I was speaking with a national reporter earlier this week about the rising political fortunes of Nancy Mace, the first district congresswoman from South Carolina. According to this reporter, members of the Washington, D.C. press corps continue to be amazed by Mace’s ability to attract press – one of many reasons she appears to be inching toward a spot on Republican vice presidential short lists.
“It’s uncanny,” the reporter told me, remarking how Mace has a knack for “deftly positioning herself at the forefront of policy debates in such a way as to maximize her media exposure.”
This time, though, Mace stole the show not by making any bold policy pronouncements – or engaging in any rhetorical flourishes – but rather with a humorous anecdote about her personal life. A very humorous, very personal anecdote.
Specifically, Mace referred to an attempt by her fiancee – Charleston, S.C. entrepreneur Patrick Bryant – to, um, “rise and shine” with the vivacious congresswoman prior to her departure for the event that morning.
“Patrick, my fiancee, tried to pull me over by my waist this morning in bed,” Mace said. “And I was like ‘no baby, we don’t got time for that this morning. I gotta get to the prayer breakfast – and I gotta be on time.'”
Several jaws dropped, but most in attendance – including Scott – laughed as Mace recalled the story.
“A little TMI,” the second-term congresswoman from Daniel Island, S.C. acknowledged amid the chuckling.
Fortunately for Bryant, Mace made it clear the morning denial of her man was merely an exercise in delayed gratification.
“He can wait,” she said. “I’ll see him later tonight.”
While there’s no immediate word on whether Bryant’s patience was rewarded (we haven’t made any official inquiries), Mace’s joke was all anyone attending Scott’s breakfast was talking about.
“Everyone was buzzing about it,” one attendee told me.
Mace, 45, is on the move in Washington, D.C. Last spring, she defeated a credible, well-funded primary rival backed by former U.S. president Donald Trump. Then she vanquished a credible, well-funded general election rival last fall in a landslide – winning a purple district that had gone down to the wire in each of the previous two election cycles by 14 percentage points. In her landslide win, Mace flipped 40 percent of previously held Democratic precincts and even managed to win deep blue Charleston County by nearly 4.5 percentage points.
Mace carried independents and women in this erstwhile purple district – and she absolutely cleaned up in the deep purple suburbs. With Biden carrying an estimated 55 percent of women voters and 54 percent of suburban voters in 2020, these are critical GOP target demographics in 2024.
Since her reelection, Mace has continued to chart a principled, independent path – including voting against GOP leadership on that big debt ceiling vote two months ago.
(Click to view)
“This bill had no limit on the debt ceiling at all,” Mace said in a video recorded after her vote. “It also put into law record high levels of spending created during the Covid pandemic era. To put that into law as your baseline spending going forward – I just can’t even imagine how we sold out our kids and grandkids.”
Conservatives rejoiced at her vote … and Mace lost precisely zero ground with her more moderate backers.
“That’s some serious coalition-building … and it’s one of many reasons growing numbers of national Republicans are sizing up the 45-year-old sophomore congresswoman,” I noted earlier this year. “Cobbling winning margins in key swing states isn’t going to be easy next fall – especially if Trump is on the ticket.”
But Mace could be “just the ticket” to achieve such margins …
Of course, getting there may involve a few more frustrating mornings for her fiancee …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.