Most readers know I have a self-imposed policy of separating my role as publisher of several community newspapers from my other role as a political consultant, or at the very least, clearly disclaiming my dual roles on those infrequent occasions when the two roles overlap.
Well this is one of those times.
When I wrote my column last week, I said I was not gonna beat up on Mark Sanford, because he was being beaten up enough.
That was before he “kept talking”, and sealed his fate with a second press conference. But I’m still not gonna beat him up.
It is well-known by readers of this column that I am not a political ally of Sanford, having directed the campaign of his 2006 GOP opponent, Dr. Oscar Lovelace.
Moreover, I am a long-time friend and advisor to the Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer, having run each of his previous campaigns. Still, I refrain from using this column to promote the Lt. Governor. This week, however, I will…
In the fallout from what has now become known as the Sanford Scandal, much attention has been given to the order of succession into the Governor’s office. With the increased likelihood that Lt. Governor Bauer might be thrust into the position of Governor, his political competitors have launched an aggressive, behind-the-scenes PR battle to make Bauer appear to be an unattractive alternative.
The detractors have written negative letters-to-the editor of the state’s major newspapers, and have subtly lobbied editors to write editorials slanted against Bauer.
The reason his competitors have begun these behind-the-scene attacks, of course, is to stop Bauer from becoming Governor… because they themselves have aspirations to become the next Governor!!! They recognize that if Bauer becomes Governor for 18 months, he will likely be very successful, as he has been with the Office on Aging, and virtually every other pursuit he has undertaken during his years of public service. They know his hard work and determination is virtually unstoppable, and believe that he will be markedly successful… thus probably quashing their own desires to become Governor. But nowhere in their opposition to Bauer do they have the best interests of our state in mind.
I, for one, happen to believe allowing Andre Bauer to ascend to Governor is a logical step for our state. Those who have watched him grow and mature into a solid public servant know that Bauer is exactly the person we need to pull the state out of this latest crisis.
Who could better help solve South Carolina’s problems during a recession? Andre Bauer has a well-documented history of overcoming major obstacles and plowing ahead to solve problems that would stop most others. What other potential candidate for Governor can match his energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic… the elements needed to lead our state through its roughest period ever? No one else even comes close.
Consider these factors:
1. We’re in the midst of a major recession, and we’re still facing the same challenges we’ve struggled with for decades: near the bottom in education, health care, crime, personal income, etc. But now, we will be trying to solve these problems during the weakest global economy in history.
South Carolina’s next governor MUST be someone who has the energy, the drive and determination and the perseverance to overcome whatever obstacles we may face. No one can overcome tough obstacles better than Andre Bauer!
2. With the 12.5% unemployment – third highest in the nation – the most critical immediate challenge we face is recruiting new industry so we can provide jobs for our people.
Our next governor must be tireless in pursuing industrial prospects. We need a proven hard-worker who will put in the time it takes to attract new jobs to our state. We need a natural-born salesman. We need an enthusiastic advocate for the state. Andre Bauer is already hard at work selling our state to potential prospects.
3. Most of all, South Carolina needs a return to the communication, cooperation, and common sense which has been missing from state government in recent years. We can’t afford to have the legislative and executive branches battling each other. Now more than ever, we need a government that works.
More than any other prospective candidate for Governor, Andre Bauer has a record of open communication, get-it-done cooperation, and good, solid common sense. He understands how to stand up for his principles, but also use his common sense to promote the greater good of our state.
In short, Andre Bauer has the qualities we need to pull South Carolina out of this current crisis, to recruit new industries, and to solve problems during the tough times we are facing.
This is not an endorsement of Andre Bauer’s election. It’s simply the other side of the coin -- which most media outlets aren’t explaining, because they’ve become pawns in the political maneuvering which has taken over our state in the wake of the Sanford Scandal.
Should Sanford be forced to resign or impeached? That’s a question I will leave to the will of the people. But it’s a decision which should be made on its own merit, not based on who might take over.
This I CAN tell you: The Lt. Governor South Carolina elected not once, but twice, to be ready just in case of a vacancy is absolutely ready and able to put our state back on track. We should let him do what we elected him to do.