National Politics - 2016

SC “Republican” Empires: A 2016 Vacuum

NO CLEAR “FIRST IN THE SOUTH” CONSULTANTS ANYMORE … || By FITSNEWS ||  For years there were three main consulting empires which pretty much dominated “Republican” primary elections in South Carolina. Today, only one of these empires remains … and its impact on the 2012 “Republican” presidential primary was negligible….


|| By FITSNEWS ||  For years there were three main consulting empires which pretty much dominated “Republican” primary elections in South Carolina.

Today, only one of these empires remains … and its impact on the 2012 “Republican” presidential primary was negligible.

In years past three men – Richard Quinn, Warren Tompkins and Rod Shealy – could basically guarantee a presidential hopeful top tier status in South Carolina.  In fact Quinn and Tompkins epic battle during the bloody 2000 “First in the South” primary remains the high water mark of these “Imperial Consultancies.”

A decade-and-a-half later, though, the old guard is lucky to even land a horse in the race.  Shealy is dead (succumbing to brain cancer in 2010), Tompkins has seen his consulting empire completely crumble, while Quinn – still immensely powerful in state-level politics – saw his 2012 presidential candidate wind up being a total non-factor.

Seriously … Jon Hunstman?

This cycle, Quinn is wed to the Quixotic candidacy of rabid warmonger Lindsey Graham.  And even if Graham drops out (as expected) prior to the 2016 “First in the South” primary, Quinn was scarred two weeks ago by a big story reviving attention on his neo-Confederate (some say racist) roots.

That makes his hiring by a real contender problematic …

Tompkins? He’s signed on with the campaign of Marco Rubio, who is so out of the picture at the moment in South Carolina his name was actually left off of a recent poll.

Yikes …

Earlier this week, Politico reporter James Hohmann wrote a piece on former Florida governor Jeb Bush – arguing the “establishment” choice was unable to benefit from the South Carolina apparatus that helped carry his father and brother to the White House in 1992 and 2000.

“The reservoir of support is neither as wide nor as deep as he might have hoped,” Hohmann concluded of the state’s old Bush machine.

He’s correct … although the counter-argument could easily be made that signing one of the old consulting “empires” would be a bad move for Bush, who along with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is one of the early “First in the South” frontrunners.

After all, ever since Mark Sanford won the governor’s mansion in 2002 – defeating both the Quinn and Tompkins’ machines in the process – the state’s “Republican” landscape has never been the same.

The old guard simply doesn’t have the juice it once did … especially in races with national connections.  Meanwhile the multi-faceted nature of modern campaigns – the increasingly scientific, specialized micro-targeting of voters – has elevated the importance of niche providers, further diluting establishment influence.

Add it all up and 2016’s “First in the South” landscape bears virtually zero resemblance to previous elections …

The electorate may still be old, but they’re looking at the race in a new light … and the old empires which used to hold sway over them have for the most part vanished.

UPDATE: A minor clarification.


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Pat March 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Curtis Loftis.

Sam March 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Is my hero. I hope he continues his independent path of fighting the establishment in order to protect our money!

Thanks Mr. Treasurer!

MJ March 27, 2015 at 6:20 am

Lol, thats a joke I hope. No more tea party dopes please!

shifty henry March 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

After reading this I feel as though I dropped all of my Scrabble tiles on the linoleum.

mamatiger92 March 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm


Pineapple Twist March 26, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Is that anything like mark 20 on ”
Sheldon’s domino effect orgasm”

shifty henry March 26, 2015 at 9:33 pm

ha! pretty good – but no

euwe max March 27, 2015 at 12:38 am


FastEddy23 March 26, 2015 at 2:48 pm

So, three with brain cancer, one dead?

Daniel Boome March 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm

GT: “HAHA, FITS does it again…setting yourself up to get the $h!t slapped out you…LMAO…you stupid MoFos and your rallying cry is to bash the GOP for not stopping your lord-god b@$ t@rd from destroying the country and making my family suffer. All FITS does is throw the same pop-culture lines all day…LMAO…”

Anybody else: “Huh? What are you talking about? Your rant is the deranged stuff of a paranoid schizophrenic. Nobody is bashing the GOP, just talking about the current GOP landscape.”

GT: “Traffic in myths much? It’s because of weak-@$$ F*#ktards like you that we have two more years of your lord-god Obama.”
Anybody else: “Huh? I didn’t vote for Obama. Just what ‘myths’ are you talking about? You don’t make any sense.”
GT: “I call you out for who and what you are and slap the $h!t out you and now you are p!$$ed…every time you open your mouth you reveal yourself to be the dumb f*#k that you are…LMAO…”
Anybody else: “Wow! You’re calling me pissed. If anybody is pissed here it’s you. How exactly did you slap the $h!t out of me? I asked a question and never got an answer, so anything you say is an irrelevant tangent.”
GT: “Bore….”
Anybody else: “Oh, so no answer to my questions. Got it. You just say whatever you want and hope it all sticks. No need for clarity, I see. Just carry on with your mindless ramblings.”
GT: “LMAO…you are obsessed…nothing but insults and hate. At least you are reading what I write, lets me know how interesting I am…”
Anybody else: “Insults? Hate? Oh, this is too rich. Now I know you must be kidding. Good one. You had me going there.”
GT: “LMAO…so now you finally admit I’m right…Thank you for revealing who, and what, you are…”
Anybody else: “Wait, you weren’t joking? You, uh….well…um…”(***head explodes***)

GrandTango Bingo March 26, 2015 at 4:14 pm

It’s time to play everyone’s favorite FITSNEWS game. GrandTango Bingo!

Easiest Game Ever March 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm

You got to make it harder, half the board might as well be free space.

Bingo! March 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm

lol…that’s funny as hell. I can’t believe you devoted that kind of personal time to him, but funny none the less.

Bubbaz Ramdass March 27, 2015 at 11:03 am

Troll-on-Troll Hate Speech.

Report yourself at once!

erneba March 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm

State-wide political leaders are like a male Saturday night pick ups at the local watering hole. They “cum and then they go,” never to spark the imagination again again. Leaders will change, so will the electorate, forcing new leadership to step up. Things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, and this decline in leadership will not be missed before too long.

Wigs March 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Wasn’t Bush, Sr. elected in 1988?

MashPotato March 26, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Yes. Huntsman’s name is spelled wrong as well. Will, I love your website but sometimes you could use a proofreader!

Slartibartfast March 30, 2015 at 11:53 pm

An important power source is the latent-in-waiting group of buds surrounding David Wilkins. He’s already endorsed Lindsey. Lindsey wants to be a Supreme or VIPOTUS. And guess whose running his colon hunt?


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