Friday, November 10, 2006

How the Consultants Fared

Easy TFC, we're not grading Sic Willie so you can all relax and go back to hastening the self-inflicted demise of mid-level politicos in Horry County or whatever it is you're doing with your ample free time these days.

In fact, Ol' Wilbur will be the first person to tell you that all he did this election cycle was lend a little late-inning relief pitching to Election 2006's biggest winner amongst the top-tier Palmetto political consultants.

To the grades ...


Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's "Miracle on Lincoln Street" over Robert Barber and his come-from-behind primary win over Mike Campbell are already the stuff of legend in South Carolina politics. There is simply no way Andre should have even gotten out of the primary, let alone get reelected, but somehow he and Rod did it. Shealy also guided Richard Eckstrom past a formidable (not to mention vicious) challenge from Drew Theodore and helped T-Rav send a nine-term incumbent packing from the Treasurer's Office (this after Ravenel crushed a guy who spent $2 million in the GOP primary). Speaking of the GOP primary, let's not forget about political unknown Oscar Lovelace scoring 35% against an incumbent governor. After sub-par years in 2002 and 2004, Shealy is back in the saddle again.


Attorney General Henry McMaster is hugely popular had no opposition in either the primary or general election this go-round - quite a feat in and of itself, and Adjutant Stan Spears coasted in his statewide race, too. Quinn and his son, Rick Quinn, also masterminded Jim Harrison's landslide win over potent challenger Boyd Summers in a House District where all the other Republicans got their hats handed to them. With dozens of establishment political figures already flocking to U.S. Sen. John McCain's Straight Talk Express for 2008, things are definitely looking up again at the Quinndom.


Sure, Mark Sanford won in a landslide, but how much of that is the consultant and how much of it was the candidate's pre-existing cult of personality (pigs in the State House, etc.)? Sanford ran a shaky campaign against a second-tier challenger who couldn't even raise half of the money he raised -and who ran an even shakier campaign himself. And now the bigger question: How good is Lerner independent of Mark Sanford in South Carolina? Here's a hint - look for the answer among the stacks of provisional ballots Karen Floyd supporters are currently combing through in search of enough votes to put her over the top against Jim Rex.

WARREN TOMPKINS - I (Incomplete)

The former grand pooh-bah of political consulting in South Carolina couldn't even get a statewide candidate out of the primary this year, with two well-funded horses in the GOP Superintendent of Education and Treasurer's races both getting unceremoniously trounced. Tompkins' evil hordes did get RINO artifact Bill Cotty reelected against everything SCRG could throw at him in a State House race, but the former Bush "S.C. architect" was so thoroughly not a factor at the statewide level this cycle that he gets an "incomplete" grade. Tompkins will be looking to reclaim his former dominance in 2008 at the highest possible level, but signing onto Mitt Romney's soon-to-be-announced Presidential campaign is probably not the answer. Word is the same pin (pen) that popped the Ryberg balloon with social conservatives in South Carolina is poised to do the same thing - albeit on a much bigger stage - to the Massachusetts governor.


We don't care how many State House or City Council races Walter may have won this year. He could have personally elected every Republican in the House of Representatives and still gotten an "F" for the phantasmagorically pathetic performance of Ralph Norman. Whetsell has some talented and energetic youngsters in his employ like BJ Boling (who helped Lewis Vaughn win the only State Senate seat up for grabs this cycle) and Eliot Peace (who guided Hugh Weathers through the hard part of his successful reelection bid for Commissioner of Agriculture), but again, none of it makes up for the Norman debacle.

Alright kids, let the comments rip! We're big girls! We can take it!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is TFC?

6:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone can win the “easy races”. Quinn specializes in well funded candidates. Tompkins loves “ a winner”…but neither of them have notable track record at taking unknown or problem candidates without much money…and turning them into winners.

Shealy, on the other hand, has always worked with people that could not afford, or would not be accepted by the top tier of consultants. So it is clear that if one wanted a consultant that can make the difference…it is Rod. The political landscape is littered with those that Rod has pulled from obscurity, and elected them to office.

