In the end, SC Republicans vote for the ‘boss’

Thought I should share with you this story by my friend and former colleague Aaron Sheinin, writing in the Atlanta paper. I think this is officially the umpteenth story about South Carolina to put “down and dirty” in the headline.

Here’s the good part:

Brad Warthen, who spent 22 years writing and editing political news at The State newspaper in Columbia, said South Carolina voters are typically “boring” when it comes to presidential contests.

“Even though we are the state that seceded first and would do it again and all that kind of stuff, there is this anti-establishment, anti-government, hyperindividualism thing, but when it comes right down to it, we kind of vote for the ‘boss,’” said Warthen, now a public relations executive who still writes about politics on his personal blog.

The 2012 cycle seemed different, though, until about mid-December, Warthen said. Perry leaped to the top of the polls after joining the race in August. Then it was Georgia’s Herman Cain who enjoyed front-runner status while Gingrich held that role from late November through mid-December.

“Finally, it’s like, ‘Oh, well, we know we’re going to nominate Romney, let’s just get on with it,’” Warthen said…

After I gave that “boss” quote to Aaron, I told him I had been about to say, “in the end we kind of vote for the massa,” playing a bit on our history. But I had decided against it, partly because people might have found the reference confusing. He said he thought that was a good call.

(Here’s what I was thinking when I thought of “massa.” I was thinking of all the poor whites who got suckered into fighting the Civil War by the massas back then. Nowadays, while those same whites’ descendants love to get excited about fringe candidates, particularly the ones who appeal to their sense of personal freedom — which was the same thing the slaveowners played on in 1860 — in the end they go with the candidate who looks most like the master of the plantation. See? People wouldn’t have gotten all that. They would have thought I was saying something about black voters, and gone, “Huh?”)

11 thoughts on “In the end, SC Republicans vote for the ‘boss’

  1. Steven Davis

    I stopped reading once she got into all you’re failed humor at civil war blaming speak. Give it a break.

  2. Steven Davis


    You would be much more productive if you were here trying to put things like an Edit and/or Ignore feature in your blog than hanging out in Key West with a bunch of politicians who are doing little more than wasting taxpayer money.

  3. Doug Ross

    Yeah, The State’s endorsements over the years were the epitome of anti-establishment angst.

    You couldn’t even bring yourself to endorse Emil DeFelice over (insert unknown career bureaucrat) here.

  4. Steve Gordy

    Steven, it’s Friday and Delta is ready when you are. But it’s kind of expensive this time of year.

  5. Mark Stewart


    Your comparison here is surreal. Emil? The sausage king of Devine Street? I’m confused at best.

    I get that way.

    However, I think this has more to do with the fact that none of the GOP challengers actually challenges the now status quo (Obama). That makes it hard on many South Carolinians. What to do?

  6. doug ross


    Emil ran fir secretary of agriculture against someone who was more “traditional”. Brad tried with all his might to think out of the box but just couldn’t pull the trigger on endorsing Emil. That was the only time I recall him giving a non-establishment candidate a chance. Which is why I struggle with understanding how he can be against the system but for traditional politicians. Things won’t change by doing that.

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