By Paul Gable
The race for the 1st Congressional District is one week old and a pattern for the race seems to already be developing.
Watching video of the candidates who chose to show up at the Sun City Republican gathering and an earlier one in Mt. Pleasant, leads us to several conclusions.
The best comment about the group of candidates that comes to mind is a paraphrase of Winston Churchill’s comment about Labor Party leader Clement Attlee – ‘They are a modest group, which has much to be modest about.’
After we get through all the obligatory comments about lower taxes, less spending and smaller government, only personal quirks separate most of the candidates.
Some of them can’t tell you exactly why they are running for Congress, others try but not very successfully.
Larry Grooms is a poor speaker who talks down to his audience and seems to be assuming he should get the nomination because, in his mind, he is the greatest fighter for conservative values.
John Kuhn runs around in front of the audience telling everyone how he was a farmer allergic to hay so he became an estate planner.
Jeff King spends his time telling you he is just ‘plain ole folks’ who wants to go to Washington for his kids.
Curtis Bostic begins and ends with the full Tea Party line and no individual thought.
Mark Sanford seems embarrassed to be in the race. He hits his former stride a bit when he talks about his fiscal record in Congress and as governor, but he does not seem comfortable out in the public. He also has yet to say why his pledge to serve only three terms in Congress doesn’t count anymore.
Teddy Turner does great standup comedy running away from his father’s image, but gives no reason to vote for him.
Elizabeth Moffly expressed the most individual message of the group so far, but has yet to hit her stride. Her message of not accepting that one person cannot make a difference and how federal mandates, such as No Child Left Behind, foul up local government agencies was a breath of fresh air.
These impressions speak only about the candidates we have been able to review to this point and offer no comment about the other seven who have filed but we have yet to see in action.
It’s early in the race and several candidates will inevitably do or say something to separate themselves from the group – hopefully. Because, right now, mediocre says it all.