Henry McMaster’s “Open Rebellion” Creates 2018 SC Schism

“REPUBLICAN” ESTABLISHMENT IN TURMOIL … South Carolina lieutenant governor Henry McMaster‘s surprise endorsement of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in the Palmetto State’s “First in the South” presidential primary is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, the veteran “Republican” is as establishment as you can get in South Carolina … the…


South Carolina lieutenant governor Henry McMaster‘s surprise endorsement of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in the Palmetto State’s “First in the South” presidential primary is noteworthy for a number of reasons.

First, the veteran “Republican” is as establishment as you can get in South Carolina … the very definition of the old guard GOP.

His decision to embrace Trump’s candidacy comes just as the rest of the “old guard” in the Palmetto State – including those affiliated with McMaster’s longtime neo-Confederate consultant, Richard Quinn – were preparing to mount a Stalingrad-esque stand against “The Donald.”

But McMaster’s endorsement of Trump has implications well beyond 2016’s Palmetto presidential power struggle …

In fact, the real impact of this “open rebellion” (to quote one pro-establishment operative) is likely to be felt on the 2018 South Carolina gubernatorial race.

McMaster’s decision to buck the “Republican” status quo is an explicit rebuke of Quinn – who has managed the lieutenant governor’s political destiny for years.  It’s a clear signal that McMaster – technically the No. 2 statewide elected official – has designs on the governor’s office in 2018.

Why is this important?

Well, Quinn and his political empire have already settled on S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson as their gubernatorial candidate of choice for 2018.   In fact Quinn participated in a strategy discussion over the recent holiday break in which Wilson laid out his forthcoming gubernatorial campaign with wealthy Columbia, S.C. businessman Bill Stern and S.C. Manufacturers Alliance president Lewis Gossett.

Not only that, there was apparently no room for McMaster on a Wilson “ticket” – as sources tell us the attorney general has already offered that spot to another “younger” politician.

(South Carolina gubernatorial candidates will run on a “ticket” with their lieutenant gubernatorial choices for the first time in 2018).

McMaster got double-dissed, in other words …

Curiously, Quinn and his empire decided to double down on Wilson’s 2018 bid at a time when the attorney general was drawing heavy fire for his habitual failure to crack down on public corruption.  Not only that, it appears painfully obvious at this point Wilson has only pushed to prosecute public corruption in cases which created outcomes benefitting Quinn clients.

Which would make him more corrupt than any of the people he’s prosecuted …

Obviously these two former political allies are by no means the only candidates to consider as speculation surrounding the next election cycle intensifies.

The 2018 field is expected to be huge … and diverse.

S.C. Senator Tom Davis, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, S.C. Rep. Tommy Pope, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, Charleston, S.C. attorney Catherine Templeton have all indicated varying degrees of interest in becoming the Palmetto State’s next chief executive – and others are expected to signal their interest in the months to come.

Meanwhile Orangeburg, S.C. businessman Mikee Johnson is also said to be eying a bid – touting his proximity to current S.C. governor Nikki Haley.  And let’s not forget the perpetual rumors about former S.C. governor Mark Sanford – who still has a million dollars in his statewide account.

Make no mistake, though: The McMaster endorsement of Trump is a major development in the shaping of the forthcoming field – one that appears to have caught the Quinn forces completely flat-footed.


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Rocky Verdad January 28, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Don’t want to say – I told you so……………

otis January 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

You go Henry…whip some ass!

Henry January 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Henry is just not very smart. Nice guy. Just dumb.

southmauldin January 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm

I disagree – I think he is very smart. Hell, he’s ran for every office in SC the past 50 years and actually got elected to a couple of them. Can’t wait to see what that old bastard will run for next.

Former Supporter January 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Henry is the laughing stock of the Statehouse today! No one can look him in the face.

That says a lot January 29, 2016 at 3:22 am

Then he has my vote!

Big Henry's got my vote January 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Im pretty sure this is a well calculated move. Hes now clearly severed ties with Haley and Quinn, so he doesnt have to worry about that coming up during the primaries, and hes essentially pandering to the majority of this state who supports trump.

RogueElephant January 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Hooked his wagon to a star.

