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Politics

Palmetto Political Stock Index: 5/26/2023

“Eventapalooza week …”

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What a week! It was a non-stop “eventapalooza” with so much happening political junkies are going to need the upcoming three-day holiday weekend just to catch their breath.

Worried you missed anything? Fear not! Our illustrious index is here to bring you up to speed.

The Palmetto Political Stock Index is compiled weekly by our founding editor Will Folks and our political columnist Mark Powell. Got a hot “stock tip” for their consideration? Email Will (w@fitsnews.com) and/ or Mark (mark@fitsnews.com). Just make sure to include “Palmetto Political Stock Index” in the subject line.

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Remember, our installment is simply a reflection of how individuals (or institutions) fared in the past seven days. It doesn’t necessarily root for candidates – or against them. Positive reports certainly don’t reflect an endorsement or support, and negative ones don’t indicate a vendetta. We just call ‘em like we see ‘em. To borrow Walter Cronkite’s famous line, “That’s the way it is….” No more, no less. 

To view last week’s installment, click here. And to get your historical fix, click here.

Who’s up and who’s down this week? Let’s find out where you should invest your political capital this week …

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TIM SCOTT

STOCK: RISING

Tim Scott owned the political world this week. At least here in South Carolina.

Many presidential candidates rank their official announcement among their happiest campaign memories. And why shouldn’t they? More often than not, these are lovefests featuring cheering throngs of adoring supporters rooting them on.

So it was with Scott in North Charleston on Monday. He gave the crowd of approximately 2,000 his usual staples: Faith in God, faith in America, faith that if a person works hard enough, he or she can rise above their circumstances. It’s a story Scott repeats with sincere credibility because he has lived it.

Now it’s time to hit the campaign trail in earnest, where a seemingly endless string of Holiday Inn Expresses and Hilton Gardens are waiting for him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

One small cloud did briefly cast a shadow over his big moment. During his announcement speech, Scott’s handheld mic – as well as the backup lavalier microphone he was wearing – both went out. Handed a third mic, it was dead, too. The crowd filled the void by chanting “Tim Scott! Tim Scott!” like a high school pep rally until the sound returned. As they say, “The best-laid plans of mice and men….” 

Speaking of announcement glitches, read on …

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RON DeSANTIS

STOCK: RISING

We got a coming attractions preview of the 2024 GOP presidential primary when the Florida governor officially announced this week. And it wasn’t pretty.

It all looked great on paper. Team DeSantis released a slick teaser video on Tuesday. The governor would appear on Twitter Space alongside company president Elon Musk to formally announce at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, immediately followed by his first TV interview as an official candidate on Fox News, and capped off by a national radio interview with Mark Levin. Then fate intervened.

More than half a million people were logged on to Twitter Space and waiting at the appointed hour Wednesday. Six o’clock came and went. Then 6:15. There was nothing but a message saying it was “preparing to launch.” Musk and his co-host sidekick were heard talking to each other a couple of times. But nearly a half hour had passed before DeSantis joined them, and the event finally commenced.

It became the “Glitch Heard ‘Round the World.” Donald Trump Jr. labeled it (where else, on Twitter?) “#DeSaster” and the pile-on began. DeSantis’ rivals in particular, and conservative haters in general, mushroomed it into a political Hindenburg explosion. Words like “debacle,” “disaster,” and even the hyperbolic “catastrophe” began appearing.

But while the chattering class (who live, breathe, eat, sleep, and most importantly, talk to one another via Twitter) were busy flaunting their cleverness to themselves, they neglected to tell everyday Republicans, who don’t know the difference between a tweet and chirp. However, they did watch the hour DeSantis spent talking on Fox with South Carolina’s own Trey Growdy in droves.

It seems as though a sizable number liked what they saw and heard, because the DeSantis campaign announced on Thursday evening it hauled in $8.2 million during its first 24 hours of fundraising. That easily eclipsed the $6.3 million Joe Biden brought in over the first 24 hours after he announced. Every campaign should hope for such a “DeSaster!”

In short, despite its rocky first few minutes, Ron DeSantis’ campaign is very much alive and kicking.

The takeaway from this much ado about nothing? In a time when America faces severe challenges on every front, expect a campaign that discards the serious to focus like a laser beam on the utterly trivial.

To borrow from Bette Davis, “Buckle your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” And speaking of bumpy …

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DONALD TRUMP

STOCK: HOLDING

After weeks of largely favorable news, the other shoe finally dropped for the former president. It was another court appearance for Trump – though this time virtually, on Tuesday.

A New York Supreme Court judge revealed that a protective order in the matter of alleged hush money paid to Trump’s alleged mistresses had been imposed on May 8. Though not a full gag order, it severely limits what Trump can share with the public.

