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S.C.'s turn

Posted: January 12, 2012 10:48 a.m.
Updated: January 13, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Now that the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are over, the political focus of the nation is going to turn to South Carolina, where the Jan. 21 primary is the next major event in the presidential sweepstakes. The Palmetto State has a track record of predicting with its vote the eventual nominee, and it appears that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is on a roll heading into South Carolina.

This is a conservative state, to be sure, but South Carolina voters have proven themselves remarkably pragmatic in past primaries and have often voted for a more moderate candidate than one out on the right fringes. That was evidenced as recently as 2008, when Palmetto State voters bestowed their favor upon Sen. John McCain, who eventually won the nomination but was trounced by President Obama in the general election. Economically, this state has fared much worse during the recession than either Iowa or New Hampshire, which in comparison have been relatively unscathed by the longest downturn since the Great Depression. That will certainly affect voters here.

We can be sure of one thing: hordes of political pundits will descend upon South Carolina, and each will have an opinion. Some of those opinions will be akin to “the people down there don’t wear shoes and still live in the 19th century,” for indeed, that’s the way some in the national media picture us. But there will be others who will more perceptively point to the terrific quality of life and the progress this state has made in so many areas.

South Carolina is going to be examined to an extreme. There’s no escaping it so the best thing to do is to accept what we like, discard what we don’t and go about our business. It might not be the greatest way to answer the telephone, but indeed, “It’s a great day in South Carolina.”


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