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Josh Kimbrell: Did Donald Trump Have Another Luther Strange Moment?

It’s certainly starting to look that way …

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This week was supposed to be embattled South Carolina governor Henry McMaster‘s “big bounceback …”

The Palmetto State’s imperiled incumbent “Republican” welcomed U.S. president Donald Trump for a fundraiser in Greenville, S.C. that was supposed to right the former’s foundering ship.

Did it?  No …

McMaster obviously raised a ton of money (if reports are to be believed), but the event was atrociously managed, we’re told – further frustrating donors already upset with the lack of direction demonstrated by McMaster’s campaign.

“Donald Trump got a first-hand look at Henry’s sinking ship,” one source closely following the 2018 GOP gubernatorial race told us.

South Carolina politicos took notice …

In a piece for RedState, South Carolina conservative radio host (and Spartanburg County GOP chairman) Josh Kimbrell paralleled Trump’s support for McMaster with the former’s failed endorsement of U.S. Senator Luther Strange in Alabama.

You know … this race.

“As a local Republican Party official and a political talk radio show host in South Carolina, I can say with some authority that the parallels between Luther Strange in Alabama and Henry McMaster in South Carolina are uncanny,” Kimbrell wrote.

According to the party official – who is mulling a gubernatorial bid of his own – McMaster has completely squandered the frontrunner status Trump imbued him with when he named former S.C. governor Nikki Haley as his ambassador to the United Nations.

Here’s more from his piece …

 … it seemed like Henry McMaster’s lock on state politics was solid. That is, until he started governing.

McMaster’s short tenure as Governor has been rocky from the start. During his first legislative session as governor, South Carolina enacted the biggest tax increase in the modern history of the state, massively increased spending on a notoriously corrupt state retirement pension plan without any meaningful reform, and witnessed an utter debacle at one of the state’s largest power companies.

He’ll get no argument from us on any of those counts … (see here and here).

Kimbrell goes on to say that “many have already calculated that President Trump would support McMaster and just don’t seem to care.”

“Like Luther Strange, McMaster is an insider who has sought the endorsement of the outsider who became President,” Kimbrell wrote.  “Time will tell if it works in South Carolina where it failed in Alabama.”

Time is already telling, actually …

Two days after Trump came to South Carolina on McMaster’s behalf, the incumbent insider’s candidacy sustained another major blow with the indictment of his longtime political strategist on corruption charges.

Democrats immediately pounced on this development, which dragged McMaster back into an exceedingly uncomfortable discussion about his proximity to those ensnared by #ProbeGate – an ongoing, multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government.

Bottom line?  It took less than 48 hours for McMaster’s “bounceback week” to wind up becoming a net negative for a campaign desperately in need of some momentum …

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