Tales from the Trail

Stephen Colbert, Herman Cain team up at South Carolina rally

Stephen Colbert, who last week announced that he would explore a “possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina,” is joining forces with former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain at a rally — dubbed the “Rock Me Like a Herman Cain: South Cain-olina Primary Rally” – in Charleston today. 

Colbert is not on the ballot in South Carolina because he missed the filing deadline by several months, but Cain, who suspended his bid for the White House on December 3, still is, and Colbert is asking supporters to vote for Cain in his stead. South Carolina permits Democrats and Independents to vote in the state’s Republican primary. 

“Herman Cain is my main man,” Colbert said in an appearance on Morning Joe this morning. “He’s my main man with a tax plan so fine, they called it 9-9-9. The Mad Max of the flat tax. Herman Cain has qualities that I admire — he’s a family man, he’s pro business, and he has something I don’t think I’ll ever have: a place on the South Carolina ballot.” 

Watch highlights from the rally, via ReutersTV:

Sarah Palin: I’d vote for Gingrich “to keep things going”

Sarah Palin gave a qualifying endorsement of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Tuesday, a week after her husband also endorsed him.

In an interview with Fox television host Sean Hannity on Tuesday, Palin said that if she were a South Carolina voter she would cast her ballot for the former Speaker of the House in Saturday’s primary.

“If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep things going, I’d vote for Newt,” she said. Using a quote from the bible she said she wanted the race to continue because, “iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel.”

A Palin goes for Gingrich

Newt Gingrich may have been hoping for a Palin endorsement, but the one he announced Monday was probably not the one he was expecting.

The aspiring Republican presidential nominee said he received a call from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s husband saying he would endorse him for president.

“Honored to be endorsed by Todd Palin.” Gingrich tweeted, though he did not mention anything about the more powerful Palin and if she had chosen whom to support in the 2012 campaign.

Colbert’s not giving up on S.C. primary

 

Comedian Stephen Colbert has not given up on the primary in South Carolina.

The cable television talk show host tried and failed to get on the ballot to run in his home state’s primary back in 2008. This year, he has been offering to buy naming rights for the Jan. 21 primary, first by negotiating with the South Carolina Republican Party, then the state Democrats, and now by offering to have his Super PAC cover a $500,000 shortfall that South Carolina counties face in paying for the vote. 

“The counties need the money, and Colbert Super PAC wants to give it to you; call it a Christmas Miracle. I’ve already filled out the check, and to prove it’s no joke, I’ve written ‘No Joke’ in the memo line. I’m going to be home in South Carolina over the holidays, so just give me a call. Both state parties have my contact info,” he wrote in an editorial in South Carolina’s “The State” newspaper on Thursday.

“Let’s put this late unpleasantness behind us and, in 2012, hold the greatest primary of all time.”

No jump start for Perry campaign in New Hampshire

The wheels on Rick Perry’s bus will go round and round Iowa, where he’ll make 49 stops between now and the Jan. 3 Republican presidential caucus, his campaign announced last night.

Missing from his schedule are any stops in New Hampshire or South Carolina — the two states Perry visited in August to announce his run — which will vote on Jan. 10 and Jan. 21, respectively.

The one-time Republican frontrunner had invested substantial time in both states, making 25 campaign appearances in 11 days in New Hampshire and 21 stops over nine days in South Carolina since announcing his bid, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.

2012 candidates woo voters on Labor Day

Labor Day is no day off for President Barack Obama and the Republicans who want his job. The holiday to pay tribute to American workers traditionally marks the start of the general election campaign. And although 15 months remain before the 2012 election, you’ll find the 2012 White House hopefuls on the road Monday hoping to score points with voters.

Democrat Obama travels to Detroit on Labor Day to talk about how to create jobs and strengthen the economy, the White House said. With U.S. unemployment steady at 9.1 percent, Reuters’ Jeff Mason writes  Obama’s on the spot to boost hiring and economic growth as he campaigns for a second term in the White House.

Obama also spoke in Detroit on Labor Day 2008 as his general election race heated up against Republican presidential rival Senator John McCain.

Who’s afraid of Mitt and T-Paw…

It turns out that Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty are the scariest pair of presidential prospects in the GOP field today, judging from a new Democratic ad and remarks by some Democratic Party hierophants.

Priorities USA Action, a political group founded by two former aides to President Barack Obama, targets Romney as a flip-flopper in a South Carolina TV ad that wields Republican Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms like a political cudgel.

The 30-second black-and-white spot begins with Newt Gingrich’s “Meet the Press” remarks opposing what he called radical right-wing social engineering on Medicare. The ad then recounts Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s defense of Ryan before turning finally to Romney: “Mitt Romney says he’s ‘on the same page’ as Paul Ryan … but with Mitt Romney, you have to wonder: which page is he on today?”

Karl Rove says families should be off limits in politics

USA/ROVE

Karl Rove thinks the families of public figures should be off limits from the nasty, maligning, ad hominem attacks of election politics.

On an NBC Today show appearance to promote his new book, “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight”, Rove was asked about reports that his adoptive father, Louis, was gay.

Some critics have gone so far as to speculate that a gay father might help explain his parents’ divorce, his mother’s suicide and even his opposition to gay marriage. But Rove wants to “set the record straight” in the book, which is due for release on Tuesday.

Republican “You lie!” outburst becomes Democratic fundraising cry

Rarely, if ever, have so few words moved so many people to contribute so much money so quickly.

PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY/RESERVESWithin 15 hours of Republican Representative Joe Wilson yelling “You lie!” at President Barack Obama, Wilson’s Democratic foe in next year’s election received more than 10,000 donations totaling upward of $350,000, according to the House Democratic campaign committee.

“And the numbers are still rising,” a spokesman said.

Wilson’s Democratic challenger, Rob Miller, an ex-Marine turned small businessman, lost a bid last November to unseat the now five-term congressman from South Carolina, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Inside the Tent: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford feels pretty good about John McCain‘s chances in his state.

“If we gotta worry about South Carolina, go ahead and fold up the tent — the whole match is over,” he tells Inside the Tent contributor John Steward. “No worries in South Carolina, and if they come, we got real problems.”

Inside the Tent has more than 40 delegates and other attendees in Denver and St. Paul, equipped with video cameras to capture the conventions from the ground up. Steward is not a Reuters employee and any opinions expressed are his own.