COMMENTARY | "What happens to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire could mean a whole lot in South Carolina," quipped MSNBC's Martin Bashir as the New Hampshire primary was taking place Tuesday.
Seriously? Political experts and commentators really thought South Carolinians were sitting on pins and needles waiting for the results of the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary to influence their vote? From its inception in 1980, the winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the nomination. So we know our power. We're as red as it gets, folks.
As a South Carolinian, I've conducted a few polls among my age group of friends 50 and older (and some younger) and quite honestly, I'd be rich if I had a dollar for every time I heard, "They're all corrupt -- both Democrats and Republicans alike -- pushing their own political and power agendas based on who's lining their personal pockets."
But I've also heard, "There's one nonelectable candidate who may be an exception to this -- Ron Paul. And there's one candidate who may or may not be an exception -- Romney -- but he's electable." And their definition of "electable?" It's the candidate who has the best chance of beating Barack Obama.
Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Romney. And while Rick Perry was campaigning here on New Hampshire's primary day undoubtedly trying to hold onto earlier fans gained and since lost, his fans -- plus those of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman - will join the former fans of Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann who will all ultimately join the Romney team.
And just a side note to the candidates who skipped us in their earlier campaign trails: We tend to lean toward candidates who grace the doors of the likes of Greenville's Tommy's Ham House and Spartanburg's The Beacon Drive-In -- historically, two political eatery musts.
What South Carolinians aren't doing is flip-flopping based on what happened in Iowa or New Hampshire. What they're going to do is vote for the electable candidate who can economically and spiritually strengthen our families, our future, our great state and our great country -- and beat Obama.