CONGRESSMAN “NO COMMENTS” ON STATEWIDE ASPIRATIONS
Of all the prospective candidates for governor of South Carolina in 2018, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney is generally viewed as being among those most likely to run. In fact, several sources close to the fifth district congressman – who is currently seeking his fourth term in Washington, D.C. – tell us his gubernatorial plans will be announced shortly after the conclusion of his latest congressional election.
Mulvaney isn’t discussing the issue …
“Thanks for the opportunity but no comment,” he told us this week when informed that we were preparing a story on his possible statewide aspirations.
Mulvaney’s reluctance to discuss his 2018 plans makes sense (and not just because we’ve been knocking him around a bit of late).
Democrats are fielding at least one viable candidate to run against him in November, so he has to keep his eye on the congressional race in front of him. Any discussion of his political future beyond 2016 could adversely impact his immediate electoral prospects.
When we last heard from Mulvaney, he was on his sickbed dealing with pneumonia and dispensing vitriol toward former “Republican” presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“Mitt lost because he was a lousy candidate who was uniquely and spectacularly incapable of spearheading the conservative challenge against what should have been the central issue of the 2012 campaign: Obamacare. He lost because he was exposed as being yet another big-government Republican,” Mulvaney wrote.
We agree with his assessment of Romney … although unfortunately Mulvaney has been veering in the direction of status quo politicians like the former Massachusetts governor with alarming frequency of late.
When he was first elected to Congress in 2010 – defeating veteran liberal budget chairman John Spratt – Mulvaney was an unapologetic pro-freedom, pro-free market lawmaker. And he stayed that way for most of his first two terms in office.
In recent years, though, Mulvaney has become something of a status quo squish – siding with the GOP establishment over the people the party is supposed to be representing.
How will his ideological moorings impact his gubernatorial chances? Good question … but if the 2016 presidential primary electorate is any indication, Mulvaney had better get busy rediscovering the uncompromising spirit that got him elected (and earned him all sorts of initial praise from this website).
Frankly, we think Mulvaney should focus on becoming the Congressman he used to be … not the governor he wants to be.
If he chooses to run, Mulvaney would enter a crowded 2018 “Republican” field.
Among those rumored to be considering the office? In alphabetical order, they are: S.C. Senator Tom Davis, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay, former S.C. lieutenant governor Yancey McGill (who recently switched parties to run), current S.C. lieutenant governor Henry McMaster, S.C. Rep. Tommy Pope, Charleston, S.C. attorney Catherine Templeton, Upstate solicitor Walt Wilkins and S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.
Others are likely to signal their interest in the weeks and months to come, too.
We like having such a crowded filed … and it is our hope such a wide array of options will produce a nominee capable of advancing the long-overdue reforms South Carolina must embrace now – before it’s too late.
We’re talking, of course, about individual income tax relief, universal parental choice, draconian reductions/ reprioritizations in state spending, a complete overhaul of the state’s ethics laws, privatization of broad swaths of unnecessary government … etc., etc.
S.C. governor Nikki Haley campaigned as just such a reformer in 2010 – but she has proven to be the definition of an establishment politician. Former S.C. governor Mark Sanford also dropped the ball on his promise as a reformer. So, that’s twice South Carolinians elected (and then reelected) “Republican” governors promising them change … only to be completely let down.
We can’t afford to flush another four (or eight) years down the drain on false promises from fundamentally dishonest/ fatally flawed human beings …