Posted on | June 2, 2010 | 35 Comments
Republican politics in South Carolina has been a rough sport since the era of the legendary Lee Atwater, but the dirty games have descended to a new low in the past 10 days.
On May 24, GOP consultant/blogger Will Folks claimed that he had an “inappropriate” relationship in 2007 with Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, who had surged to the front of the four-candidate primary field after being endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Folks was unable to substantiate his accusation, which seemed likely to fade away until Wednesday when — mere hours before the final televised debate leading into next Tuesday’s primary — a campaign staffer for one of Haley’s GOP rivals claimed that he had a one-night stand with Haley in 2008.
Larry Marchant, the latest accuser, is a consultant and lobbyist who was reportedly asked to resign Wednesday from the campaign of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know: (a) Haley’s mentor, Gov. Mark Sanford, escaped impeachment after admitting an affair with an Argentine woman, and (b) after Bauer called for Sanford’s impeachment, Bauer was accused of being gay.
This story has more twists than a package of Ramen noodles.
UPDATE: Ace of Spades is in rare form:
If there were any honor left in South Carolina politics, the bloody corpses of GOP campaign consultants would be stacked up like cordwood by now.
UPDATE II: Because there’s so much honor down there, y’know?
An adviser to the Barrett campaign, which has been accused of shopping the affair rumors about Haley, sent a story about the new allegation to reporters shortly after the news broke Wednesday.
UPDATE III: This video clip highlights the deer-in-the-headlights expression on Bauer’s face after Nikki called him out:
Like Moe Lane says, it was a televised evisceration.
UPDATE IV: Feeling pretty well vindicated for having pointed the finger at Bauer, Erick Erickson says:
Thus we see Andre Bauer’s entire campaign strategy — ignore the issues, ignore the experience, and go straight to calling Nikki Haley a whore. I really and truly hope South Carolina voters will not reward the man for something so disgusting.
Let’s hope not.
UPDATE V: Finally, a Memeorandum thread. And Gail Collins of the New York Times makes a point when she say Lt. Gov. Bauer “is pretty much a walking explanation for why Governor Sanford was never tossed out of office.”