bout, boy? Or girl. “OneWhoCares” sounds kind of gender-neutral, like “Leslie,” or “Chris.”

    It also sounds, well, like one a them bleeding-heart liberals. But what’s in a name?

    And what was that other word? Buds? Boards? Broads? Birds? Bustards?

  39. Mark Stewart

    We get graded on our website now? I thought those were just window dressings and contact/fund-raising portals. I look to a candidate’s words and deeds – and I know you do to, Doug.

    And I think I was just called a liberal something or ‘nother by somebody else. That would be a new thing. Guess “OneWhoCares” is one of those who hears progressive and vomits liberal. Progressive is the opposite of hide-bound.

    Even the mules have been put out to pasture for at least forty years and yet this state’s government continues to operate and be structured as if it is still the 19th century. That’s not conservative, that’s ridiculous. And Nikki Haley saying she’s going to change it all up is about like Barrack Obama’s change message – you know the one where the Tea Partiers always rhetorically ask “so how’s that working out”?

  40. Jim Duffy

    Wow, the grapes are quite sour at this site. What is so distinguished about Sheehan? He is just one more attorney running for office. He is a “good ole boy” based on the family history in politics in South Carolina. The reality is that Governors are nearly nothing in the State regardless of who they are. The Legislature, through the SC Constitution rule all and Governors only can accomplish what the Legislators permit. The record of that body and their lack of control in various areas, think unemployment management, child services, worker’s compensation, is an indication of their approach to sound management.The failure of the education system in the state is plain. Part of this is due to the teacher’s union, and regardless of the name of the organization, that is what it is. When it is so difficult to discharge incompetent teachers and state employees the problem is built in and rewards mediocrity. The failure to budget within available revenue is made clear many years when cutbacks and layoffs must be made the middle of the following year. A very few Governors have been outstanding, Byrnes, Edwards, Campbell among them. With only eight or nine powers granted by the Constitution, and they are minor ones, to the Governor it is remarkable that conditions are not worse. We operate in the past and get what is deserved from our Governors.

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

    Look–she has kids. She’s probably not a late-night person–she might have just hit the wall energy-wise. It happens.

    Now,I have the same problem with getting wiped out and kind of loopy, but then I’m not going to be governor….so maybe Brad has a point.

    but: why do we need big picture answers, Doug? Maybe we need someone who just does the work without getting all doctrinal about it.

  42. Phillip

    Brad, I think OneWhoCares meant “you liberal b…astions of social justice and human decency and defenders against doers of evil dee…ds.”

  43. Brad

    Well, now that sounds fine, except for the “liberal” part — unless it was meant in the international political science sense, as in “believers in liberal democracy.”

    Y’all know me; I’m all for getting’ after evildoers…

  44. Abba

    @Jim Duffy –

    There is no teachers union in South Carolina. However, the General Assembly and the Governor enacted a law prescribing how teachers can be terminated. So again, if you have a problem with that, or really with most matters having to do with the school system, you have to look to the General Assembly and the Governor to correct it. They control way more than you think.

  45. Joanne

    @ Doug, education is a pinata that any party can take a swing at.

    I’ve been hit in the pocketbook so many times lately I think I’ve been mugged.

    I used to think teaching was a white-collar career. Now I truly believe it’s a blue-collar job.

    I still love the kids, but the morale is so low it’s hard to stay positive.

    Abba is correct. There are so many dynamics involved I’m tired of trying to keep score.

  46. KP

    Yeah, you go Abba. South Carolina’s schools are the creation of the General Assembly.

    But we now have a Republican in charge! I expect our graduation rates and test scores to go way up within the next four years, or I expect people to criticize Zais in the same way they did Rex.

  47. Barry

    @ Doug – I live in Kershaw County. I should have made that clear above. We also had a 1% sales tax on the ballot. It failed by about 1500-2000 votes.

    I voted for it because I want a new library for Elgin. It would have also helped add lights to our rec fields and bathrooms, as well as infrastructre improvements for business development and some other water projects. The tax would last 8 years and expire per state law. It would have cost approx $5.00 per month for the typical family that chooses to buy anything in Kershaw County.

    I’m willing to pay more in any number of taxes for it. But that wasn’t on the ballot. The 1% sales tax increase was on the ballot.

  48. Barry

    I expect Haley to come out blazing. The first few months should be interesting.

    I expect her to work with the General Assembly on several pet type issues to make it appear she is following through with her promise to work better.

    But don’t forget -she also said she’d “burn” legislators if they didn’t do the right thing. They won’t forget that.

    and she’ll be reminded of it a lot- but they’ll let her coast a few months.

  49. Nick Nielsen

    @ Abba, I’ve read the Constitution of the State of South Carolina. The people actually running this state have been dead for a century.

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

    @KP–They won’t criticize Zais like they did Rex, because they won’t be satisfied until there are no more public schools, and since Zais won’t be allowed to do it his way, it’s still the Demz’ fault.

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