All Hail SEBUD
First of all, major props to FITS' good friend Chris Allen for landing a choice gig with Sen. John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign. Nobody in this business deserves it more, and Allen has more than paid his dues after serving for four years as Mark Sanford's Charlie Young.
On the occasion of his good fortune, we'd like to share the origins of Allen's legendary moniker - "SEBUD."
It all started on the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, when 6'7" Jarrett Martin (currently the governor's Senate liaison) drew the short straw of carting then-candidate Sanford all across South Carolina.
For those of you who haven't had the experience of being trapped in a confined space for hours on end with South Carolina's 115th governor, let's just say it can be more than a tad demanding on one's patience ... and one's wallet.
In addition to him never running out of incredibly complicated things for you to do as you attempt to keep the car you're driving on the straight and narrow, Sanford rarely has a dollar to his name when traveling. That invariably means you get to pick up the tab for his Wendy's Taco Salads while receiving constant new instructions and not-so-subtle pointers from the boss as to how to be a better "Captain of the Ship."
Anyway, for years Jarrett was the man in the saddle, accompanying the governor to hundreds of campaign events and somehow keeping his sanity in the process.
But when Jarrett was unavailable for whatever reason (therapy, we're guessing), the task of governor-sitting fell to the diminuitive 5'6" Allen, who given his relatively unimposing stature when standing side-by-side the former Sewanee Offensive Lineman, quickly acquired the nickname "Small Emergency Back-Up Driver," or SEBUD.
Congratulations, Chris. It's a long way from Small Emergency Back-Up Driver to S.C. Field Director for a Presidential front-runner, and it couldn't have happened to a more genuine, selfless or harder-working person.
One bit of free advice, though: If we were you, we'd make damn sure the Senator from Arizona travels with cash.
UPDATE: FITS home office received a call from SEBUD himself just now, who ever gracious and good-natured, nonetheless wanted the record to reflect that he stands at 5'9".