T-Rav Into the RINO's Den
The State House grounds will turn into the plains of the Serengeti this Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. as GOP Treasurer nominee Thomas Ravenel sits down for his "RINO inquisition" at the hands of liberal GOP kingmaker and Board of Economic Advisors' chairman John Rainey.
Rainey, who has evidently forwarded a twelve-point agenda to Camp Ravenel for the meeting, seems primed to grill his own party's nominee on assertions Ravenel has made regarding the state's unfunded liabilities, Treasurer Grady Patterson's antiquated investment strategy and, oddly enough, what constitutes the "greatest economic expansion in human history."
Thursday morning's meeting is the latest in a three-week old spat between the two men, which began when Rainey attacked Ravenel publicly August 6 in the Greenville News, calling him a "dilettante" and insinuating that his election would threaten the state's fiscal stability.
Rainey's twelve-point agenda also fires a shot across the bow at GOP Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, challenging Ravenel to defend Eckstrom's performance during the latter's four years of service as Treasurer from 1995-99.
Aside from the presumptuousness of Rainey (a.k.a. the "Seersucker Kingfish") to demand such a meeting in the first place - let alone to insist on the location, agenda and attendees (which will include press) - the lengths to which he is prepared to go to defend Patterson's abysmal record is truly remarkable.
Ravenel, whose shoot-from-the-hip, "Damn The Torpedoes" approach to this race has paid dividends thusfar (that's just how he "rolls," remember), nonetheless should take care not to approach this meeting with too cavalier an attitude.
Rainey may be a straight up anti-tax relief, anti-school choice RINO whose BEA estimates have missed the mark by roughly $800 million since he took office, but no one can polish a turd as adeptly as he can, he's got an army of left-leaning economists (Bill Gillespie) in lockstep behind him and his liberal advocacy for our state's poorest school districts (he financed the "Corridor of Shame" documentary with Democrat consultant Bud Ferillo, remember) has forever endeared him to the press.
More importantly, Rainey doesn't have to prove anything tomorrow - all he has to do is argue semantics or find one number that causes T-Rav to trip up.
Make no mistake, T-Rav has balls as big as church bells for agreeing to "debate" Rainey, but he is clearly the man with the most to lose.
On a positive note, this is probably as close as we're going to get to a debate in the State Treasurer's race given Democrat Patterson's inability to formulate a complete thought or stand for extended periods of time.
That doesn't excuse Rainey's pompousness, but if T-Rav was looking for a worthy adversary, he's certainly found one.
Stay tuned to FITS for complete coverage of tomorrow's showdown at the Wade Hampton Corral ...