Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Biden stumps at Galivants Ferry meeting

More than 2,000 people listened to a keynote speech at the traditional Galivants Ferry stump meeting Monday in Horry County. According to the Associated Press:
Biden kept the crowd of about 2,000 in rapt attention for his 30-minute speech.

Biden said President Bush has made a number of missteps from the war in Iraq to the response to Hurricane Katrina and said Americans are entitled to a “competent government.”

Bush will not be remembered for the mistakes he made, “but for the opportunities he has squandered,” Biden said.

Other stories:

Sunday, April 30, 2006

SC leaders travel to meet with Rudy

State GOP leaders traveled in March to New York to meet with potential presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, according to The State:

The trip was part of the South Carolinians’ search for a consensus presidential candidate for 2008. It was primarily an information-seeking conference for both sides, participants said.

“There were a lot of questions. A lot of interests,” said Warren Tompkins, a Columbia-based political consultant with close ties to the White House. “We talked process, and gave the mayor and his staff the names of people to contact.”

That meeting was followed up by another a week later, attended by former state GOP chairman Barry Wynn of Spartanburg, insurance executive Gayle Averyt and Dr. Eddie Floyd, a Florence surgeon. Wynn and Floyd were state finance co-chairmen of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Vilsack makes it to SC

Potential presidential candidate and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack made his first foray into the Palmetto State over the weekend as the keynote speaker at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fund-raising dinner. According to The Post and Courier:
Speaking at the annual state Democratic Party fundraiser, Vilsack criticized Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's lack of leadership and the "incompetent" Bush administration. He said South Carolina needs an "education governor" and a "jobs governor." To get that, "you need a new governor in this state," the Democrat said.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Biden says he's in the hunt

U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Delaware, says he's in the hunt for the presidency during a trip through South Carolina this week.

On Wednesday, he toured the Port of Charleston and pushed for better port security, according to the Associated Press:

"The thing we have ignored for five years, port security, has to stop," the Democrat from Delaware said after touring Charleston Harbor and meeting with officials to discuss Operation Seahawk.

Seahawk is a pilot port security project bringing together almost 50 local, state and federal agencies to assess threats that could enter the country through Charleston.

Other stories:
On Wednesday, Biden criticized the Bush Administration over Afghanistan at a speech in Columbia, S.C., at the University of South Carolina, according to the Associated Press:
The Bush administration is mistaken if it thinks Iraq is now a legitimate democracy, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden told a crowd at the University of South Carolina on Tuesday.

"Just having elections doesn't make a democracy," Biden said. "It's the second, third, fourth elections."

On Monday in Spartanburg, Biden said he'd run for president, according to the Spartanburg Herald Journal:

In case his speech -- in which he called the Bush administration "dangerously incompetent" -- at the Spartanburg County Democratic Party Convention Monday night didn't tip his hand, he left no doubt afterward.

"My intention is to run," said Biden, 63. "There's a long way to go between here and there, but there's a whole lot at stake."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Frist in SC but doesn't sound like candidate

The State's Lee Bandy Sunday wrote that U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was in South Carolina over the weekend, but didn't much sound like a presidential candidate at a meeting of the GOP state executive committee.
The Tennessee Republican came and went almost unnoticed — which apparently was the way he wanted it. There was little advance publicity and virtually no media.
Frist said the 2006 midterm elections would be tough for Republicans, but would be successful because they formed the "party of ideas."

“Yes, this is going to be a tough election,” he said. “But it’s not impossible. We’re going to do it because we’re ready. We’re going to do it because we know how. We’re going to do it because the same values that you have in South Carolina are the same values that I see in Tennessee.”

Then came the kicker.

“So, I’m here to join arms with you. That’s the only reason I’m here on this trip.”

Friday, March 03, 2006

Huckabee speaks in Charleston, York counties

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke Thursday to Republican conventions in Charleston and York counties in another visit to the Palmetto State. According to the Associated Press:

He told Republicans in York County that he is anti-tax and anti-abortion, The (Rock Hill) Herald reported.

"The Republican Party represents what people want," Huckabee said. "If you believe that life doesn't matter, vote for the Democrat."

The Charlotte Observer wondered whether South Carolina's 2008 primary would be "make or break" for Huckabee.

And in Charleston, two local candidates - - former Congressman Arthur Ravenel, who said he'd run for school board, and Paul Thurmond, son of the late Strom Thurmond -- stole the show from everyone, including Huckabee, according to The Post and Courier.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Romney tours S.C.; makes "Yankee" comment

Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney made presidential political stops Thursday in Charleston and Columbia.

At The Citadel in Charleston, he made a tongue-in-cheek comment that may come back to haunt him. According to the Associated Press:

"After fielding serious questions from cadets, one asked about the former Red Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees.

"Romney said that proved he had "something in common with you people here in the South. We both hate Yankees," he said."

