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Vince Sheheen and the Ghost of Elections Past


Dear Fellow Republican,

We have many things to be thankful for this Christmas season. Family. Friends. Fellowship. And Governor Nikki Haley.

Frankly, we could list the reasons we’re thankful to have Nikki Haley in the Governor’s Mansion at any time of year – her successful fights for reforming our state government, the tens of thousands of jobs that have come to South Carolina, and her constant opposition to the overreach of the Obama Administration make her a governor we can all be proud of.

But today, the governor is working towards a decision that will affect our state and nation for generations to come: who will replace our rock star conservative Senator Jim DeMint?

And while we’ve seen reports of who the governor is considering, most people haven’t taken the time to think about who her 2010 opponent, Vince Sheheen, would be considering to replace Senator DeMint. So we thought we would!

The year is 2012, and Senator Jim DeMint has just left the U.S. Senate. Let’s take a walk with “Governor” Vince Sheheen and The Ghost of Elections Past to see who, if the 2010 election turned out differently, “Governor” Sheheen would appoint to fill the vacancy.

1) “Senator” Dick Harpootlian

Look, there’s Senator Dick Harpootlian in the Senate Cloakroom. The newly appointed Senator, an icon of the video poker movement in South Carolina, has already made it clear that smoke-filled rooms and insider deals are, to him, the perfect kind of status quo. A trial lawyer by trade, a scoundrel at heart, Senator Harpootlian will no doubt give his vote and our state to the highest bidder – after all, making millions off the backs of South Carolina taxpayers has been his modus operandi for decades.
 Senator Harpootlian, who has never seen a spotlight he didn’t yearn for, nor a camera he wouldn’t push a small child to get in front of, has just been named MSNBC’s Senator of the Year.

2) “Senator” Ted Vick

Next, the Ghost of Elections Past visits Senator Ted Vick, recently appointed from the South Carolina House of Representatives. Although his appointment was a bit of a surprise (especially since he lost the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District, even with the endorsement of “Governor” Sheheen) his appointment makes sense – Vick may be far out of touch with South Carolina values, but that pretty well describes Vince Sheheen, too. Senator Vick is already enjoying the benefits of his appointment: while running for Congress, Senator Vick was arrested by law enforcement late one spring night in downtown Columbia. It seems he will fit in just fine with the Democratic lions in the United States Senate!

3) “Senator” Jim Clyburn

In the Senate Democrat Caucus Room sits Senator Jim Clyburn. There is little about Senator Clyburn that South Carolinians don’t already know. The Senator has represented South Carolina for decades in Congress, ever-present if ever wrong. No doubt he has already earned the respect and admiration of liberals like Harry Reid – carrying the water for such luminaries like Nancy Pelosi will do that for you. He had been perhaps President Obama’s greatest ally in the U.S. House, whipping votes for such legislative “victories” as the stimulus and Obamacare. His ferocious fight for the President and his policies have already earned Senator Clyburn the right to be known as the anti-Jim DeMint.

4) “Senator” Vince Sheheen

And the scariest vision of all: there sits Senator Vince Sheheen, who considered himself a perfect United States Senator. After all, he’d been running for higher office his entire life, and self-appointment allowed him to assume a significant statewide office without an election. Senator Sheheen was a reliable liberal vote in the South Carolina Senate – reliable in the sense that he could always be counted on to vote with the liberals on any irrelevant issue and cowardly duck out on any votes that matter. He is a trial lawyer who has made six figures suing South Carolinians. He is opposed to tort reform, immigration reform, voter I.D. and lower taxes. He is in favor of ObamaCare, the failed stimulus, and above all else, Vince Sheheen is, was, and will remain first and foremost in favor of the personal success and advancement of Vince Sheheen.

Luckily, this nightmare is just that. The Ghost of Elections Past reminds us that Vince Sheheen lost the 2010 election, and that we have a Governor in Nikki Haley who will appoint a Senator with the courage and convictions of Senator Jim DeMint!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Chad Connelly
Chairman, South Carolina Republican Party