From Nikki Haley, another side of Trump’s ‘America First – Associated Press

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BAB AL-HAWA, Turkey-Syria Border (AP) — Nikki Haley crouched low in the trailer of an 18-wheeler taping up a box of lentils and wheat for besieged Syrians, her hands-on diplomacy a world apart from the gleaming new NATO headquarters where President Donald Trump was debuting his “America First” doctrine overseas.

Haley, Trump’s U.N. ambassador, had started the day in Turkey’s capital, opened a refugee school in the south of the country, then traveled hours in an armored vehicle to the Syrian border. Her afternoon stop had to be short. She had a packed schedule, and at a nearby refugee camp she was soon kicking soccer balls with stranded Syrians and noshing on shawarma.

As she hopped a flight to Istanbul, Trump was arriving in Brussels to scold European allies for relying too much on U.S. defense spending. Haley’s mission represented another side of Trump’s “America First,” assuring nations on the border of the world’s worst crisis that the U.S. wasn’t forgetting them.

“I think ‘America First’ is human rights and ‘America First’ is humanitarian issues,” Haley said. “It’s what we’ve always been known for.”

Haley’s trip last week to Jordan and Turkey showcased the outspoken former South Carolina governor-turned-Trump diplomat’s emergence as Trump’s foreign policy alter ego: still bold, still brash-talking, but with greater attention to America’s traditional global roles and the personable side of diplomacy.

Whereas Trump has emphasized U.S. security and prosperity and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has distinguished between America’s interests and its values, Haley is the national security voice insisting the U.S. still seeks to promote human rights, democracy and the well-being of others. Yet Haley brushes off any suggestion of divergent interests, arguing instead that the members of Trump’s Cabinet simply “see the world through a different scope.”

“We take basically what we work with every day and try to make America first through that lens,” she said at Altinozu Refugee Camp in southern Turkey, in explaining her sharply contrasting style. “For me to make America first, I have to fight for the political solution, have to fight for human rights and I have to fight for humanitarian issues, because I’m surrounded by it every day.”

So far, the White House has cautiously embraced Haley’s higher profile, perhaps as an antidote to Democratic and Republican critiques that Trump doesn’t care about human rights. Her prominent role as a face of Trump’s foreign policy has fueled talk in Washington about her political future, including potentially as a future secretary of state.

And while Haley has sometimes contributed to mixed messages, on everything from Syria to the delicate issue of Jerusalem’s status, the White House has continued sending her out frequently to represent the administration in public and on television.

Haley’s role as boundary-pusher may have roots in her political upbringing in South Carolina, where the daughter of Indian immigrants became the first female governor in a state notorious for its “good-old-boy” Republican network.

When a self-avowed white supremacist gunned down nine black worshippers in a Charleston church, Haley sat front-and-center for weeks at every one of the funerals. She grieved publicly throughout her second term after the “1,000-year flood,” Hurricane Matthew, and other tragedies in the state.

Yet it was her role in the roiling controversy over removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds that largely defined her ascent as a national political figure. For many in the state, it was a cherished symbol of Civil War sacrifices. But the rebel flag had been brandished by the Charleston church gunman in a display of hate, and Haley said South Carolinians needed to move forward and “put themselves in other people’s shoes.”

“She’s definitely someone who seemed to rise to the occasion when faced with these controversies,” said Gibbs Knotts, who teaches political science at the College of Charleston. “She hadn’t necessarily had a legislative success, but her ability to handle crises and connect with people and represent the state was when she was at her strongest as governor.”

After being picked by Trump in January for the U.N. ambassadorship, Haley said that “everything I’ve done leading up to this point has always been about diplomacy.”

“It’s been about trying to lift up everyone, getting them to work together for the greater good, and that’s what I’m going to attempt to do going forward,” she said.

As a member of Trump’s administration, though, it’s been more complicated.

While Haley conducted her reassurance tour for Syria’s neighbors last week, Trump unveiled a budget proposing sweeping cuts to U.S. foreign aid. Many of the same U.N. agencies whose programs Haley visited faced sharply reduced U.S. contributions, creating uncertainty about whether she could deliver on her declarations of support.

