Saturday, August 01, 2009

Eggs, Grits and Politics ..

Berkeley County Republican Breakfast Club Draws Hundreds ....



It might still be Summer, and maybe it's not an election year yet, but you wouldn't have known it by the crowd at American Legion Hall No. 166 in Goose Creek today. On a warm Saturday morning, a sold-out crowd of probably 200 (others estimated higher) were on hand for today Breakfast Club meeting. The only shame is that there weren't more candidates there. Of the five candidates for Governor, only Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Bonneau) was there. Congressman Gresham Barrett had to cancel, the others had scheduling conflicts. I doubt wherever they were had a bigger crowd. It's a little surprising. I've been to at least three or four of these, and the place is always jam-packed...... They missed out on a good opportunity to meet active Republicans.





But, for every loser, there is usually a winner. Grooms made out like a bandit in the Straw Poll taken, taking over 90% of the vote. That should be no surprise - it was held in Larry's backyard, and it may have been the reason for the other candidates not coming. Grooms used his five minutes to do magic tricks and sing a song or two - kidding. He was much like he was in Sumter - impassioned, but using specifics on what the Governor and legislature can do to bring jobs to South Carolina.




In a bit of an odd twist, Brent Nelsen, who decided that running for Superintendent of Education would be better than running for Governor - and we agree - spoke before Lt. Governor candidates. They still had him as a Gubernatorial candidate, which explained why he went next. He did well, giving some great ideas to allow private groups to assist at-risk kids in their education. He stayed around longer than most of the guests as well.




Bill Connor was the only Lt. Governor candidate to be present as well. Thank God, because when I got there, the only person I knew that sat at a table with an available seat was Joshua Gross. So, I sat at the candidates table again - blogging does have it's priviledges! Connor does seem to be addressing some criticisms. I had been hearing that voters felt he was pushing his faith a little too much. I know, it may seem impossible to do that with Republicans, but I've been hearing that from insiders from both sides of the aisle. He gave it credit, but didn't go too much into it, which was the way to do it. Overall, it was one of his better speeches....




Dean Allen, Adjutant General candidate, spoke briefly. He gave his qualifications and the duties of the job he was seeking, but two minutes is not a lot of time to really hit voters. I do have a campaign coin from him, though. If you can't get em on the podium, give them something to remember you afterwards.




Although she did not speak, Kelly Payne, the other announced candidate for Superintendant of Education, was there with her IT KIDS. I finally got to meet her in person today, and she quickly put me to work, taking pictures, and joining Earl Capps to talk to the kids about blogging, and it's place in politics and the media. As usual, Earl did most of the talking.... We basically closed the place, but Kelly had as big an audience there as anyone else. Like me, people wanted to know more about the newest entrant in the statewide race. Coming but not speaking might have been an inadvertant stroke of genius - she got to shake hands, but not have to be criticized at such an early stage... Good move. Here's some pics:

Brent Nelsen and Bill Connor listen to Charles Schuster address the crowd...








The IT KIDS and Earl strike a pose.....








Larry Grooms talks shop with one of his constituents.







The Legion Hall Everlasting Tribute to Those that Never Came Home. We Will Not Forget.....






Kelly Payne and I. See, I get dressed up sometimes.....



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10 comments:

Kelly Payne said...

Thank you for all the time you gave the “It Kids” today to speak with encouraging people like you who make important decisions in our communities and our state! The straw poll you conducted was especially interesting. We’ve studied about straw polls, and I’m pleased that the students saw one conducted today.

We’re living in critical times, and strong leaders are always important during times like these. In driving back to Columbia, I could tell that being with you today inspired my students to want to get more involved and even to move into leadership roles. As the “It Kids” sponsor, I thank all of you who took the time to have “conversations” with my students. I’m so grateful that informed and dedicated activists like you care about their education and future!

We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch. We can’t be lulled into complacency by rhetoric and slogans. And we can’t afford to lose the opportunity we’ve been given to improve our communities.

It’s a privilege to teach. Let parents choose, teachers teach, and students learn!

Thank you!

Kelly Payne

Joshua Gross said...

Mike,

Great to see you yesterday! Glad I was able to help with the seating arrangement. Heh.

As to crowd number, I'd say 225, and here's why - the room was set for 200, there were very few if any empty seats and about 30 people standing in the back of the room... Great crowd, room was packed.

See you on the trail!

JDG

Mike Reino said...

Yeah, 225 sounds about right. Good crowd either way - glad I didn't have to stand!

Nosy Woman from Cross said...

Mike,
Thanks bunches for giving my blog, gritseggsandpolitics.com some ink.

Linda

Mike Reino said...

Your welcome, Linda. Always willing to help out someone else in the 6th District. You are a Republican, right?

Anonymous said...

Linda is a conservative, definitely not a RINO Reino.

Mike Reino said...

Yep, I took a look at her blog.

Earl Capps said...

Mike, anyone who even thinks to suggest Linda is anything but a hard-core conservative Republican ... once she gets done, they'll know they were mistaken.

Anyone willing to be a true-RED Republican in a place like Cross like Linda is as real as they make 'em.

mg said...

I know all about Cross, SC. Glad you guys had fun sorry I missed it. I canceled my EC meeting in Manning but had to go to Georgia and work the weekend. No surprise in the straw poll. Larry Grooms is a good guy but if you were to hold one in Greeleyville I would beat him.

Mike Reino said...

In Greeleyville, you could be anybody for anything..