Beasley's Baggage Cannot Overcome DeMint's Destiny In The Runoff
June 21, 2004
He's the former governor of a Southern state. He boasts about his economic successes during the 1990s. He's been characterized by many as a slick politician who often lies to cover up shortcomings. He was once even accused of infidelity.
Who is this man we all know so well?
Nope, it's not former Democratic President Bill Clinton (although it does fit him perfectly, don't you think?!).
Actually, it's none other than Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. David Beasley.
While Beasley has attempted during his run for the Senate to paint himself as the candidate who remains above the fray and focused on a positive campaign about ideas, most people are beginning to have serious second thoughts about the man who was humiliated by a devastating political loss to weak Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jim Hodges in 1998.
That one loss to the Democrats, which was not that long ago, symbolized a step backwards for the Republican Party in South Carolina. It wasn't until the triumphant victories statewide for Republicans in 2002 before the bleeding stopped from Beasley's loss.
While some have short memories of that defeat, others will remember it vividly as they decide who should carry the banner for Republicans in the race for the U.S. Senate.
Most are ready to give Sen. Lindsey Graham a partner in the Senate who will work with him on issues rather than cancel out his vote, which has happened for nearly half a century with the late Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond and outgoing Democratic Sen. Ernest Fritz Hollings.
Beasley has tried in his campaign commercials to say he learned a lot from that loss six years ago. Unfortunately for him, though, so did Republican voters. They won't make the same mistake again.
During his campaign, Beasley has focused almost exclusively on the 110,000 jobs that were created in South Carolina while he happened to be governor.
Uh, hello, Mr. Governor? Just how many of those jobs did YOU create?
While I am all for giving credit to politicians for enacting polices that bring about job creation, such as the tax cuts implemented by President George W. Bush in 2003, I don't recall what Gov. Beasley did to create these jobs.
How about telling the voters specifically what policies or bills you implemented that brought about those jobs, Gov. Beasley?
Just how will you use those same policies to grow jobs any better than the enormous success of the Bush tax cuts in the past year?
Also, how can a Republican like Beasley blast a fellow Republican Congressman for job losses after the devastating attacks on this country and its economy on September 11, 2001. This is the tactic the Democrats are using against Republicans, Gov. Beasley!
Oh, I guess that makes another area of comparison to Clinton for you, doesn't it Gov. Beasley?!
While Democratic Senate candidate Inez Tenenbaum is already trying to use the issue of jobs in her campaign, I believe this will not be a winning strategy for her.
The job market has seen a complete turnaround since September 2003, with more than 1.5 million new jobs created since then and with forecasts by economic leaders that this trend will continue into the third quarter and beyond.
But then there's this little troubling fact that Gov. Beasley has an uncanny knack for exaggerating the truth just a bit.
The Beasley campaign ad featuring a man who was allegedly out of work for 2-3 YEARS turns out to have only been unemployed for 2-3 MONTHS! Using this kind of math, one would think Beasley was governor for 40 years!!!
And in last week's runoff debate between the two candidates in Columbia on WIS-TV, Beasley said that the gambling lobby spent nearly $30-$40 million to defeat him in his bid for reelection.
Wow, that's a lot of money, Gov. Beasley! Too bad most estimates show the actual amount spent was around $3 million. But what's a measley $27-$37 million difference when you're telling a story? Hmpf!
And then there was the time Beasley told a group of Christian kids that he ran the 100-yard dash in a mere 9.5 seconds.
Hmm, considering Olympic great Jesse Owens broke a world record when he was clocked running the 100-yard dash in 9.4 seconds, I highly doubt this claim by Beasley is even close to the truth.
Of course, his lying (and that's all it can be called) doesn't stop there. What about the claim that Beasley earned a degree in microbiology? He simply MAJORED in the subject, but never earned the degree.
With all these obvious gaffes by Beasley, how can he even QUESTION the credibility of DeMint? It's worse than the pot calling the kettle black.
One last thing about Beasley that annoys me to no end is his christening as the darling of Christian conservatives. Since when did this man with so much baggage capture a monopoly on these voters?
DeMint has voted as a member of the U.S. House of Representative on the side of Christians who believe in the sanctity of human life and are pro-family since he was first elected to Capitol Hill in, ironically, 1998.
If any Congressman can be described as on the side of the Christian conservatives, then it has to be Rep. Jim DeMint. But there's more.
He is also a champion of economic issues, such as tax cuts and reigning in wasteful government spending. While Beasley can boast of economic successes while the nation was propering, DeMint has offered incredible courage in the way he has defended cutting taxes and spending when times have been difficult.
DeMint is battle tested. Beasley has yet to face a serious challenge like this.
With six years of experience in Congress, DeMint is ready to move across the aisle to join the ranks of the most exclusive club of 100 members in America. He would be ready to lead from day one.
As for Beasley, he needs to be real if he ever hopes to win public office again. There are too many negatives with him in a race too important to ignore.
If Beasley should pull out a win against DeMint on Tuesday, then I predict he will have a very difficult time against Tenenbaum. Anybody who gives that much ammunition to a formidable challenger is vulnerable.
But should DeMint pull out the victory, as I believe he is destined to do,Tenenbaum will only hope and pray the economy goes sour because DeMint will hammer her on the only issue she can possibly come close to winning on.
I predict DeMint will defeat Beasley in Tuesday's runoff by a vote of 54-46.