A March 25, 2024 trial date was also set – which was the last thing Trump wanted because it will come during the white-hot phase of the primary season.

This new wrinkle impacts the former president’s political calculus, too. He must launch an all-out assault on DeSantis now in hopes of taking out his main rival early. Because if the nomination isn’t clinched by St. Patrick’s Day, headlines will then be dominated by his upcoming trial. Think the MSM was obsessed with his court appearance in Manhattan a few weeks back? That was just the warmup act to the media circus that will surround a full-blown Trump trial.

As of this writing, though, these developments haven’t dented Trump’s standing in the polls. He remains the overwhelming frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

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NIKKI HALEY

STOCK: HOLDING

Give Nikki Haley this much: She’s got moxie. Her team was smart enough to leave the home state turf to fellow South Carolinian Tim Scott this week. So, the former governor-turned-U.N. ambassador-turned-presidential candidate stumped elsewhere.

Consider her Wednesday, when she ran around the state of New Hampshire. As she told the crowd at her final stop (her sixth event of the day), “nobody is going to outwork me – and nobody is going to outsmart me.”

Maybe. But are Republicans going to vote for her? After months of hard work (by her own admission), she remains in the 4.5 range on RealClearPolitics’ polling average. Not good, Nikki.

Still, Haley did get some encouraging news this week. CNN announced it will televise a town hall with her in Iowa on June 4. After the trashing the network took for its train wreck of a town hall with Donald Trump earlier this month, its executives seem eager to play it safe this time around with an establishment-friendly candidate.

If so, they found one.

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JIM CLYBURN

STOCK: FALLING

Aftershocks are still reverberating through the Democratic National Committee after S.C. Congressman Jim Clyburn made the biggest political gaffe of the year.

Talking on CNN last Friday night, Clyburn blurted out the worst-kept secret in the political world when he said the DNC had rigged the party’s 2024 primary calendar to “avoid embarrassment” for incumbent President Joe Biden.

“Why should President Biden sit back and allow a state that he finished fifth in be first up?” Clyburn told Chris Wallace. “I don’t think you’re stacking the deck. I think you’re avoiding embarrassment. And that is what he is attempting to avoid here. And I would expect anybody to do the same.”

With that, Clyburn destroyed the Democrats’ carefully crafted myth (or at least their party line) that New Hampshire was “too white” to host their party’s first-in-the-nation primary, and thus the honor was given instead to South Carolina (whose primary vote is safely in Clyburn’s hip pocket).

When the news broke, a Democratic insider said, “They must be [expletive] a brick right now.” One can almost picture cell phones melting in the interview’s aftermath.

And so the fix is in to protect an increasingly mentally declining octogenarian from being flattened like a pancake for the third time in the one state whose Democrats have never bought Biden’s bunk.

Look, Democrats are free to devise whatever presidential primary sequence they wish. But for the love of Pete, let’s at least drop the paper-thin pretense that putting South Carolina first in line was about race and admit it was all about protecting POTUS’ posterior.

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RUSSELL FRY

STOCK: RISING

We don’t know where Russell Fry and his family will vacation this summer. But we do know they WON’T be strolling around Moscow’s Red Square. The freshman Republican made the list of 500 Americans that Russia added to its no-fly List on Monday.

In one of the most bizarrely eclectic mashups of U.S. citizens ever assembled, Fry joins VIPs, business executives, and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama (though we strongly doubt those two have ever shared a beer).

“I didn’t do anything for it,” Fry noted.

And he’s right. But then, there’s no rhyme or reason to the now-grounded 500, with names ranging from uber Progressive/Woke Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to solidly conservative Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Our guess is the Ruskies likely tossed a scoopful of American names into a shapka (that big fur hat they love wearing) and pulled out 500 at random.

At least the no-fliers can laugh while they’re stuck at home. Comedians Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert made the list, too …

A final observation: First, that Chinese spy balloon was shot down in the ocean just outside Fry’s congressional district in February … then Russia puts Fry on its no-fly list. Coincidence? Go ahead, Tin Foil Hat folks; have fun weaving a new conspiracy theory from that! 

To read the full list of 500 names, click here.

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2 comments

Jake May 27, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Ah, the weekly look into the GQP fantasy world.

Where campaign launches that are universally described as “disastrous” are consider a good thing?

Republicans don’t stand a chance in 2024…even with all the suppression and cheating that the GQP will try.

Republicans are the biggest threat to our Democrat since the Revolutionary War.

Reply
Whatever May 27, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Why aren’t Republican in Congress right now working on raising the debt ceiling?

Probably because most of them are too stupid to even comprehend what their jobs as members of Congress are.

If you think ANY Republican politician is “rising “ you are out of touch with reality.

It been a race to the bottom since 2012x

Reply

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