It’s contradictions like that, plus her extemporaneous style, that have led to speculation she sometimes deviates from the approved message in an administration in which Trump seeks to be the brightest star, demands loyalty and doesn’t tolerate public dissent. After the U.S. blamed a chemical attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, Haley was outspoken in questioning Assad’s future while Tillerson and Trump were more circumspect. It took about a week for trio to get on the same page.

Provided by Associated Press

Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at

South Carolina Republican Chairman Matt Moore will not seek third term

Press Release:? Columbia, S.C. – Earlier this morning, S.C. Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore announced that he would not seek a third term as state chairman. His current term ends at this year’s State Convention on May 13. Moore was originally elected in June 2013 and was re-elected by the SCGOP State Convention in May 2015 with 83% of votes.

It has been the honor of my life to serve as state chairman. I still wake up every day feeling humbled and blessed to serve in such an important leadership role,’ said Chairman Moore. ‘I’m still excited about the future of the SCGOP. Yet with so many changes in state and national politics, I feel like now is the right time to hand over the office of state chairman to someone new. No one ‘owns’ any political office, including state chairman, and it should remain that way.’

Moore plans to serve out the rest of his term until May 13. A copy of Moore’s letter to South Carolina Republicans can be seen below:

Dear Fellow Republicans,

Earlier this morning I told our State Executive Committee that I will not seek a third term as state chairman at the May 13 State Convention.

It has been the honor of my life to serve as your state chairman. I still wake up every day feeling humbled and blessed to serve in such an important leadership role. Thank you for your support to make it possible!

I began serving at the state party in May 2011 as executive director. Since then, we’ve made great progress in a number of areas. The SCGOP has set the standard for communications, ground game, and technology and helped elect some of the nation’s top conservatives. I’m biased, but I think our state party is among the best in America!

I’m still excited about the future of the SCGOP. A new generation of South Carolina Republican leaders has emerged- one that looks forward, not backwards, and works in the interest of our citizens and not just political insiders. My efforts in that battle will continue.

Yet with so many changes in state and national politics, I feel like now is the right time to hand over the office of state chairman to someone new. No one ‘owns’ any political office, including state chairman, and it should remain that way.

I trust that you’ll make a wise choice in your next chairman. The job of chairman isn’t always easy or fun. I have tried every day to lead with honesty and integrity, even when it put me at odds with friends or members of my own party. My commitment to this office and party runs deep. I’ll never apologize for doing the right thing, and you should expect the same of your next chairman.

This is not goodbye – I plan to faithfully serve out the rest of my term until May 13 and help make our State Convention and 50th Annual Silver Elephant Dinner huge successes. Following, I will remain committed to serving the SCGOP in any way possible.

Again, thank you for your support over these last four years. A great team effort made our success possible. We could not have done it without your commitment of time, talent, and resources.

I also want to thank my wonderful wife Meg and our family for their support. I hope to see you soon!

Dum spiro spero,
Matt Moore
SCGOP Chairman


– Most successful four-year period, in terms of election victories, in modern SCGOP history
– Won all 13 statewide races in four years, a new high for SCGOP chairs
– Helped elect the most S.C. State House Republicans (80) since 1874
– Gained S.C. House seats in Newberry and Chesterfield Counties
– Raised over $4 million in two election cycles
– Creatively paid off $340,000 debt incurred during 2012 ‘ballot-gate’ fiasco, leaving SCGOP ‘debt free’
– 4 million+ voter contacts in 2014/2016 election cycles
– 6 million+ social media impressions for SCGOP and its candidates
– 750+ mentions and quotes in major news outlets including The Washington Post, The NY Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.
– 30+ appearances on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg promoting South Carolina, the presidential primary, and SCGOP candidates
– Record turnout of 740,881 in the 2016 S.C. Republican Presidential Primary


‘Under Matt Moore’s leadership, the S.C. Republican Party was an important partner in our winning two statewide elections. Matt’s skill, knowledge, and dedication to the job are unmatched. His leadership will definitely be missed.’
– U.S. Senator Tim Scott

‘Matt Moore has established himself as one of the state’s best party chairs in history. My team has enjoyed working with him. Matt represents the future of the Republican Party and I hope he’ll continue to lead when called upon.’
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham

‘I’ve enjoyed working with Matt over the last decade to promote conservative principles and candidates. South Carolina is benefiting tremendously from the new generation of leaders he has helped to elect. I consider him a friend and will sorely miss him and his professional accomplishment in this role.’
– Fmr. Governor and U.S. Congressman Mark Sanford

