Thursday, December 19, 2013
This year is drawing to a close, so it is time to take a look back at some of the most interesting topics or events of the year. In no particular order, here are what I think are some of the top stories of 2013.
1. Mount Pleasant man makes news during the federal government shutdown: The federal government shutdown was news enough, and then a man from Mount Pleasant took matters into his own hands and cut the grass around the memorials in Washington, D.C., to prepare it for a veterans’ rally. You would think Chris Cox’s voluntarism would be applauded by the feds, but oh no - they actually put a stop to it. It seems that whenever there is a government controversy at the federal level, somehow, somewhere, a South Carolinian appears somewhere in the picture frame. We just seem to have a knack for it.
2. The political resurrection of former governor Mark Sanford, as he was re-elected to his former congressional seat in a convincing win. Arising from the ashes of a controversy-filled governorship, he took responsibility for his personal shortcomings and re-connected with the voters of this congressional district, who first put him in the public eye. That was the remarkable return of Mark Sanford to politics. Not even highly-publicized campaign visits by his opponent’s brother, comedian Stephen Colbert, were enough to derail Sanford’s return. Amazingly, after taking office, Sanford has remained remarkably low profile and controversy free. His supporters certainly hope this remains the case.
3. Senator Tim Scott’s first year in office as the first black United States Senator from South Carolina: Not only is Tim Scott’s personal story inspiring, but significant also is the fact that he was appointed to this post by South Carolina’s first female governor, whose family came from India. These two Palmetto State political leaders also have bona fide Tea Party credentials, dispelling the political myth propagated by Democrats that the Tea Party is a bunch of good ol’ boy racists. Expect to see Scott and Haley prominently touted nationally during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.
4. Mount Pleasant elected its second female mayor by an overwhelming majority: There was supposed to be a runoff in the Mount Pleasant mayoral race because nobody in the crowded field was supposed to garner a majority in the first round. Well, Linda Page did, and now Mount Pleasant has its second female mayor. Linda Page is one of those rare breeds who succeeds at politics and seems to be anything but a politician. She has a refreshing genuineness and lack of slickness that obviously resonates well with voters. Is it possible that other politicians might take note?
Will Haynie has published more than 400 oped columns as a feature columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News when it was owned by the New York Times. His niche is as a humorous conservative. Find him on Twitter at @willhaynie or email him at Haynie.email@example.com.