Politics

Palmetto Political Stock Index – 5/28/2024

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Former U.S. president Donald Trump and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made their respective pitches to the national Libertarian Party last weekend – but the rowdy assemblage of limited government advocates rejected both of them.

Trump even wound up getting heckled by the crowd after inviting them to join him on a fusion ticket.

As it became increasingly clear Trump was persona non gratis with the Libertarian delegates, he began to mock them for their quadrennial electoral futility.

“Only (join me) if you want to win,” he eventually remarked. “If you want to lose, don’t do that. Keep getting your three percent every four years.”

Ouch …

Eventual Libertarian nominee Chase Oliver made it clear the contempt was mutual.

“You are not a libertarian, Donald Trump,” he said. “You’re a war criminal and you deserve to be shamed by everyone in this hall.”

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RFK Jr. fared about as bad, although he did get in some effective digs at Trump – slamming the former president for empowering the lockdown regimes of Anthony Fauci during his first term in the Oval Office.

“He was initially very reluctant to impose lockdowns, but then he got rolled by his bureaucrats,” Kennedy noted. “He caved in, and many of our most fundamental rights disappeared practically overnight. President Trump allowed his health regulators to mandate science-free social distancing, which undermined our First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly. We could no longer peacefully gather.”

Despite Kennedy’s appeals, Libertarians (the big “L” ones, anyway) shot him down on their first presidential ballot.

How will the snubs of Trump and Kennedy impact the 2024 presidential race?

Over the past year, founding editor Will Folks and political columnist Mark Powell have been monitoring developments on multiple fronts via our Palmetto Political Stock Index. As previously noted, each installment is an assessment of how our subjects fared over the previous seven days. 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.

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NIKKI HALEY

STOCK: FALLING

Nikki Haley was back in vintage form last week, doing what she does best. The flip-flopping former governor turned U.N. ambassador turned failed presidential candidate turned full-time warmonger popped up on the national radar to announce that she will, in fact, be voting for Donald Trump for president in November.

“A Republican says she’s voting for a Republican, and this is somehow news?” one veteran political strategist told us.

Haley spent months on the campaign trail doing her contortionist act, lecturing Republicans that, on the one hand, Trump was a better president than Joe Biden, but that on the other hand he shouldn’t be president again. Classic “Have It Both Ways” Haley. Though she didn’t overtly self-identify as a #NeverTrumper, she didn’t overexert herself breaking free when the #NeverTrump faction embraced her, either. When Haley finally threw in the campaign towel and called it quits in early March, she declined to follow the tradition of endorsing the winner. In fact, she went out of her way to say she wouldn’t tell her supporters whom they should vote for (which, technically, she still hasn’t done).

But with June upon us and with polls showing Trump’s lead growing in most critical swing states, Haley announced that she would be pulling the Trump lever in November after all.

Haley’s announcement last week pleased no one. #NeverTrumpers viewed it as a betrayal. Meanwhile, the MAGA crowd was pissed she didn’t take the extra step of urging her primary supporters to follow her lead and vote for Trump this fall, too.

So, what comes next? Trump personally slammed the door on having Haley as his running mate earlier this month. But then again, is anything ever really 100 percent certain in Trump World? Especially with Trump signaling last week that Haley would be on his team “in some form.”

If Haley’s move was a gesture calculated to get back in Trump’s good graces, she may have made some slight progress. But if it was meant to be a kiss and make-up moment designed to get on the ticket, she still has a lot of ground to recover before Donnie asks Nikki to go steady.

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JAMES CLYBURN

STOCK: FALLING

Consistency, thy name is not Clyburn.

When South Carolina’s GOP-controlled General Assembly drew up lines for the state’s seven congressional districts following the 2020 census, its leaders did a smart thing (one of their very few smart things, in fact). They went to the dean of South Carolina’s congressional delegation (also its sole Democrat and sole black member) and essentially handed him a state map, a Magic Marker, and said, “draw your own district.” Jim Clyburn happily obliged, getting a minority-majority district where he would be safe for another decade (while screwing over minority candidates in surrounding districts in the process). With Clyburn duly appeased, the GOP’s minions were then free to slice up the rest of the state to their advantage.

The inevitable howls of gerrymandering came next, followed by the predictably inevitable legal challenge to district lines, which made it all the way to the U.S. supreme court. The justices glanced at the map and in a 6-3 decision said, “looks okay to us.”

And what did Congressman Clyburn then do? He went on a rant, blasting the very districts that he had created! The court’s decisions was, he snarled, “further affirmation that this court has chosen to disenfranchise black voters and rob us of our fundamental access to the ballot box.”

Nikki Haley should take lessons from this guy. Because when it comes to having it both ways, she’s a rank amateur compared to Clyburn.

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SC PRIMARY ELECTION

STOCK: RISING

Election Day has gone the way of the dodo. With the arrival of early voting, South Carolina now has “Election Fortnight.” That’s British parlance for a two-week period, for those of you who didn’t watch Downton Abbey. Ballots can be cast starting today (May 28, 2024) through next Friday (June 7, 2024). It’s expected 40 percent of voters will make their choice early, with some projections reaching as high as 50 percent.

In other words, it’s now or never for candidates hoping to make their final plug for support – or to get in one last jab at their rivals.

It also means there’s no longer a valid excuse for not voting. Check your county voter registration office for early voting locations and hours – or visit SCVotes.gov.

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WILLIAM TIMMONS & ADAM MORGAN

STOCK: RISING

Two opponents each getting a rising rating? As the Republican race for South Carolina’s fourth congressional district heads into the home stretch, each campaign deserves it.