‘Matt Moore has been a powerful voice for a rising generation of conservative leadership in South Carolina. A tireless worker and proven winner, Matt has been an awesome chairman and a tremendous ambassador for the Palmetto State on the national stage. I will miss Matt’s leadership at the SCGOP, but I am confident South Carolina Republicans will continue the push to create opportunities for all South Carolinians to succeed.’
– S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (Edgefield County)

‘Matt has been a superstar Chairman. Under his leadership, the Republican Party has helped elect and defend candidates who are on the right side of issues and have the best interests of the voters and South Carolina. He was never afraid to take a stand and we will miss his leadership.’
– State Senator Katrina Shealy (Lexington County)

‘South Carolina House Republicans have built their largest majority since the 1800s, and we could not have done so without the consistent support from Chairman Matt Moore. From candidate recruitment efforts to fundraising and targeted approaches, Matt Moore’s leadership at the SCGOP has been a vital part of our successes at the ballot box. There’s never been a Chairman who worked so closely with our members, and for that, we greatly appreciate Matt and wish him and his family the very best.’
– S.C. House Majority Leader Gary Simrill (York County)

‘Matt has run the most inclusive and transparent administration in the state party’s history. He has continued to lay a strong foundation and kept the state party running smoothly. Whoever replaces Matt will have big shoes to fill.’
– Cindy Costa, Republican National Committeewoman (Charleston County)

‘Matt’s work with the SCGOP has brought our party into the 21st century. Our state party is light years ahead of other state parties and that is due to Matt’s communication skills, use of technology, and data strategy. It has been great serving the State Republican Party and on the National Republican Committee with Matt.’
– Glenn McCall, Republican National Committeeman (York County)

‘Under Matt’s leadership as Chairman, the SCGOP helped to make a tremendous difference in my past two elections with their grassroots plan and voter outreach.’
– State Rep. Kirkman Finlay (Richland County)

A Few Political Cartoons to Get You Through the Day…Or Long Voting Lines

Washington Post
Washington Post

Today may be a record day for voting in a US National Election.? Expect lines at many of the polling spots.? To help you pass the time, here are a few of the political cartoons shared throughout this campaign.? They may make you laugh, but behind every great cartoon is an element of truth.

Enjoy this animated revelry that we have all experienced since this campaign began.



US News
US News


Right Patriot


The Moderate Voice
The Moderate Voice


Right Patriot
Right Patriot


Town Hall
Town Hall


Joel Pett
Joel Pett


Town Hall
Town Hall




USA Today
USA Today


Rob's Blog
Rob’s Blog


John Cole
John Cole


Washington Post
Washington Post


Ben Garrison
Ben Garrison




Gary Varvel
Gary Varvel


Daily Kos
Daily Kos


Gary Varvel
Gary Varvel

Make Your Vote Count!





Charleston and South Carolina Historic Political Facts

It is Election Day.? I am sure you can feel the buzz in the air.? Today, we exercise our right as a free Democratic land to vote in our local, regional and national leaders.? We urge you all to get out and vote.? Whether you are an elephant or donkey, we want you to be heard.

In the spirit of Election Day, we would like to share some interesting Charleston and South Carolina political facts to help broaden your knowledge of our great land.

Charleston and South Carolina Historic Political Facts:

