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#SC2018: The Trump Card Is On

President coming to Greenville to campaign for embattled incumbent …

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South Carolina governor Henry McMaster will get to play his “Trump card” after all …

U.S. president Donald Trump will come to Greenville, S.C. on October 16 to campaign for the embattled Palmetto State governor, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Well, then … that settles that.

Now …. can Trump’s visit revive McMaster’s flagging candidacy?

Eh …

This news site was the first to report on Trump’s visit … we just didn’t know whether it was “on” or not.

It is …

Why, though?  Trump has already repaid McMaster (and then some) for the latter’s endorsement during his “First in the South” presidential campaign – which did little to move the needle in the state’s presidential primary race that year.

Nonetheless, Trump showed his loyalty to McMaster by appointing former S.C. governor Nikki Haley to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations – paving the way for McMaster to become governor of the Palmetto State back in January.  Trump’s sop to the establishment politician was also supposed to have cleared the field for him in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial election.

Things haven’t turned out that way, though … at all.

McMaster’s early momentum has been blunted by his proximity to an ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government.  As a result, he has drawn multiple credible challengers – most notably Lowcountry attorney Catherine Templeton.

Democrats pounced on McMaster’s vulnerability.

“The election is more than a year out, and Henry McMaster is already calling in Trump to save his struggling campaign,” said Jared Leopold, communications director for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). “These scandals have McMaster pressing the panic button. The way things are going, Trump might have another Luther Strange situation on his hands.”

Hard to argue with that assessment …

Also worth watching?  How Trump and McMaster handle questions related to #NukeGate, the Palmetto State’s disastrously mismanaged command economic intervention in the nuclear energy marketplace.  McMaster has been trying desperately to find a buyer for the state-owned utility at the heart of this scandal – but so far he has been unsuccessful.

Conversely, last week it was reported that a Georgia nuclear power project caught in similarly dire financial straits was receiving a whopping $3.7 billion in loan guarantees from Trump’s energy department.

South Carolinians might well ask Trump why – if he likes McMaster so much – he wouldn’t provide similar assistance to the Palmetto State’s abandoned nuclear power project.

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