Disatisfed Constituent January 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

If Henry thinks Trump is temperamentally suited to be POTUS, then he must be going senile. Maybe he can check into an old folks home he regulates in the Lite Gov’s office. Having voted for Henry since I was a college Freshman in 1986 when he ran for US Senate against Hollings, I can now finally say I no longer Back Henry Mac. Moving on in the next race for Governor, and so is my checkbook and same for the people I wrangled into maxing out for Henry last time.

TK January 28, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Is Scott really considering a run? Why would you give up a cushy seat for life in the US Senate to run a third world country for 4-8 years?

RogueElephant January 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

It might be what Tim wants to do but he would serve SC much better in the senate. Even though most of what he dose is cancel Grahamnasty , at least we let some other state count.

Krazy Kat January 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

I think I’ll wait to see who Joe the Plumber endorses.

jimlewisowb January 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Not a fan of the Masturbator but have absolutely no need for Woodchuck Wilson

Do like your lead in to this post – SC SCHISM – however disappointed when I realized that it was not a commentary on the amount of space between the Gypsy Queen cheeks

Nikki's Badonkadonk January 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

LOL… are talking about a serious chasm there!

Former Supporter January 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm

I would not support Henry McMaster now for Dog Catcher. Undoubtedly he has really gone off the deep end or he is letting ole Peg tell him what to do. I do understand she has been fascinated with Trump for quite a while now. Maybe she threatened to let some of old Henry’s secrets out of the bag if she didn’t get to tour the Trump jet? I could see how giddy she was getting when Trump kept calling her name last night. Fog Horn Leg Horn, Boss Hog and Miss Peggy – what a team! Bad part is they may win the Republican Nomination and then Hillary becomes President. I would say that puts any chances of Henry every being more than what he is today down the drain. How old is he anyway? He has been running for office since Noah built the Ark!

Lone Ranger January 28, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Alan rebutted on Thursday…well at least my pappy Joe was in the know and wasn’t found to be lying

You know—he didn’t stab SC conservatives by sticking his head up RINOs Boehner and Paul Ryan

And at least he said Hell no we won’t rip down the flag of patriots by NOT letting YOU get to vote

And he didn’t give the most incompetent presiDENT in history fast-track and try to make you a goat

Yep…he and mammy refused that taxpayer-PAID vacation to Hawaii—their most modest move to date

And of course we KNOW you’ll be slow and reelect Joe and me the next chance you get…NO…WAIT !!!

Big Henry's got my vote January 28, 2016 at 4:35 pm

This actually might be a savvy politcal move. This state is BIG on trump, national politics dont matter in the race for the governors mansion. We were just talking about how Nikki sold out by endorsing Jeb!(sic). This wasnt McMaster actually supporting Trump for President (well it was), but more than that it was McMaster breaking ties with Quinn and Haley because he realizes they are albatrosses that Wilson will have to carry on his own. Yes, he could have supported Cruz and had basically the same effect, but this is a much bigger, bolder statement that hes ready to shake things up in a state where the only people who like the status quo are politicians, and people here dont like cruz nearly as much as Trump, and he isnt pandering to a national audience.

Bud January 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Who will be McMaster’s handler?

RogueElephant January 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

When I saw Henry introduce Trump , my first question was, What the Hell? Now I know. All those years of kissing butt with the Quinns and then get passed over for the job he has wanted all his life would be a real kick in the groin. Henry has been a loyal trooper with McCain and Graham in 2000 as well as 2008 then sold up the river. The 2018 gov. race is going to be an old fashioned hog killing from day one. I , for one , will be looking to see the show as it unfolds. LOL TRUMP 2016. Make America Great Again.

Tired and Retired January 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm

If Henry McMaster is “as establishment as you can get in South Carolina”, then why does FITS put his political affiliation, Republican, in parenthesis? [i.e., ‘the veteran “Republican”]. Is there anyone in South Carolina who FITS is willing to concede is a Republican? FITS would probably deem Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan as “RINOS”.

Tired and Retired January 28, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Whoops! Forgot my grammar. I mean “in quotation marks”.

Clarence Boddicker January 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

That’s the sign of the Haley train going full on Casey Jones.

Henry2 January 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm

The smartest endorsement move this season-is not to endorse at all. Just watch how this all plays out.


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