  • In 1670, settlers arrived at the Ashley River and established a settlement on its west bank, which they named Charles Town in honor of Charles II.? City Assembly established tax-supported free library in that year as well.
  • South Carolina was the 8th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788.
  • In 1712, the territory of Carolina was divided into North and South; each having its own governor.
  • By 1730, 2/3 of the colony were made up of people of African decent.
  • In 1782, British forces were defeated and Charles Town was regained by the colonists.
  • 1783, Charles Town is renamed Charleston.
  • In the 1820′ South Carolinian John C. Calhoun developed the theory of nullification, by which a state could reject any federal law it considered to be a violation of its rights.
  • In 1861, South Carolina become the first state to secede from the Union.
  • The first shots of the American Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor.
  • Famous political figures born in South Carolina include Senator Strom Thurmond and Jesse Jackson.
  • Charlestonian, Henry Middleton, was chosen president of the First Continental Congress in 1774. His plantation, Middleton Place, was home to three more generations of prominent South Carolina politicians and is now a carefully preserved National Historic Landmark.
  • Along with Henry Middleton, John and Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden were also named delegates to First Continental Congress.
  • In 1776, Charles Town was named the state capital.? The state capital was moved to Columbia in 1786.
  • For one week in May of 1791, President George Washington, America’s “Founder” and “Father” visited Charleston, SC.
  • In 1869, Joseph Rainey first African-American in South Carolina to become U. S. Representative.
  • A Charleston Judge, J. Watis Waring, dissented from a Federal District Court decision upholding the “separate but equal” doctrine in Briggs v. Elliott in 1951. His dissenting opinion was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
  • In 1963, Rivers High School in Charleston became first racially integrated high school in South Carolina.
  • A state court decision in 1947 opened the Democratic primaries to African-American voters.
  • South Carolina’s legislature has a senate with 46 members and a house of representatives with 124 members. The state sends two senators and seven representatives to the U.S. Congress and has nine electoral votes.
  • From 1876 to 1975 all the state’s governors were Democrats, and South Carolina was part of the “Solid South.”

Enjoy this mornings history and fact lesson.



Things that happened at the Trump Rally on the Yorktown you didn’t know about

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

The stage? was set for a momentum building patriotic moment on the Yorktown on Pearl Harbor Day, 2015.

  • South Carolina, the most patriotic state in the United States; Check
  • The USS Yorktown, a symbolic of naval power and pursuit of freedom; Check
  • The leading Republican candidate for president; Check
  • Pearl Harbor Day; Check

Nothing could taint this event.? Maybe a bombshell announcement from Donald Trump about banning Muslims from the US borders.? That did sound shock waves through the media, but much of the disgust of the evening happened beyond the scope of the camera lenses.

This event was free to the community, a set number of tickets were allocated, TSA offered their service and equipment and the evening was a set for a structured and historic political event.? Families, students, couples and veterans waited patiently on line to witness history.

Mistake #1 – They over allotted tickets and 300 plus people could not get in after some waited over two hours on line.

The honor of the political system was celebrated with hats, bumper stickers, shirts, hoodies and other memories of the event.

Mistake #2 – A group of nomadic opportunists travel from event to event seeing as much high profit merchandise as possible.? Hats started the evening at $20.00 each and ended at $5.00.? Hoodies were $40.00 initially and $20.00 at the conclusion and instead of bumper stickers that read “Trump for President” many read “Hillary for Prison” and “Bomb the Hell out of ISIS”.? It was a poor representation of our nation.? After many were cut off from being a part of the event on the Yorktown, organizers offered ground signs as a consolation.

The audience was comprised of civil minded individuals with open minds and strong supporters of the political process.

Mistake #3 – The traditional archetype of a Republican is a middle-upper class or upper class white professional with conservative views.? Let us look at the current atmosphere of our nation.? We have had a black president for two terms who has bailed out large corporations, forced healthcare and paid premiums on all Americans that do not have healthcare, opened the doors for the world to enter and failed in many foreign affairs.? Now we have a very large disgruntled population:? White, poor, now further enhanced racists who no longer want to support the liberal Democratic front and need a voice to follow.? Take an out-spoken politician who believes every event should be a circus and now this large group of racially drive white trash has a leader.?

As we stood on line, the mood got slowly worse until one statement was made that turned the tides for us and really set the stage for an embarrassing ending of the night.? Right behind us, in front of his wife and children a father said “If if wasn’t for these dang Muslims, we wouldn’t be waiting here.”? This statement was in reference to the TSA machines and the security check.? We were embarrassed for Charleston and America in less than ten seconds.

Shortly after, a small group of protesters organized at one end of the parking lot.? As the line continued to wait and people got impatient, pockets of attendees, mostly young adults started screaming “Get a job” or “Go home and get a job” (there were added profanities as well).? To keep in line with the circus theme many got in front of the protestors, signs and police and began to take selfies to mock the event and get some much needed attention on Facebook.

It didn’t take long to walk away from this event and realize how bad we are letting ourselves become.

I have no opinion for supporters of Donald Trump.? We are in a democratic society where we each have the right to vote and all I can say is that we need to exercise that right.