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#SC2018: Catherine Templeton’s Game-Changer

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“Game-changer” is one of the most overused terms in American politics.  It’s frequently invoked, yet rarely actualized.  So when we hear a politician say something or the other is a “game-changer,” we tend to roll our eyes.

This is especially true when campaigns announce staffing moves …  decisions which are more often than not utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of political campaigns.

In South Carolina, GOP gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton is hoping her recent hiring of Ward Baker of Nashville, Tennessee will prove the exception to the rule.

Baker, 40, is a former Marine who was in charge of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)’s 2016 election effort – which managed to preserve a narrow GOP majority in that chamber.

Did it matter?  Hell no …

“Republicans” in the U.S. Senate have proven utterly incapable of fulfilling their campaign promises, although it’s hard to fault Baker for that – even though he has a lengthy résumé of establishment hacks under his belt.

Whoever fills his shoes though will suffer from the ongoing fail …

Prior to his work with the NRSC, Baker advised a host of left-leaning “Republicans” – including former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, George W. Bush and Haley Barbour.

Not surprisingly, establishment GOP operatives in Washington, D.C. sing his praises …

“Ward Baker is known as an excellent politician strategist with a history of advising successful candidates in competitive races across the country,” one national operative told us.  “He’s best known as the director of the NRSC when they held the Senate.  This is pretty big news for South Carolina and he’s definitely a huge hire for any campaign.”

One former state GOP official agreed.

“He’s a kick ass and take names operative,” they told us.

As far as we’re concerned, Baker will have to go a ways to maintain the early momentum Templeton’s campaign has already achieved – all without the benefit of a political advisor.

In addition to raising nearly as much campaign cash as incumbent governor Henry McMaster, Templeton has proven she’s up for a political scrape against the veteran politician – who was expected to cruise to reelection next year.  She’s also begun to draw incoming fire from Palmetto State Democrats – which says a lot about where they see this race headed.

In other words, Baker is inheriting a campaign that has dramatically exceeded expectations up to this point in the race.

Can he take it to the next level?  We’ll see …

In addition to McMaster and Templeton, current lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill are also seeking the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile Tom Davis – a fiscally conservative, libertarian leaning State Senator – is expected to jump into the race soon (this website has preemptively endorsed Davis’ bid in the event he decides to run, incidentally).

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