Politics

Palmetto Political Stock Index – 5/5/2024

Where should you invest your political capital this week?

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South Carolina’s partisan primary elections are starting to ramp up – as evidenced by some big money flowing into the state’s contested congressional races as well as the battle between the uniparty elite and a growing conservative minority at the S.C. State House.

Both of these battle lines saw major developments this week (here and here) … and additional fireworks are expected this week.

Over the last year, our founding editor Will Folks and political columnist Mark Powell have been monitoring political developments in South Carolina and beyond via our Palmetto Political Stock Index.  With the ‘First in the South’ presidential primary season now in the rearview, our index has been focusing more intently on statewide developments.

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As previously noted, each installment of this index is an assessment of how our subjects fared over the previous week. Positive reports don’t reflect endorsements, and negative ones aren’t (necessarily) indicative of vendettas. We just call ‘em like we see ‘em.

To view the most recent index, click here. And to get your historical fix, click here.

Got a hot “stock tip” for our consideration? Email Will (here) and/ or Mark (here). Just make sure to include “Palmetto Political Stock Index” in the subject line.

Where should you invest your political capital? To the index!

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DONALD TRUMP

STOCK: HOLDING

Is a trip to the pokey on the horizon for the former prez? A Manhattan judge says maybe.

The third week of former U.S. president Donald Trump’s trial over allegedly paying hush money to a porn star began with a dramatic flourish when the presiding judge found Trump in contempt for violating a gag order—for the tenth time.

Trump’s MAGA supporters argue it’s an attempt to gag Trump politically, while Trump’s opponents claim it’s necessary to prevent him from grandstanding on the case. Opinions for and against Trump are so deeply baked in by now that all the courtroom back-and-forthing has had minimal impact on public opinion surveys. Despite the MSM’s frenzied coverage of the trial in rapturous detail, it has yet to move the polling needle.

But what about the visual of seeing a former president of the United States hauled off to the slammer? Who knows how that could play out …

Much of the 2024 election cycle has been conducted in first-time territory, with many voters shrugging it off. Would a jail stint help or hurt Trump’s candidacy?

We could find out soon …

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JOE BIDEN

STOCK: FALLING

While Trump’s legal drama has him treading water, the incumbent president finds himself well below the water line. As of early this week, Joe Biden’s latest aggregate polling was 17.7 percent underwater, according to FiveThirtyEight – with 38.1 percent approving of the job he’s doing as president and 55.9 percent disapproving.

Thats not the place any candidate wants to be six months from Election Day …

Biden’s latest ongoing headache (which is now reaching migraine levels) is young Woke progressives. Biden simply must have their votes in large numbers in order to win. Yet these are the same kids currently calling him “Genocide Joe” over the Israel-Hamas War.

“He will lose the election if he decides to roll the dice and assumes that Gaza isn’t at the top of minds right now,” said Elise Joshi of Gen-Z for Change.

Which is why Biden keeps lurching ever further Left. The Biden administration last week quietly slammed the brakes on new ammunition shipments to Israel. And it very publicly trumpeted another $6 billion in student loan giveaways.

Gotta keep the kids happy …

And let’s not forget the lackluster, inflation-riddled economy – the one issue no president can ever escape. Economic woes are latching on to Biden like a hungry dog with a bone. Wall Street suffered a bad outburst of jitters Friday when the feds announced unemployment inched up last month while inflation again hindered economic growth.

Harry Truman called the White House the “great white prison.” Biden could accompany that with “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” on the harmonica.

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BOEING

STOCK: FALLING

They’re singing the blues at Boeing these days, too. These are equally tough times for South Carolina’s most prominent crony capitalism beneficiary.

A second whistleblower who exposed problems with the air carrier’s product died recently from what was described as a “sudden, fast-moving infection.” It happened just six weeks after a previous whistleblower’s “suicide.” Suspicious timing, to say the least.

But a more ominous problem is looming on the near horizon for the company. One that could take a big bite out of Boeing’s bottom line.

The South China Morning Post recently reported the first round of testing on China Eastern Airline’s C919 had concluded – and the new jetliner passed with flying colors. This is significant because not only is it a huge step forward for the communist country’s first home-grown narrow body passenger jet (potentially opening the door to highly lucrative international markets) – it also comes at a time when Boeing is still struggling to overcome mechanical woes on its planes that are an engineer’s nightmare. 

Amid that dismal backdrop is the more the $1 billion in taxpayer money Columbia shelled out to lure Boeing to North Charleston back in 2009. As TV’s Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

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GOP VEEPSTAKES

STOCK: RISING

Wanted: Someone to fill upcoming opening in high-profile national position. Successful candidate’s skill set must include, but not be limited to, the ability to step into the world’s most demanding job should it unexpectedly open up. While duties are light, the immediate supervisor is exceedingly demanding. Must pledge absolute, unswerving loyalty to him while expecting none in return. Perks: Government housing is available, along with lots of invitations to charity golf tournaments. Rush résumés to Mr. T., Mar-a-Largo, Palm Beach, Florida.

Okay … so that’s not really a classified ad from three-time GOP nominee Donald Trump seeking his next running mate. But it could be.

A cavalcade of potential Veeps in waiting is making the obligatory pilgrimage to Florida these days, where each must kiss the ring and swear fealty to Trump.

Some recent supplicants are almost laughable. Take Doug Burgum, North Dakota’s outgoing billionaire governor and former presidential candidate. He’s been doing yeoman’s service in the GOP trenches around the country since leaving the race, speaking at one Republican rubber chicken dinner after another. But his dismal primary performance – coupled with his state’s inconsequential three electoral votes – brings little to the table.

