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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: South Carolina

Gov. Rick Perry text: 'We cannot afford 4 more years of this'

Texas Republican governor Rick Perry takes the stage to announce his presidential candidacy RedState Gathering Charleston SC Andrew Malcolm  8-13-11

Gov. Rick Perry's candidacy statement at RedState Gathering, as provided by

Howdy. Thank you, Erick [Erickson, editor of RedState]. It is great to be at RedState. And I’ll
tell you what, it’s even better to be governor of the largest red state in America.

It’s sure good to be back in the Palmetto State, in South Carolina. I enjoy coming to places where
people elect folks like Nikki Haley, true conservatives. And also where they love the greatest
fighting force on the face of the earth…the United States Military.

And I want to take a moment and ask you to just take a silence, think about those young Navy
SEALs and the other special operators who gave it all in the service of their country. Just take a
moment to say 'Thank you, Lord, that we have those kind of selfless, sacrificial men and women.
Their sacrifice was immeasurable, their dedication profound, and we will never, ever forget

I stand before you today as the governor of Texas. But I also stand before you as the son of two tenant farmers, Ray Perry, who came home after 35 bombing missions over Europe to work his little corner of land out there, and Amelia who made sure my sister Milla and I had everything that we needed, including hand-sewing my clothes until I went off to college.

(The RedState Gathering scene story at the Perry announcement in Charleston, S.C.)

I am also the product of a place called Paint Creek. Doesn’t have a zip code. It’s too....

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Rick Perry joins the GOP fray: 'This is gonna be a fun ride!'

Rick Perry RedState 8-13-11

"This," Rick Perry told me as he took the stage to launch his presidential campaign, "is gonna be a fun ride!"

Then the three-term conservative governor of Texas was bounding onto the stage, saying, "Let's get this thing started." He told the RedState Gathering, an enthusiastic crowd of conservative writers, and a national TV audience:

It is time for Americans to believe again, to believe that the promise of our future is far greater than even the best days of our past. It is time to believe again in the potential of private enterprise, set free from the shackles of an overbearing federal government.

And it is time to truly restore our standing in the world and renew our faith in freedom as the best hope of peace in a world beset with strife.

The crowd stood, chanting, "Perry! Perry! Perry!"

"America is not broken," Perry exhorted, "Washington, D.C., is broken.”

Full text of Perry announcement is here.

They didn't need no schtinking straw vote in Charleston on Saturday afternoon. Perry becomes the ninth candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination in Tampa next year.

Given his executive record of tax-cutting, his undefeated record as a statewide candidate in the nation's second-largest state, his fundraising prowess and the lingering thirst among many GOP members for a charismatic, true conservative, Perry immediately joins the top tier.Rick Perry campaign Logo

He immediately flew off to New Hampshire to Pamela Tucker's home for the kind of living room politics beloved in the Granite State, home of the first primary next winter.

On Sunday, Perry will speak at a Lincoln dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, before returning to New Hampshire next week.

"I will work every day," Perry told the Charleston crowd, "to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your lives as I can, and free our families, small businesses and states from a burdensome and costly federal government, so they can create, innovate and succeed. With the help and courage of the American people, we will get our country working again."

The 61-year-old former Air Force pilot, lieutenant governor, state representative and agriculture commissioner said he comes from Paint Creek, Texas, a tiny town so small it doesn't even have a ZIP pcode. And speaking of Washington, he lit into President Obama for the recent unprecedented downgrade of the federal government's credit rating:

In reality, this is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is for nearly three years, President Obama has been downgrading American jobs, downgrading our standing in the world, downgrading our financial stability, downgrading confidence and downgrading the hope of a better future for our children.

The governor recited some of his state's legislative achievements, including balancing the budget with no new taxes and enacting 'loser-pays' lawsuit reforms. And, of course, jobs. Texas has created 40% of all new jobs in the United States in the past two years. Yet, Perry said:

"One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Andrew Malcolm / Los Angeles Times (Perry).

GOP debate scores big ratings for Fox News


The Thursday, August 11, GOP debate at Iowa State University not only saw fireworks on the stage but also generated some heat in the ratings for host network Fox News Channel.

After getting praise from such unlikely sources as the Washington Post and Time magazine for the aggressive, informed performances of anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, Fox also got a lot of attention from TV viewers, as tracked by Nielsen.

The two-hour debate, which began at 6 p.m. Pacific time only on Fox News, attracted nearly 5.1 million viewers -- with a healthy 1.4 million of those in the advertiser-approved 25-54 demographic -- making it the most-watched debate of 2011.

It not only outscored Fox News' previous debate on May 5 in South Carolina (67% higher in the target demographic), it also well outpaced CNN's New Hampshire debate on June 13, which attracted just over 3.1 million viewers, with 918,000 in the 25-54 demo.

Working in Fox News' favor was the huge amount of chatter about the GOP race heading....

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Michele Bachmann's security uses 'unusual force' to rough up journalist


Michele Bachmann of all people knows that reporters, at times, can be a headache.

Last month when she announced her candidacy and goofed as to which John Wayne was from her hometown, there was a reporter to document the gaffe. When she signed a pact pledging to defend marriage from homosexuals who also wanted to enter holy matrimony, reporters (and bloggers) brought to light the odd paragraph in the document that suggested that black children were better off during slavery than they are now.

And Tuesday, when it was revealed and later admitted by the candidate that she, like many Americans, suffers from migraines, not only was it covered online, but there, at a rally in South Carolina were journalists with followup questions for the possible first female president of the United States.