Third-term incumbent William Timmons has lined up the year’s biggest Republican “get” in the form of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. That’s not to be taken lightly, especially in one of the brightest red districts in the Palmetto State. Timmons’ air game has likewise been firing on all cylinders – with heavy commercial saturation on Fox News. Will it be enough to atone for his (extra)marital shortcomings – especially in a section of South Carolina that loves the Bible even more than the GOP?

Challenger Adam Morgan’s campaign is sprinting to the finish line, too, having previously snagged endorsements from heavy-hitters like Upstate businessman John Warren and Greenville County sheriff Hobart Lewis. In addition to his chairmanship of the S.C. Freedom Caucus, both of these local endorsements highlights his conservative bona fides. Plus, Morgan’s air war against Timmons has been equally effective.

Polling suggests this race is too close to call. If that trend holds, you’ll want to have an extra large bowl of popcorn handy on primary night. This one could be a nail-biter.

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CATHERINE TEMPLETON

STOCK: FALLING

At the opposite end of the state, it’s been a rocky ride for congressional hopeful Catherine Templeton. The erstwhile Columbia apparatchik who is currently seeking the first district GOP nomination hit another rough patch of road last week. 

Second-term incumbent Nancy Mace called out Templeton for mishandling a tuberculosis outbreak that occurred on her watch when she skippered the state’s largest health care agency a decade ago. Never one to miss an opportunity to make it personal, Mace pounced on the issue – reminding voters how she had been exposed to TB as a child. 

The broadside was yet another distraction Templeton’s beleaguered campaign didn’t need. Instead of looking ahead to how she would tackle problems in Washington, D.C., the challenger was forced to spend time addressing something that happened back when Barack Obama was president. Explaining is losing in politics, and Templeton has been doing lots of it lately. From a television ad that bizarrely touted her ties to a South Carolina corporate welfare favorite to her teenage son’s ongoing legal woes, Templeton has been unable to get in gear since announcing her candidacy.

She’s also running out of time to do so …

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CHARLESTON POST & COURIER

STOCK: FALLING

To put it in Shakespearean terms, “now is the winter of our discontent” for the uni-party that runs South Carolina. For years, things went the way its leaders wanted with the smoothness of a finely tuned high-performance engine. Then, along came some folks who refused to dance to the good ol’ boy network’s tune – and the proverbial applecart was upset. Now, the uni-party is huffing and puffing in impotent rage – slandering the S.C. Freedom Caucus as “crazies” and “extremists” and throwing snit-fits generally associated with angry toddlers.

The GOP establishment recruited candidates to run against Freedom Caucus members in the upcoming June primary and has unleashed the political Kraken to go after them. The “hammer?” An oxymoronically christened entity known as the Palmetto Truth Project, directed by a longtime GOP establishment functionary and fueled by a fortune in dark money that House leadership is curiously reluctant to talk about.

As if all that were not enough, the Uniparty Propaganda Bureau — a.k.a. The Charleston Post & Courier — has cranked up and is now charging into the fray.

Earlier this month, the S.C. House failed to pass a long-overdue reorganization of the state’s sprawling health bureaucracy. Freedom Caucus members objected because according to them the measure would have created an Anthony Fauci-style health czar.

Freedom Caucus member Jordan Pace submitted an op-ed to the Post and Courier explaining his opposition to the proposal. Which rubbed the paper’s powers-that-be the wrong way.

Enter Cindi Scoppe. Half of the state’s most talented ventriloquist act (S.C. speaker Murrell Smith’s voice comes out her mouth, yet you never see his lips move), Scoppe sprang into action. The Post & Courier published a rambling tome from her explaining why she couldn’t publish Pace’s guest op-ed – which included a hyper-detailed finger-wagging exercise about how wrong it was without letting us read it first.

What else do you expect from the same MSM that constantly brays about how “our democracy is under attack?”

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TINKER BELL

STOCK: FALLING

Planning on taking the family to Florida when school lets out? If your vacation plans include a Walt Disney vacation resort, there’s one beloved character who won’t be on hand to welcome you.

Tinker Bell, the kindhearted fairy from “Peter Pan” adored by generations of Disney fans since 1953, is apparently now too hot to handle for the woke mega-corporation. As with countless iconic bits of American culture these days, Tinker Bell is slowly being erased – and as of this month no longer appears in the famous meets and greets at Disney attractions.

Why not? A Disney representative posted on X two weeks ago that “Tinkerbell, unfortunately, has become a problematic image for some of our guests, specifically young girls.”

The post went on to say the character is “the portrayal of an unrealistic body image as well as [the] dependency of approval and/ or attention from Peter Pan.”

Huh? Given that Tinker Bell has wings and flies through the air well, yeah, her body is unrealistic. The rest of that claptrap is straight out of Fantasyland, though.

Disney isn’t fooling anyone. With its increasingly blatant woke messaging push, expect the company to replace Tinker Bell with “Butch,” a 6’3” transgender who’s on a girl’s swim team and advocates for green energy while flitting between anti-Israel college protests. Talk about the perfect role model for Gen Z!

Poor Mickey Mouse. He’s got to be sitting all alone in the Magic Kingdom these days thinking, “First, they came for Tinker Bell. But I said nothing…”

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3 comments

Nanker Phelge May 28, 2024 at 3:51 pm

“Birdbrain” Haley sure earned her Trump nickname.

“slandering the S.C. Freedom Caucus as “crazies” and “extremists” ”

It ain’t slander if it’s true, chief.

Conservative have some really odd kinks. M&Ms, Mr Potato Head, and now Tinker Bell. Not that I’m kink shaming but…

Reply
Fake News May 28, 2024 at 4:12 pm

“The P&C not only refused to share Pace’s opinion”

This is a lie, Will.

Reply
Atlas Drugged May 29, 2024 at 11:16 am

“Become Ungovernable”

AKA “You can’t make me clean my room, mom! I’m a sovereign citizen just traveling through your basement!”

Reply

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