Sunday, October 29, 2006

Five Crappiest Campaigns of 2006

It was fitting that President George W. Bush and White House master strategist Karl Rove were both in the Palmetto State this weekend.

Why? Because both men get honorable mentions in our compilation of the crappiest South Carolina political campaigns of 2006.

To be sure, Rove snuck Bush across the goal line against John Kerry (the Tommy Moore of American politics) in 2004, but this year's cycle is showing the extreme wear apparent on the duo's "bomb the Muslims, blockade the Mexicans" strategy.

In addition to placing Republican control of the House - and possibly the Senate - in jeopardy, Bush and Rove are big contributors to the chart-topper in FITS "Five Crappiest Campaigns of 2006" list:

1. Ralph Norman, Republican, U.S. Fifth District

Ralph Norman is one of the most honest-to-God, nice guys you'll ever meet in your life. He's also got a spotless record when it comes to protecting your tax dollars, in stark contrast to his opponent John Spratt, the consummate Washington insider. Unfortunately, Norman got himself hitched up with the biggest collection of losers since Bob Peeler got his hat handed to him in 2002. These DC and SC morons proceeded to play inside political baseball, pander to social conservatives and make immigration the number one issue of the race - despite the fact that illegals have worked on some of the work sites tied to Norman's development company. Can anybody say "Ryberg and Gambling?" Stupid, stupid, stupid. Norman's campaign is the runaway winner here, especially given the amazing candidate they had to work with.

2. Tommy Moore, Democrat, Governor

Who is Tommy Moore? Well, the fact that polls taken just last week show only half of South Carolina's registered voters can answer that question pretty much says it all. On June 13, Moore trounced his Democratic primary opponent by a 2-to-1 margin and watched Gov. Mark Sanford give up 35% of the GOP vote against a political unknown. Then, as far as we can tell, Moore basically sat on his ass for about two months. Sanford's record was ripe for the picking, his campaign was bumbling through an ill-conceived negative attack and polls showed a single-digit race emerging. Seriously, Eldridge Emory could have been the Democratic nominee and still raised $5 million under those circumstances, but Moore didn't even get half of that when it counted. As a result, Sanford stayed on TV unanswered for months and when Moore finally did show up, it was amateur hour.

3. Karen Floyd, Republican, Superintendent of Education

The first of our Crappy Campaign honorees that will actually end up winning on November 7, Floyd's 2006 effort has nonetheless been a disaster. Her TV ads are awful, she's underperformed in both debates, she's backpedaled on the school choice issue and Jim Rex has eaten her for lunch in the earned media department. Anytime one of your press releases reads "I’m going to travel the state on a bicycle to discuss my comprehensive plan for a zero tolerance policy which includes innovative solutions like putting cameras in the classroom and linking drivers’ licenses to behavior," you know things are bad. From holding a dove hunt fundraiser on 9/11 to a flubbed law enforcement endorsement, Floyd has done everything possible to lose this race. Fortunately for her, Rex only has $4,000 cash on hand.

4. Grady Patterson, Democrat, Treasurer

Anytime The State newspaper endorses a fiscally conservative Republican, you know you've run a pathetic campaign. Team Grady has done nothing but attack GOP nominee Thomas Ravenel, and even then it had to rely on a RINO like John Rainey to do its dirty work. Camp Patterson thought it could hammer T-Rav endlessly on the possibility that he might run for U.S. Senate in 2008, but when Ravenel took that card off of the table the walls in Trav Roberston's world started closing in.

5. Mark Sanford, Republican, Governor

Mark Sanford was born under a lucky star, and in 2006 that star just happened to be named Tommy Moore. In 2002, Sanford was a principled leader, not a politician. This go-round he was the consummate politician. In 2002, Sanford ran a passionate campaign of ideas. This go-round he ran a pedantic campaign of insider intrigue. With a well-established cult of personality and $8 million to promote it, the governor is understandably on cruise control - and has been for months. But it helps when only 1 out of 2 registered voters can identify your opponent. Fortunately for the governor, the ineptness of campaign manager Jason Miller was eclipsed by the inertia of the entire Moore campaign. Oh, and Sanford still looks pretty good - if not as convincing this time -on television.

Not-so-honorable mention: Democrat Drew Theodore (Comptroller General), Republican Hugh Weathers (Agriculture Commissioner), Democrat Jim Rex (Superintendent of Education).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can’t argue with much of that….except…

Karl Rove and the republican congressional candidates will do better than expected. On Nov 8 the he will retain the respect and admiration of the Republicans, and the undying hatred of the Democrats.

Karl’s Mother,

8:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sanford's campaign has been pedantic? How 'bout your boys Andre, T-Rav, and the Eck? Bickering about lobbyist disclosures, revenue estimates, and the necessity of the CG being a CPA. I'd say those campaigns pretty much exemplify pedantic.

9:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually agree with you on Ralph's campaign. So much potential, so much not done.

10:10 PM

Anonymous west_rhino said...

Argee with most of your rankings, though Drew's campaign was crappier than K-Flo's. Blaming Eckstrom for Grady's in the toilet performance that lost our credit rating, lamest of all.

On Ralph's I still smell a sellout in DC as a quid pro quo for something that will be appearing, benefitting another state, to another CD's detriment, probalby the sixth, conveniently increasing thier misery that somehow will be claimed to be Gary McLeod's fault.

9:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To West_Rhino:

No offense meant here at all: I don't understand what you are saying ing your 2nd paragraph of you comment above. Again, no offense at all. Would please explain better what you meant (cause I think I agree, but am not sure).

2:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ralph is my friend that frank the kool aid and was overwhelmed that THE WHGITE HOUSE wanted, without first figuring out if he could win. The problem that exists first is that turnout in the 5th is 25% in that district in non pres years. 80% of that 25% vote Republican. So, he starts out in a much weaker position than he would if he would have waited unit 2008.

Secondly, Ralph is a bit politically naive and could have used the experience of 2 more years in the House.

Thirdly, every GOP who has taken on Spratt has run a "Washington style" campaign in a district that is decided more on SC or local issues than any district left in the state.

Then you kick in the campaign problems and the race is history.

2:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say hello to the new chairman of the budget committee, chillun.

10:43 PM

Anonymous west_rhino said...

Anon 3, as I read the droppings, I think that Ralph was sold out for votes to be delivered later.

Those votes will benefit another state and will hose probably the stooges in the sixth district that keep propping Clyburn up and it will be determined and preached to them that Gary McLeod, even though unelected, is the cause of their woes, never mind the fact that Spratt and Clyburn bought into the deal.

Look back at the minewarfare command that moved from Charleston to a wholly inadequate base in Texas in the early 90's when a viable campaign against Hollings evaporated between primary and general elections. We appear to have had a few folks that dealt away things to be almost assured of re-election.

Aside from that, lets see what comes of Tim Moultrie's lawsuit.
Some ugly implications roll forth from that action.

10:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to add the vote "yes" campaign on amendment one.

11:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you saw Norman in Newberry it would scarce you to death to think we might send him to Washington. He came off as an idiot. All he could talk about is Spratt's 24 years in the House and that he will sit at the table with liberal democrats and take Chirrist out of Christmas. Come on, Spratt is a moderate Demo no matter how you look at it. He will never be Ted Kennedy! Norman should have been more schooled on the issues. He did the same thing on TV but not as bad.

5:04 PM

Anonymous Adam Parish said...

While I think John Spratt is the better choice for SC's Fighting 5th. I agree that it should have been closer.

10:31 PM


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