Thursday, June 15, 2006

T-Diddy Ravenel: The illest mother*&#$er in a suit and tie

File under: Millionaire Republican Palmetto State Cobags.

Thomas Ravenel is a millionaire real estate developer and the son of Arthur Ravenel, a powerful South Carolina politician for years. In 2004, young Master Ravenel ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Fritz Hollings. He lost to Junior DeMint.

This year Ravenel ran for the Republican nomination for South Carolina treasurer. He spent more money than any of the other candidates, and won the nomination in the primary held this past Tuesday.

To my vast enjoyment, the Tuesday primary has been followed by a lot of Republican infighting, deliciously outlined in this story in The State.

Terry Sullivan is the campaign manager for Greg Ryberg, another millionaire seeking the GOP nomination for treasurer. On Wednesday, according to The State, Sullivan claimed that Ravenel had - I paraphrase - given the Ryberg campaign the shaft:

Terry Sullivan, Ryberg’s campaign manager, accused Ravenel of undermining Ryberg’s campaign. Sullivan said he was speaking on behalf of himself, not the Ryberg campaign.

“If Thomas hadn’t screwed us over by getting into the race after promising to support Greg in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” Sullivan said.

Ravenel, Sullivan said, promised to contribute to Ryberg’s campaign and even said he would host an event for Ryberg at his Charleston home. Instead, Ravenel filed papers just before the noon March 30 deadline to join the race, he said.

Furthermore, Sullivan said, Ravenel also told him that he only planned to serve for two years so he could then run against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, another fellow Republican, in the 2008 primary.*

“He said, ‘Don’t worry, Greg can have this in two years,’” Sullivan said.

Adding insult to injury, Ravenel then asked if Ryberg would stay in the race but not campaign "to ease Ravenel's path to the nomination," as The State put it (the reason for this being, I gather, that at the time Ravenel made the request, it was unclear whether he would have to participate in a runoff. If Ryberg, who got the next highest vote total, dropped out, then as I understand it the third place finisher, Rick Quinn, would be eligible to participate in the runoff; and unlike Ryberg, Quinn would campaign like a pit bull).

As a delightful aside, in the midst of all this:

. . . S.C. Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson released a statement urging Quinn and Willis to drop out in the “interest of party unity.”

In response, Sullivan said, “Katon is an idiot.”

Anyway, Ravenel suggested the other candidates could take lessons from him in gracious behavior:

Ravenel reminded the other candidates of his actions in 2004 after finishing just out of the runoff for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination. The next day, Ravenel endorsed eventual winner Jim DeMint.

“Take the way I handled it when I lost and juxtapose it with the way they do it,” Ravenel said. “One way is a guy being gracious and classy.”

Ravenel went on to give Ryberg and Quinn an exampble of graciousness and class;

Ravenel said if he were in Ryberg’s or Quinn’s position, “I would have done like I did with Jim DeMint. I would have said, ‘This is the man; let’s win in November.’ That’s how I operate. That’s how I roll. That’s how Thomas Ravenel rolls.”

True dat.

By the way, this is Thomas Ravenel:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The next best thing to rollin' with Thomas Ravenel is rollin' with Bob Saget, Dawg.

*If you doubt that Ravenel intends to challenge Graham, check this out.

(Saget video courtesy of 3Bulls)


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