SC upside-down: Haley for Rubio, McMaster for Trump

Haley back in 2010, with Sarah Palin

Haley back in 2010, with Sarah Palin. She’s definitely grown in office.

Nikki Haley got off the fence today and backed Marco Rubio (and not poor ol’ Jeb!) in Saturday’s primary, which goes to show how weird and volatile the Republican Party is in South Carolina these days.

Let’s step back a bit…

In 2010, Henry McMaster was the perfect Establishment candidate for governor: A Reagan man through-and-through, former party chairman, loyal backer of John McCain in 2008. But he was running in the year of the Tea Party, and he got swept aside by an inconsequential junior House member who suddenly (I had not seen these tendencies in her before) seemed to speak Tea Party as her native language.

Now, we have Henry standing beside Donald Trump and praising him in Orwellian Ministry of Truth terms (up is down; black is white; Trump is not a “bomb-thrower” or “impulsive;” and we have always been at war with Eastasia).

And Nikki Haley, who rode anti-Establishment sentiment to power, is swooping in to help the Great Establishment Hope, Marco Rubio. Yeah, back in the day Rubio was nearly as Tea Party as she was, but that is not who he is this year.

And, of course, that’s the key to why Nikki is backing him. She’s not that wide-eyed insurgent, either — to her everlasting credit. She has grown in office, and governs more and more like someone who knows what she is about. Which is why you’ll see me saying more and more good things about her, and especially about her leadership last summer.

In an earlier time, an increasingly Establishment Republican governor in South Carolina would have been backing the guy whose last name is Bush.

Carroll Campbell jumped in early for George H.W. Bush in 1988, and played a huge role in Bush winning the S.C. primary, the nomination, and the White House. I called his former chief of staff, Bob McAlister, to check my memory on that. Bob noted that the Campbell-Bush connection continues to be strong: “Iris and the boys endorsed Jeb” just the other day.

But that was then and this is now, and Rubio seems a more attractive brand for a governor asserting her Establishment bona fides.

So given who Nikki Haley is now, the direction in which she has grown, this endorsement makes perfect sense.

But don’t ask me about the McMaster/Trump thing. That doesn’t begin to make any sense…

7 thoughts on “SC upside-down: Haley for Rubio, McMaster for Trump

    1. Pat

      Probably his NRA rating is the cause, which doesn’t mean he’s not right in line with NRA members. Really, Kasich has the best experience of all of the Republican contenders, and he has a lot of common sense.

      1. Bart

        Unfortunately Pat, Republican candidates and common sense are no longer connected in any way, shape, or form. To even consider for a moment Donald Trump is the leader in the polls by a wide margin quite frankly scares the heck out of me and does give credence to the general impression of South Carolinians that our IQ level is a good 20 to 30 points lower than the average. Even thought I understand the anger and discontentment of voters, to transfer allegiance to Trump for those reasons simply defies all logic.

        I know too many good, sensible, honest, and caring Republicans who do give careful consideration when choosing a candidate to support and most do not support Trump. However as noted in earlier posts, some do and it still befuddles me. Sorry, showing my age by using “befuddled” but is just seems to be the appropriate word when it comes to Trump supporters.

        The Trump candidacy is a lighted fuse and he is the dynamite that will end up blowing the Republican party into so many factions, in a few years, it will be irrelevant. I know I have moved on and refuse to become officially associated with any organized political party just as I no longer belong to any particular religious denomination.

        1. Pat

          Re: common sense–I know, Bart, I know. Just think if the other 60% could rally around 1 or 2 more reasonable candidates, there would be no Trump.

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