Also see: The Post and Courier

In another story in The State newspaper of Columbia, Romney courted evangelicals. In the past, he said he supported the substance of a woman's right to choose, but his stance changed after studying stem-cell research, he told reporter Lee Bandy:

"Romney, a Mormon, said what changed him was the focus on stem cell research.

“'I studied it long and hard. And when I came out of the process, I said I would not support embryo farming or embryo cloning for research or anything.'

“'I’m pro-life,' he declared. 'So, the issue is settled.'”

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sanford says he's uncommitted

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, touted earlier as a possible presidential candidate for the GOP, said in an interview today with The Washington Post that he wasn't committed to any candidate.

According to The Fix, the Post's politics blog,
"That news may come as something of a surprise to supporters of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), whom Sanford backed in South Carolina's 2000 primary. But the Palmetto State governor insists his decision (or, more accurately, indecision) is not meant as a "slap" at McCain but rather part of a concerted effort on his part to find the candidate in the field truly dedicated to fiscal conservatism.

"'I am not committed at this point,' said Sanford, who acknowledged that "a long list of characters" considering the 2008 race have reached out to him. 'I am really going to look very hard at somebody who will espouse that notion of fiscal discipline and financial stewardship. That would be at the top of my list.'"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Biden to speak in Spartanburg

U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, a potential contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, is scheduled to speak at the Spartanburg County Democratic Convention on March 20th.

According to the Spartanburg Herald Journal:

"What Joe Biden is going to talk about is not Joe Biden for president. He's going to talk about Democrats winning locally," Spartanburg County Democratic Chairwoman Liz Patterson said.

Biden is the first Democrat with possible presidential aspirations to visit the Upstate this year, though others, including former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, have made trips to South Carolina.

More: The Greenville News

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Huckabee visits Spartanburg

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was the latest GOP presidential candidate to visit the Upstate Monday during a speech to the Spartanburg GOP.

According to The State:

In his address, Huckabee hit on several domestic hot-button issues, including an amendment to ban gay marriage that South Carolina voters will consider this November.

Encouraging voters to support the amendment, Huckabee said ballot questions like this are a major reason elections are still important in America, despite their cost and time.

More stories:

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Romney speaks in Greenville

Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney spoke Saturday to Greenville Republicans and urged fiscal restraint, according to the Greenville News:
Stepping up his soundings as a potential 2008 presidential candidate, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told Greenville Republicans on Saturday that the federal government, without naming President Bush, is spending too much money and has "underappreciated" the terror threat's scope.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

2/8: SC is the place for hopefuls to visit

Two years before the opening primaries of the 2008 presidential campaigns, candidates are lining up support in places like South Carolina, according to a story in today's USA Today:
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee hired Republican communication expert Jim Dyke, based in South Carolina, site of an early primary. Another Republican, New York Gov. George Pataki, has consultants on the payroll in Iowa and New Hampshire — the lead-off states in the nomination process.
Also in the story:

This time, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson laughs when asked who's been to visit. "It's not who's been here," he says. "The only one who hasn't is Gov. Pataki."

Nine GOP prospects came to Dawson's state 16 times between the last election and Jan. 31 of this year, according to records kept by The Hotline, an online political newsletter. Five Democrats made six visits there over the same period. Iowa and New Hampshire saw even more traffic. Each state has hosted more than three dozen visits by possible candidates.

Friday, February 03, 2006

2/3, editorial: Palmetto State primaries crucial

From the Washington Examiner:

"Two years from now, Democratic and Republican presidential aspirants will be scrambling across South Carolina attempting to win their party's 2008 presidential nomination. Virginians could have a special interest in the Palmetto State's early primary, which may be the proving ground - or graveyard - for two of the state's former governors, Republican George Allen and Democrat Mark Warner. "

Monday, January 23, 2006

1/23, editorial: McCain could be establishment candidate

From the Greenville News:

"Where Bush in 2000 could count on top state party leaders to rally behind him, McCain may have a similar benefit if he runs next time. Graham appears to be in with both feet. Although Sanford didn't mention McCain by name or reference in his remarks at the dinner, Weaver left little doubt he expects Sanford to be on board once re-election and legislative issues are behind him."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

1/17: McCain visits South Carolina for King Day, GOP event

U.S. Sen. John McCain spoke at Spartanburg's King Day celebration and the county GOP's convention Monday in an event-packed day. Elsewhere across the state, hundreds marched in Columbia and remembered King's legacy.

McCain, a two-time presidential candidate from Arizona, told reporters he hadn't decided whether to run again for president, but would make the decision in about a year.

According to the Spartanburg Herald Journal: "During his stop at the auditorium, McCain told the crowd that King had not only saved black people, but that he had saved white people as well.

"'I love this country, but it was not until I lost this country for a while that I realized how much I love it,'" McCain said. "'But I can't say that I loved it as much or served it as well as Dr. King.'"