In 2010, S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) gave “Republican” Nikki Haley all she could handle – coming from more than twenty points down in the polls to dead even in the last week of the race. Had Sheheen received a little bit more money from national Democrats at the eleventh hour, he could have easily knocked off Haley – scoring would have been one of the biggest upsets in Palmetto political history.
Unfortunately for Sheheen, he didn’t get the national support he needed – and Haley rode a wave of straight ticket GOP voters to a four-point victory, a pretty underwhelming margin when you consider South Carolina is the “reddest state in the nation” and 2010 was a banner “Republican” year.
Anyway, Sheheen is poised to give Haley another run for her (special interest) money in 2014 – although as we’ve mentioned previously he is unlikely to defeat her. The main reason? The socially conservative Democrat is unable (or unwilling) to stake out the ideological ground necessary to pick up the votes he needs to beat Haley. In fact he’s running hard to the left on fiscal issues – which will doom him among independent conservatives voters who are eager for an alternative to Haley.
Sheheen may have another problem, though – Democratic drama.
According to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the situation, the 42-year-old politician agreed to inform two of his longtime political allies – S.C. Sen. Joel Lourie and former S.C. House minority leader James Smith – of his 2014 plans prior to announcing them.
Why would he do that? Because Lourie and Smith both have an interest in running for governor at some point in the future. In fact Lourie had hoped to run in this election.
“Joel believed – and still believes – it was his turn to challenge Haley,” one well-placed Democratic operative told us.
Did Sheheen make good on his promise? No … at least not according to our sources.
Officially, top Democrats are discounting the report – with one referring to it as “Republican mischief.”
“Sometimes I think your sources play you,” another said, confirming that Sheheen, Lourie and Smith are all “on the same page.”
We’ve said for years that Smith – an Afghan war veteran – would make a much more appealing statewide candidate than Sheheen. And there are plenty of Democrats who agree with us. Looks like he’ll have to wait four years longer than expected to get his shot, though.
I know Sheheen thinks that this time he really does stand a chance to beat Haley, but honestly, he doesn’t. I’m not sure anyone else does either, but ideally a different candidate can at least run knowing they haven’t lost to Haley before.
Really this state’s hope lies in Republicans doing the work of getting rid of her in the primary.
Hey, mom. Let’s get left over food donations from local restaurants, and donate them to a women’s shelter. Only, let’s take them home instead. Not votin’ for that. Oh, and screw those rotary dues.
It doesn’t matter how appealing he is, most people in SC won’t vote for a Democrat.
There are of examples of the 2nd or even 3rd time being the charm for political candidates running for all kinds of offices.
Jeb Bush (FL Governor)
Newt Gingrich (3rd time before elected to congress)
Pat McCrory (NC Governor)
I call B.S. on this article. EVERYBODY knew Sheheen would run again, since the day he lost. Please.
“Republican mischief” sure ain’t what it once was.
Remember the whole Alvin Greene thing?
Alvin Greene running against Sheheen in the primary would be fun. Maybe we can talk some late night comedy shows into donating to his campaign?
Another problem Joel Lourie and James Smith have is that both are in Jean Toal’s back pockets. She is the old time corrupt Democratic elite and she remains power addicted. She loves being a backroom power broker. James Smith has announced he is supporting Toal over Pleicones and Lourie is now “owned” by Toal since she protected his brother in law and him in the Richland County Election/Lillian McBride fiasco. Vinny has not yet announced whether he is supporting Toal over Pleicones but it is expected he is. Uncle Bob and Jean are always saying how much they love each other, but some Camden friends are saying privately, Bob doesn’t trust her as far as he can throw her. There are many – many – in the House who are scared of Toal, but DO NOT want her to remain as chief justice as her reputation for corruption is seeping out to the masses. Should be fun watching this mess play out.
Amen on Toal! She definately needs to be sent to pasture. She should have been sent to pasture years ago!
The classic smart, ugly, female born with a two ton chip on her shoulder. A spiteful, mean, egotistical, old woman is the result. But I do love the khakis and penny loafers.
““Joel believed – and still believes – it was his turn to challenge Haley,” one well-placed Democratic operative told us.”
It’s like watching kids on a playground fight over who gets to play on the monkey bars first.
I wish all these assholes would go get a job instead of living off the taxpayers.
Smith has a much better shot, and I might even go so far as to say he’d have a really good shot at winning. Sheheen isn’t even very socially conservative, or fiscally for that matter, which is what makes me curious why Folks is more favorable to him.
But Smith’s still got that “Obama” sticker on his car. He can forget it.
Amen! to that.
Obama is a death knell!
Problem is Haley is much more like Obama than Sheheen.
That may be true. All politicians are scum at heart. I guess I’ll support the ones who at least claim to be conservative.
It speaks volumes about the priorities of SC’s Republican voters who would choose to re-elect Haley after she has proven to be awful. If SC’s Republican voters do not care about the Jasper Port, the DOR Breach, deceased voter claims, campaign expenses, et. al., then what do you care about?
Voting for a guy with an “Obama” sticker on his car.
I am a Republican and I will tell you, as I do anyone who will listen, I’m voting for Sheheen. I’m running one of his bumper stickers and have had NO negatives from my Republican friends. Pretty much everybody and I mean EVERYBOY feels the same about her.
Sheheen is not a Washington liberal Democrat. Few Democrats in South Carolina are. I will admit obama and the Washington left wing will hurt; but, I see Haley more of the liar, disaster and incompetent than Sheheen and I’m voting for him.
Sanford’s re-election to Congress has already proven to be a mistake,
i’m not doing the same with Haley!
Yeah, right. Do ya think Sheheen and his pack of disgusting cronies supported Obama? Of course they did. Go fuck yourself.
Well Haley and her pack of disgusting cronies supported Mitt Romney.I would tell you what do to yourself but I practice Republican “values.”
Party line support is not the same a actually campaigning and raising money for a candidate, etc.
All pols have to ostensibly support their nominees of their party.
They’re all three pussies. It’s amazing. James is more afraid of the Shandonistas and his political life, than he is of a stray bullet in Afghanistan. It baffles the mind.
Joel has never taken a position on anything. Ever.
And Vincent, well he’s running the same lifeless campaign he did four years ago.
The SC Democratic Party should be taken behind the barn and put down if these are their future candidates. When these people realize public education, the environment, ethics reform and whining about Republicans aren’t driving people to the polls, then they might start winning– but that’s all they got.
Did Vincey lead the booing at the DNC in Charlotte? Ask him if he was involved ladies!