One of those reporters seeking to talk with the Minnesota congresswoman was Brian Ross of ABC News who was rebuffed by her security detail, according to Time's Michael Crowley.

"Ross dashed after Bachmann, repeatedly asking whether she had ever missed a House vote due to a migraine. She ignored him. Ross pursued her into a parking area behind the stage. Her aides grew alarmed. When Ross made a beeline for the white SUV waiting to carry Bachmann away, two Bachmann men pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times with what looked to me like unusual force," Crowley reported.

"In fact, I have never seen a reporter treated so roughly at a campaign event, especially not a presidential one," Crowley wrote, adding, "Ross was finally able to break away and lob his question at Bachmann one more time, but she continued to ignore him."

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Sunday shows: Haley, Gingrich, Holder, Huckabee

South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.), with Sheila Bair, Roger Altman, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Richard Haas, Robert Kagan, George Will, Amy Roberts and Cokie Roberts.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt:" Obama Atty. Gen. Eric Holder.

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) with excerpts from Wednesday's taped town hall with President Obama.

CNN Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Kishore Mahbubani, Joshua Cooper Ramo, Eric Schmidt and Anne-Marie Slaughter.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Michael Gerson, Joe Lockhart, Admiral Dennis Blair and John Negroponte.

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), with Brit Hume, Nina Easton, Mort Zuckerman and Kimberley Strassel.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), with Peggy Noonan, Matt Bai, Helene Cooper and Mark Halperin.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press (Haley).

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: 'When I survey this troubled landscape, I am not discouraged'

South Carolina's new governor and first female governor Nikki Haley with husband Michael 1-12-11

This is the season for inaugural and State of the Whatever speeches, when elected officials traditionally comment and report to legislatures and voters on, well, the state of whatever they are running.

We will, of course, have full coverage here of President Obama's State of the Union address on the evening of Jan. 25, including the full text as always.

But also in coming weeks, we've decided to publish some select inaugural and state of the state addresses by the nation's governors. As with all such political goal-setting addresses, they are somewhat pie-in-the-sky. So, while the future of these solution outlines is questionable, the descriptions of the imminent problems and crises are usually very real.

Additionally, these transcripts will not only combat the D.C.-centric nature of....

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Mark Sanford: A new political theory that necessity was the scandalous mother of

In his final few weeks as governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford is looking back on those disastrous several days of mid-2009 that he did not spend hiking the Appalachian Trail.Republican South Carolina governor Mark Sanford

Sanford was, as the Republican politician later admitted, doing other things in South America with a dear, dear Argentinian friend who had become his mistress.

Thus, endeth the rising star chapter of the married Bible Belt father who had been building impressive conservative credentials resisting some of President Obama's stimulus spending in one of the early GOP primary states come 2012. Not to mention the endeth of the Sanford marriage.

Now about to leave the state's chief executive's office to its first female governor, Republican state legislator Nikki Haley, Sanford has decided that those cringe-inducing days were actually good for South Carolina.

How's that? someone might ask.

Here's how, Sanford explains to WISTV:

"I think that a lot of people at time would push against certain things based on their fear that my political star was climbing. If they did that, it would help me to get to wherever it was they thought I was going. What became abundantly clear was the supposed stars on the rainbow weren't there and I think we were able to debate the issue at hand. That I was less the issue, and the issue was more the issue.

The already-ex-husband-and-about-to-be-ex-governor currently has a 55% approval rating and adds a bit of self-serving storytelling:

There's an amazing level of grace in this state. Because what I've seen as I've moved around is people saying, 'look, you messed up. We don't like what you did, but I very much appreciate what you've done in terms of watching out for our pocketbook, or wallet, or grow economic opportunity in this state, reform the way things are done in Columbia and for that reason, I'm going to judge you for the whole of your eight years, rather than one single day.'

Sanford says come turnover day, January 12, he plans to finally go naked jogging on the Appalachian Trail. No, not at all. He says he has no plans other than to borrow his son's pickup truck and drive toward the ocean.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Just click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons below to share this item with family and friends.

Photo: David Goldman / Associated Press

Veterans Day traditions evolve on Twitter


At Arlington National Cemetery, rocks are placed on headstones to symbolize a visit.

As families across America remembered the fallen, politicians paid tribute to veterans in person and also by using Twitter to send messages to their followers on Veterans Day. 

Traditions may be evolving but the messages of....

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Getting to know you: Post-election, Sarah Palin's favorable rating rises again

Republican Sarah Palin at a Republican National Committee Fire Pelosi rally in Orlando Florida 10-23-10

Oh, look!

Sarah Palin's favorable ratings are up again.

We should probably write something about that to keep Americans informed as the 2012 presidential race starts taking shape.

Predictably, a new Associated Press-GfK Poll finds Palin to be "the most polarizing of the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates." According to AP's numbers, 49% of Americans view the politician mother unfavorably, while 46% view her favorably. Five percent, far less than for other potential candidates, claim not to know enough to have an opinion.

Eleven months ago a Gallup Poll found Palin's favorability was at 44%, up from 40% two months before.

The AP poll could also have cited the majority of Americans who currently say they ...

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New faces of the Class of 2010: Rubio, Coons, Noem, Hoeven, Johnson, Corbett, Haley, Martinez, Fallin

This week's midterm elections pushed numerous new faces onto the national political scene.

So we've constructed a photo gallery here of these new folks as a sort of introduction to political people you're likely to be hearing more about in coming months and years. (Click each picture to enlarge.)

One is Marco Rubio, Florida's new Republican senator whose victory speech we have in video format above here. As the son of Cuban exiles, watch for....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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