Others playing footsie with the former prez include U.S. senators J.D. Vance and Marco Rubio from vote-rich Ohio and Florida, respectively, and New York congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

South Carolina’s junior senator Tim Scott – a former 2024 presidential contender – is also frequently mentioned. But while there is genuine affection for him within much of the SCGOP, it is unclear whether that love affair extends beyond the Palmetto State line. Plus, with South Carolina’s nine electoral votes in Trump’s column come hell or high water – would Trump gain more from choosing a No. 2 elsewhere on the map?

There are two names Trump probably won’t spend much time mulling over. First is South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, who belatedly discovered most Americans really do believe a dog is man’s best friend (more on her in a minute). Then there’s former vice president Mike “been there, done that” Pence. In Pence’s case, one ride on the Trump Train was enough to last a lifetime.

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KRISTI NOEM

STOCK: FALLING

An old adage teaches us, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Apparently, that saying hasn’t made it to South Dakota. That … or governor Kristi Noem has never heard it.

Regular readers of this index will recall how Noem proudly (and bizarrely) bragged about shooting and killing a rebellious hunting dog in a gravel pit on her property. It was somehow intended to display her inner toughness.

Instead, it pissed off millions of dog-loving Americans. 

Having stepped on that landmine — and sustained a massive self-inflicted wound as a result — the gun-toting guv should have had the good sense to call it quits. But Noem persisted …

She not only stuck with her canine-killing views, she even doubled down on them. According to Noem, “Commander” – Joe Biden’s German Shepherd who has developed a taste for Secret Service and White House staff flesh – should likewise be put down for his bad behavior. 

Noem’s comments left dog lovers (who, incidentally, are a vast majority of Americans) more irate than ever.

It’s time to put down the shovel, lady. Your chances of becoming Trump’s running mate are doggone over now.

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PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

STOCK: FALLING

Think back to 2020. Remember how then-candidate Joe Biden said, “Here’s my promise to you: If I’m elected president, I will always choose to unite rather than divide.”

Biden has instead been one of the most shamelessly divisive political partisans to occupy the Oval Office in the last 50 years. The latest proof: His selections for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Along with the Congressional Gold Medal, is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Biden’s list includes liberal luminaries like Al Gore, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi, along with a bushel of progressive activists. Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. senator, cabinet officer, and widow of the late Bob Dole, was tossed the obligatory Republican bone.

But one name in particular stood out: South Carolina’s James Clyburn, the veteran congressman and Democrat stalwart extraordinaire. The ruling force behind the South Carolina’s minority power base, America has Clyburn to thank (or blame) for saving Biden’s bacon in the 2020 primary campaign.

He’s also the James Clyburn who, in 2021, quietly dictated the lines to assure keeping his majority-black House seat safe, while also minimizing the number of African-Americans in surrounding districts. In short, the “king-maker” made damn sure his personal throne was protected … at the expense of expanding minority voices elsewhere.

And yet he’s being honored for having (in the words of the White House’s news release) “created a freer country.” But then, what else would you expect from a “uniter”?

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COLLEGE PROTEST INSANITY

STOCK: RISING

Just when you thought the insanity that has infected so many elite universities this spring couldn’t get any crazier … think again.

First, a wave of ostensibly “pro-Palestinian protests” began. Then, those students morphed into being openly anti-Israeli and, in many cases, overtly anti-semitic. Next, orchestrated and coordinated tent cities began appearing, with New York’s Columbia University foremost among them. That was followed by a disruption of learning on many campuses. Finally, police were called in to drive off the malcontents and restore a degree of normalcy. Many dozens of students in different states were arrested in the process.

It was all too much for the delicate hothouse orchids at Columbia Law School. The student editors of its prestigious Law Review say they have been “irrevocably shaken” by recent events. As a result, they’re demanding the school cancel final exams and automatically pass all students (and presumably, they want their student loan debt forgiven to boot, too).

Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any more bizarre — they did. Not to be outdone, a bad actor from the other side of the world jumped into the spotlight.  Iranian TV reports the head of Shiraz University (“Go Camels!”) is offering free scholarships to American students and professors expelled for participating in the protests.

To those considering the offer, although relocating to Fars Province in southern Iraq, where Shariz is located, sounds like a bit of culture shock, don’t worry. You’ll fit right in. They hate Jews there, too.

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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.

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3 comments

Nanker Phelge May 7, 2024 at 10:51 pm

Trump holding? He certainly isn’t holding in his farts as he sleeps his way through a criminal trial.

Aggregate polls are flooded by junk polls like Trafalgar and its ilk. That’s why no red wave ever appeared. Prepare to be disappointed again.

Trump gave Rush Limbaugh and Gym Jordan Medals of Freedom. Biden gave them to John McCain as well as Elizabeth Dole. Obama gave them to George H.W. Bush, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Jack Kemp. Seems like there’s a trend here totally escaping Will’s wee wittle mind…

You’ll never read in this blahg that inflation is worldwide and that the US has the lowest rate of the industrialized nations. How about ruminate about Trump’s proposed 60% increase in Chinese tariffs and 10% on all other imports and how inflationary they would be? No? Ok then.

Reply
Pepperidge Farm Remembers May 8, 2024 at 11:59 am

Remember when FITS complained about “in the tank” media with zero self-awareness?

Reply
Your Average Republican May 8, 2024 at 12:04 pm

Israel straight up murdering civilians and even Israeli hostages, it’s insane to think anyone would complain about that!

Reply

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