THE AIKEN JOURNAL-Covering Politics in Aiken, South Carolina,the Nation and sometimes the World.
She won it, hands down!Nikki Haley stood out as having the guts to state her mind and has refused to equivocate as the other candidates have done. The difference between the candidates was most obvious on the question of whether they were more like liberal Lindsey Graham or conservative activist Jim DeMint.Gresham Barrett practically tap-danced on stage refusing, after repeated pressure from Scarborough, to simply say which US Senator he's more in line with. More than anything, Gresham Barrett reminded me of Will Ferrell doing an impression of GW Bush as a goofball trying to act earnest and concerned. When asked, he stated that he would have voted against the censure if he'd been a voting member of the Charleston GOP. Bauer kept it short and answered, "DeMint" but did not elaborate further until a delayed follow-up where he stated that he would also have voted against a censure.McMastah practically took the fifth when he got the microphone and smugly looked over with a big forced grin on his face and declahed, "Ah'm not gon' take da BAIT!" He then blessed himself with Reagan's name in his cowardly refusal to identify himself between the two. His was a most disgusting display of equivocation. When asked about the Charleston County GOP censure, he also stated that he would have voted against it. Surprised?Nikki Haley quickly and easily declared that she supported Jim DeMint's views in opposition to Lindsey Graham. She was also the only one who supported the rights of the county parties to express their voices on the matter of politicians behaving badly:NIKKI HALEY: " . . . I will tell you, 'Jim Demint' hands down! And Congressman, I have to say this [addressing Gresham Barrett] . . . Jim DeMint was the only one that voted against the TARP bail-out when the rest of you voted for the 800 million dollar bail-out. We don't need that in South Carolina. We don't want it." [applause from audience]"And I'll also tell you we don't need cap and trade. We don't need all those things. I have fought for the last five years for people to know the power of their voice. I have fought for them to [make government] know the value of a dollar. Jim DeMint has done that in Washington. I will do that in Columbia. Hands down he's the right Senator and Senator Graham should come around at some point I hope . . . I hope that Senator Graham comes around at some point and listens to the people of South Carolina." JOE SCARBOROUGH: "If you were a member of the Charleston Republican Party, would you have voted to censure Lindsey Graham?"NIKKI HALEY: "You know, I think what we have to understand is that we no longer vote for people because they look good in a picture or they hold a baby well. If they are not conservative, we don't need to support them. I think what you saw in the Charleston GOP was they felt like cap and trade was wrong and they felt like the TARP bail-out was wrong and they let Senator Graham know that. Senator Graham now needs to respond to 'em. I appreciate that they used the power of their voice"JOE SCARBOROUGH: "Yes or no?"NIKKI HALEY: "Yes, I appreciate what they did. And I think that they tried to send him a message and I think he owes them an answer back."The whole time Nikki was answering this, McMastah was grinning like a hyena thinking that she was getting herself in trouble. Agree or disagree with her, she let people know what she thinks instead of being the typical good ol' boy automaton. McMastah should realize the voters will spit out his lukewarm, watered down good ol' boy equivocation this time around.
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