The state that picks presidents could soon earn a reputation as the state that picks party leaders …
South Carolina recently saw its Democratic party chairman Jaime Harrison assume the same role at the national level. Now the Palmetto State’s “Republican” chairman is being touted as a replacement for results-challenged GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Drew McKissick is a status quo party leader who narrowly retained his leadership of the SCGOP back in May when conservatives couldn’t rally around a viable alternative. Despite his establishment roots, McKissick is being pushed by anti-establishment presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to take the reins of the national party from McDaniel, whom he accused of embodying “the culture of surrender and losing.”
“Only in the broken industry of politics do you get to keep your job and get paid more for doing an atrocious job,” Ramaswamy said, referring to McDaniel. “(Her) sitting atop the RNC reminds me of a squatter in a rent-controlled apartment. It’s time to evict.”
According to Ramaswamy, McDaniel’s salary has “more than tripled since she took over as chairwoman despite the fact she lost in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023.”
In McDaniel’s place, Ramaswamy is touting McKissick – whom he credited with securing the Palmetto State’s GOP legislative supermajorities (ahem), the reelection of status quo governor Henry McMaster as well as recent GOP victories in municipal races in Columbia and Greenville.
Did McKissick really do all of that? And assuming he did, is it really something to brag about?
While I take no issue with Ramaswamy’s criticism of McDaniel, his faith in McKissick as an alternative is sorely misplaced. As I have consistently noted, winning hasn’t been a problem for South Carolina “Republicans.” Their issue? Governing in a manner even remotely consistent with the principles they articulate on the campaign trail (or the party platforms they adopt every two years … and then ignore).
While the GOP indeed boasts supermajorities in both the S.C. House and State Senate, these bodies have been collectively ranked as the most liberal “Republican-controlled” legislature in the nation for three years running. Meanwhile, McMaster recently installed a Democrat as the state’s interim comptroller.
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.
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