#SC2018: Democrats “Secret Weapon?”

WATCH OUT, GOP … Democrats in South Carolina have been having quite a time of it lately.  Once the dominant party in the Palmetto State, the last two-and-a-half decades have seen a complete reversal of fortunes. For the last decade-and-a-half, they’ve been completely out of power … As it stands…


Democrats in South Carolina have been having quite a time of it lately.  Once the dominant party in the Palmetto State, the last two-and-a-half decades have seen a complete reversal of fortunes.

For the last decade-and-a-half, they’ve been completely out of power …

As it stands now, Democrats control zero statewide offices, zero U.S. Senate seats, just one of seven U.S. congressional seats and are the decided minority in both chambers of the state legislature.

Some of their legislative leaders do manage to wield influence over policy within the S.C. General Assembly, but only because fiscally liberal “Republicans” let them.

On the statewide level, Democrats are as good as dead … and with good reason.  Their “Mo (Taxpayer) Money, Mo Problems” ideology has been successfully coopted by the GOP, whose leaders have realized they can govern as Democrats so long as they run for reelection with “R’s” hanging behind their names.

That’s been some nifty political calculus, but it hasn’t been good for the state.

“Republican” leaders’ addiction to borrowingtaxing and spending has certainly succeeded in growing government, but the outcomes for our state – whether in terms of the economyeducationinfrastructure or public safety – have been nothing short of abysmal.

In other words, the GOP is wide open to a host of legitimate criticisms related to the fourteen-and-a-half years during which it has wielded total control over state government.

Unfortunately, Democrats have provided absolutely nothing resembling an alternative to the GOP’s free-spending approach to governing – choosing to bark at their base on social issues rather than stake out available “centrist” ground on fiscal ones.

Accordingly, Democrats have found it difficult to impossible to recruit credible candidates for office.  Why not?  Because no one wants to fly a kamikaze (a.k.a. suicide) mission.

Or do they …

(Click to view)

(Via: Wyche Law Firm)

Um, hello!

That is Tally Casey, an attorney with the Columbia, S.C. branch of the Wyche Law Firm.  Before we address the speculation swirling around her person, let’s take a look at her official bio …

A former F-16 fighter pilot, Tally serves her clients with a special blend of tenacity, shrewdness, and creativity. As the firm’s senior female litigation partner, her broad experience includes representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex matters in the areas of aviation law, commercial and securities litigation, copyright litigation, qui tam and whistleblower lawsuits, civil and voting rights litigation, and unfair trade practices. Admitted to practice in D.C. and Maryland as well as South Carolina, she has represented clients in corporate defense/ white collar criminal matters and internal investigations, and she handles appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. A magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Tally was the first female fighter pilot in the South Carolina Air National Guard and is a veteran of three combat tours over Iraq. She is based in our Columbia SC office and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.

Wow … impressive.

In addition to all that personal and professional bad-assness, sources close to Casey tell us that while she tends to be liberal on social issues she is a fiscal conservative – which we don’t have to tell our readers is increasingly fertile ideological ground.

So is this what we think it is?  Has the Palmetto State’s perpetual minority party found the equivalent of a unicorn?  Is it really possible that after four successive elections of ho-hum nominees, South Carolina Democrats have identified a prospective statewide candidate with the combination of attributes necessary to break through the GOP stronghold?  To effectively exploit its vulnerabilities and stake out a new pathway forward?

Let’s see … Casey is brilliant.  Accomplished.  Gorgeous.  A veteran.  And a friggin’ F-16 fighter pilot.

That’s right: Hottie fighter pilot.

We don’t know why, but those two attributes seem to bear repeating for some reason …

Look, this isn’t complicated, people.  Assuming Casey were credible as a fundraiser and capable as a messenger, she has the potential to be an incredibly viable gubernatorial candidate – and that’s before we get into the possibility of her staking out new, unconventional ground on the issues.  Or the possibility of her running in an election in which the national tides could favor Democrats.

Or against a weak GOP nominee.

To be clear: We have no idea if Casey is interested in running for elected office.  We reached out to her seeking her thoughts on all the speculation surrounding her but didn’t immediately hear back.  If that changes, we’ll be sure to let our readers know.

We do know several top Democratic officials at both the state and national level have reached out to her and strongly encouraged her to run, though – and we know she is already on the radar of several state and national “Republican” operatives plotting the GOP’s 2018 general election strategy.

Democrats have tried to get her to run against scandal-scarred “Republican” attorney general Alan Wilson – who is exceedingly vulnerable – but GOP officials are more concerned she might go in at the top of the Democratic ticket.

According to our sources, GOP officials in Washington, D.C. and Columbia are most concerned about Casey and state representative Mandy Powers Norrell (below) – who is being courted to run for governor but has yet to say whether she is interested in the position.

(Click to view)

(Pic: Provided)

They are especially concerned if one of these younger, vibrant female candidates winds up being pitted against aging, establishment “Republican” Henry McMaster – the current GOP gubernatorial frontrunner.

McMaster’s reelection was supposed to be a “done deal,” but challenger Catherine Templeton has posting surprisingly solid fundraising numbers against him – and a pair of GOP candidates with statewide profiles appear poised to jump into the race any day now.

As a result McMaster isn’t campaigning like an incumbent frontrunner, he’s campaigning scared – hitting Templeton hard (with additional punches expected).

“Henry is in a dogfight for the Republican nomination against an attractive female candidate – Catherine Templeton – and is already having to throw punches against her to stave off her unexpected momentum,” one national Republican operative told us. “That’ll drive up her negatives for sure, but it will also drive up his negatives – especially among women.  Democrats would be crazy not to take advantage of that dynamic, and if their current recruitment efforts are any indication – they are doing just that.”

Stay tuned …

The 2018 South Carolina gubernatorial election continues to follow a pattern of “expecting the unexpected.”  And while McMaster certainly remains the GOP frontrunner – and the GOP nominee remains a virtual lock to win next November – anything can happen when unconventional candidates decide to throw their hats in the ring.



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