Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quick Thought on South Carolina

I follow South Carolina politics pretty closely because that's where my family's from and I was pretty amused by today's editorial in The State saying that Mark Sanford needs to stay in office mostly so that Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer is not able to take the top spot.

There's no doubt Bauer's an embarrassment. He likes to run red lights, drive over 100 mph, and generally has not shown the maturity you would expect from someone in such a high position.

And he has paid a political price for all that. In 2006 he had to come from behind to win renomination in the runoff, then won in the general election by less than three tenths of a point even as Republicans were generally dominating the rest of the ticket. Bauer was able to survive though because a significant number of voters were not aware of all his foibles, something made possible by the generally low profile nature of the office he currently holds.

So while I get The State's point, I actually disagree with their conclusion- the surest way to keep Bauer from winning the Governor's office next year is to let him serve out Sanford's term. The level of scrutiny he'd have to deal with would likely bring a broader level of public awareness to his bad behavior that probably would keep him from winning a full term. I really don't care whether Sanford resigns or not, but I actually think his doing so would ultimately hurt the chances of Bauer's being Governor in 2011 more than it would help them.

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