The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Greetings from Charleston!

Posted on | January 17, 2012 | 9 Comments

Thirteen-year-old Jefferson and I were rolling leisurely south from Myrtle Beach on U.S. 17 — past pines and palmettos and live oaks draped in Spanish moss — when a black SUV passed us and I did a double take. I’d gotten just a quick glimpse at the driver as he passed, but my peripheral vision is excellent, and so I sped up until I was even with the SUV and confirmed that it was . . .

Tony Katz of All-Patriot Media, who actually Tweeted this coincidental sighting along the campaign trail. And as we approached the Charleston suburb of Mt. Pleasant, I signaled to Tony to roll down his window and shouted — as we were running parallel at about 60 mph — that this was where the Santorum campaign had its South Carolina state campaign headquarters, which was my initial destination for the day. Tony nodded and rolled on.

A few miles down the road, just before we reached the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge into Charleston, we found Santorum HQ in a shopping center. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted by two familiar faces: Rick Santorum’s two oldest sons, John and Daniel, carrying boxes out of the office. They explained that they were going to the post office to send out a mailing. So you see that the senator is not kidding when he talks about how his family helps with the campaign.

Jefferson and I walked inside the campaign office and saw press secretary Matt Benyon working in a corner, while other staffer were toiling away at their laptops — so much of campaign work nowadays is done by computer — and volunteers worked the phones. Jefferson helped himself to a Pepsi (the kid is drinking way too much soda on this trip), and I got a cup of coffee, and then I shot this brief video tour of the office:

We left the Santorum HQ and drove into Charleston, reached the Visitor Center, and I asked for directions to the nearest McDonald’s. We got back in the car and I missed the turn Spring Street, finally turning left at Huger Street, which took us over to Hagood Street — the rear entrance to the Citadel — and then we turned left and came down here for me to do a little blogging.

There will be another Republican presidential debate here Thursday (8 p.m., CNN) and meanwhile we’re going to be hanging out with Ali Akbar, who’s in town to help out with the Gingrich campaign. Of course, the Gingrichites are feeling pretty cocky these days, but I’d advise them to beware of outbursts like this:

Gingrich: ‘I Would Be Delighted’
With a Santorum Endorsement

This tendency toward hubris has struck Gingrich whenever he gets feeling confident. A couple of months ago, Jonah Goldberg dubbed this the “World Historical Newt” problem. Newt is 0-for-2 against Santorum so far and, while the latest Rasmussen poll shows Gingrich leading Santorum by five points in South Carolina, that’s not the kind of margin that entitles Newt to act as if he were already the pre-emptive victor. Some more headlines, via Memeorandum:

Mitt Romney to release tax returns,
estimates rate at about 15 percent

Washington Post

TRANSCRIPT: Fox News Channel & Wall Street
Journal Debate in South Carolina

Fox News

Rick Perry Camp Explains Suggestion
That Turkey Is Led By ‘Islamic Terrorists’

ABC News

Perry: Santorum a ‘good Catholic’

So now we’re in Charleston. More news later. Please hit the tip jar.



9 Responses to “Greetings from Charleston!”

  1. Pathfinder's wife
    January 17th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    And once again Da Kingfish has said things that he has to explain later…things which tick people off and cause a kerfluffle.
    It’s great for getting free press I suppose…but is this a good quality in a president?

    But he had a great debate last night….oy.

  2. adolph.stephens
    January 17th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    Even as a Santorum supporter 1st, I thoroughly enjoyed Gingrich kicking some butt last night but then reading some of his comments today I come back to the idea that he’s afflicted with that DC narcissism we see all too often in our elected officials.  Oy!

    Still, seeing “Mitt the Electable” get his clock cleaned and essentially come in 6th in a 5 person debate (hell maybe 7th, as I surely give Huntsman props for not wasting any more of my time),  gives me hope for the process.

    Oh yeah, speaking of “Mitt the Inevitable”, check this out

  3. Adjoran
    January 17th, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    You travel 500 miles to Charleston and go to a McDonald’s?

  4. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    Let’s face it, a cheap meal and free wi-fi is not to be sneered at in this business.

  5. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    Bill James on the 1984 San Diego PadresNewt Gingrich:
    “Now that was, to tell the truth, a right arrogant, self-righteous attitude, and…it has been my experience that the Lord rarely wastes much time in punishing this particular failing in us…He is, however, quite alert to punishing arrogance and re-instructing us in humility; in fact, I think this is the only one among His deific duties that He really enjoys, and I’ve found that he can be tremendously creative in accomplishing this task swiftly.”

  6. Anonymous
    January 17th, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    Enjoy the PORK bbq while you are there.  

    Also can you respond on this querry by Michael Medved:  But you might have a short declarative sentence for this question…

  7. Adjoran
    January 17th, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

    You don’t have to hit a starred restaurant to have a great meal in Charleston, and wi-fi is all over the place, especially in the downtown area.

  8. Anonymous
    January 18th, 2012 @ 3:43 am

    I was speaking in general terms, since I’ve never been to Charleston. Also, “great” is not synonymous with “cheap”.

  9. Adjoran
    January 18th, 2012 @ 5:25 am

    No, they aren’t synonymous, nor are they mutually exclusive.  And to find better than McD’s isn’t difficult, even in the price range.

    Besides, going to Charleston without sampling local food is like going to DC without taking in the Mall, Frisco without taking the Golden Gate Bridge, or Vegas without taking in a showgirl.