The most significant memory I will take away form this campaign is the lack of PERSONAL hard work by most candidates (Karen Floyd and Andre excluded), and the uninspired and needlessly negative campaigns run by political consultants that seem to be wearing blinders.

8:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Shealy, but you're dead wrong on Quinn. They get no points for McMaster and Harrison was never truly threatened by Summers. If anything they get an "I" like Tompkins. Your personal feelings get in the way wih Whetsell's grade, but what else is new.

10:05 AM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Good, good!

Keep 'em coming!

Oh, and personally we are sure Walter Whetsell is a very nice guy.

12:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shealy would have won the Floyd race by 5 points...

You forgot to give the State Newspaper their due...which would be a “D”.

Despite gallons of ink, Eckstom won, and Floyd lost only by a slim margin. If the State were respected, those races would have been landsides for Rex and Forest Gump. But as it is...the millions of dollars of free (mostly negative) campaigning done by the State was only "just" enough to sink one of the two.

More particularly…if that Scoppe woman were paid for performance, she would be minimum wage at most and Brad would be on food stamps.

12:34 PM

Blogger winin08 said...

Warren Tompkins . . . please lord, let him be with Mitt Romney.

5:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TFC = The Furniture Club

8:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to give Zeke Stokes some credit for pulling Jim Rex over the finish line. A year ago, nobody had even ever heard of the guy.

10:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

stokes is a machine, let's have your dem consultant analysis.

5:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach got his man elected. He did a good job at it and he deserves the credit.

But the Rex campaign was a nasty one. It’s whole premise was to scare everyone, especially the educational community…and they did that an but good.

I look forward to their final contribution report. I suspect it will be a telling document, and the after October 18 (last filing deadline before the election) will be especially interesting…I would not be surprised to see a tremendous surge in out of state checks deposited just after that filing.

Education, by definition, is a positive and forward thinking arena. This campaign set out to bloody the field and the issues, and it did just that. I think campaigns of this sort affect public policy and implementation, and ultimately the quality of education of the children. But of course, when was the last time the educrats were interested in properly educating children?

Zach and friends won…the public lost.

8:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

good call on whetsell, he is as useless as a nun's tit.

9:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TFC = "Top Flight Cantaloupe"

5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliot Peace is "talented and energetic"? Do you know Eliot Peace? That kid's the biggest tool on side of the Savannah River!

Remember this little blooper that Laurin discovered in May?


10:30 PM

Anonymous ells bells said...

whoa whoa whoa sic willie..

election 2006's "biggest winner" was none other than hugh weathers and his 60-40. what help did you provide him other than failure to endorse?

1:26 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...

Dear ells bells,

Last time we checked, Weathers was not a consultant, he was a candidate. We're ranking consultants here, numbnuts, but thanks for paying attention.

Not that it matters, but Commissioner of Agriculture is that part of the ballot where the average South Carolinians is like "what the f--- am I still doing in here" and just presses whatever the hell name looks normal to them - like "Weathers" or "Hammond."

Bless his heart, but half of Hugh's voters were probably sitting there thinking "Gee, I really like those Weathers' candies, now let me hit this godd--n button and get the f--- outta here."

Like we said before the election, it's nothing against Hugh. He's a great guy and he'll continue to do a good job. We just liked the other guy's energy and ideas a little better, but the fact we still elect this position to begin with is ridiculous.

Enjoy your service,


2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Eliot Peace. He's a MEGA loser, and I seriously doubt he had anything to do with Weathers' success.

3:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the candies are called Werthers not Weathers. Unless the implication is that the voters of South Carolina are too stupid to know the difference.

And, now you may enjoy your service.

6:10 PM

Blogger faithinsound said...

You really nailed us there, anon. We'd send you your choice of a Gold Star or Smiley Face but oddly enough we don't have your name or address.

6:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will wager that you have the name and the address. And I love a Tootsie Pops

6:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon- You obviously do not know Eliot Peace. If you did, you would know that he is a genuinely nice guy and quite sharp.

9:23 PM


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