In the pantheon of presidential endorsements, you wouldn’t expect a first-term State Senator’s nod to matter all that much.
Yet as The Politico, CNN, local press and this website have all previously noted, S.C. Sen. Tom Davis is no ordinary first-term Senator. For authentic fiscal conservatives, he is the lead- who is every bit as comfortable receiving love from fiscal conservative think tanks as he is getting props from left-of-center websites.
Davis follows the money, and whether he’s fighting against welfare statism or crony capitalism – he’s always on the side of taxpayers, which is more than most “Republican” and “Tea Party” politicians in South Carolina can say. In fact, Davis’ efforts to push a “taxpayer rebate fund” as part of a state spending cap represents the most aggressive pro-taxpayer legislation the Palmetto State has seen in decades.
That’s why reports that Davis is planning on endorsing U.S. Rep. Ron Paul are so refreshing.
“A leading South Carolina conservative and Tea Party champion, State Senator Tom Davis, will endorse Ron Paul in the coming days,” the website BuzzFeed is reporting.
“Davis offers the kind of mainstream conservative support that the Paul campaign, viewed by some as fringe, has worked to amass, and the move marks another step toward the mainstream for the Paul movement,” the story adds.
An endorsement of Paul would obviously be consistent with an entry on Davis’ Facebook page earlier this week in which he wrote that he would soon announce his support for “the one candidate in the race for president who has consistently stood for taxpayers- one who has a plan to balance the budget RIGHT NOW.”
Um … who else is proposing a plan that would do that? Nobody but Paul … (although his proposals would actually balance the budget in three years, not one).
And we know Davis isn’t endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney …
“He supported interventionist policies in lending, TARP and ethanol subsidies, and he seems to support currency manipulation instead of sound money,” Davis wrote of Romney on his Facebook page earlier this month. “Do we really know what we would get with a President Romney?”
If Davis follows through and endorses Paul’s campaign, he would obviously be taking a major political risk. His district isn’t exactly a favorable demographic for Paul, and while the Texas Congressman is doing better in South Carolina than many expected – he’s by no means a frontrunner.
All of those factors only highlight the value of what Davis is doing, though. In a state dominated by politicians making “safe” choices, here’s a guy who is actually making a selection based on the bottom line of every single one of his constituents (whether all of them realize it or not).
“Davis is one of those rare elected officials who can be counted on to make a decision that he believes to be in the best interests of the country – not his own political career,” we wrote several months ago. “In fact, that’s precisely why his endorsement is so coveted … because fiscal conservatives across this state know he’s the real deal.”
It looks like Davis – unlike other “Tea Party” leaders – is actually living up to that advance billing.
UPDATE: Davis’ advisory …