The “implosion” of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford may not have cost him his current job (yet), but it has clearly demolished any hope the two-term governor may have had of one day running for the White House.
That means the 2012 S.C. Republican Presidential Primary will once again be a wide-open affair – as Sanford’s downfall means there will be no “favorite son” participating in the contest that has accurately predicted the Republican nominee every single time.
Speaking of 2012, Washington Post blogger extraordinaire Chris Cillizza has an excellent column up today assessing the impact of the “Sanford non-factor” on the list of presumed candidates, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and two soon-to-be former governors, Alaska’s Sarah Palin and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.
Other names in the mix? Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Of course, beyond the candidates, there’s also the impact the Sanford implosion will have on the state’s political consulting industry.
From Cillizza’s post Wednesday:
The true winners from Sanford’s unexpected departure from the contest are not, in fact, any of the candidates mulling the race but rather the Republican political consultants who are as common in South Carolina as sweet tea and good barbecue. (Fix favorite in Columbia: The Palmetto Pig)
No state — particularly one with an early presidential primary — is so dominated by political consultants (Quinn, Whetsell, Warren Tompkins, Terry Sullivan, Jim Dyke, Adam Temple, Rod Shealy….the list goes on) who make a killing every four years on the cavalcade of candidates coming into the Palmetto State looking to use it as a springboard for their presidential aspirations.
With Sanford out, that “gravy train” (in the words of Ed Matricardi, yet another Republican consultant based in South Carolina) will almost certainly continue in 2012.
That “gravy train” will obviously continue to fund the local political blogs, too – like The Palmetto Scoop and Wolfe Reports – both of which are paid mouthpieces for prominent S.C. political consulting firms.
In stark contrast to these slanted “news” sources, FITS will continue to be an equal opportunity destroyer when it comes to the 2012 hopefuls.
We may endorse somebody when it’s all said and done, but we’re going to put all of the would-be campaigns through their paces – and trust us, anything and everything is fair game as far as we’re concerned.