South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare'
May 7th, 2011
04:23 PM ET
10 years ago

South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare'

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Republicans elected a new party chairman Saturday who vowed to be President Barack Obama's "worst nightmare."

More than 1,000 Republicans tapped Chad Connelly, a businessman and chairman of the Newberry County Republican Party, to helm the party organization through the state's closely-watched presidential primary season.

Connelly survived two rounds of balloting to defeat Bill Connor, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, and Greenville attorney Stephen Brown.

"You guys just elected Barack Obama's and Dick Harpootlian's worst nightmare," Connelly told the audience after his win, naming the president and the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party as his foils.

Connelly immediately faces the challenge of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to run the presidential primary, tentatively scheduled for February. Because only Republicans are having a contested presidential primary in 2012, the task of running the election is expected to fall to the state party.

In a cost-cutting measure, Gov. Nikki Haley has come out against using state money to fund the primary. The South Carolina legislature is still debating whether to fund the contest, which might cost over $1 million.

"We don't even know how much" the party has to raise, Connelly told reporters after his win. He said he has transition meetings scheduled to "find out where we are" and noted that he has been asking state legislators to sign off on using state money for the primary.

Connelly said he has "an aggressive fundraising plan" in place and promised to run a "lean and mean" operation to keep overhead low.

He also vowed to protect South Carolina's cherished status as one of the first four presidential nominating states in the face of threats from other states - notably Florida - to move up their primary and caucus dates in violation of the calendar approved by the Republican National Committee.

"We are going to be the first-in-the-South primary," he said. "If we have to trick-or-treat for the first vote, then we will. We will be first in the South. There is no doubt about that."

Filed under: 2012 • GOP • South Carolina
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. bill486

    He looks pale.....comes from getting no sun because of the sheet over your head.

    Resurrecting the Confederacy ain't gonna be a pop-a-ler platform, son; anyone dumb enough to donate to your campaign should consider their money "Gone With The Wind".

    May 7, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  2. Gloria

    Generic White Old Rich Guy Scared to Death of Obama #7593. Oh, yes, Obama is most certainly shaking in his booties about this guy he's never heard of, let alone someone who really hasn't done a single thing that would make him Obama's worst nightmare. Maybe if #7593 somehow turned South Carolina into a Capitalist Randian Utopia flushing forth the most amazing education, technological advances, and cultural advances, but I think I won't be holding my breath.

    May 7, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. CBR

    The Republicans need to revitalize their own party. There are too many factions and it is a challenge to get them to interact and agree on legislation. One group expects everyone to cow tow to them because they are conservatives. At this point it is difficult to back any Republicans particularly when they add Donald Trump to the mix.

    May 7, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. rusty155

    Republican are enough to give any normal person nightmare. The Republican and the TEA PARTY Is all about Screw the middle Class ,The POOR and the OLD and GIVE IT ALL TO THE RICH BIG BUSINESS AND TO THE OIL COMPANY. And make all these people even RICHER. Use to be a Republican ,but never again. Now a Independent Voter. The Republican Party and the TEA PARTY are the most Racist people I know.

    May 7, 2011 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    I've about had it with these idiots. Here in Maine we have a governor who is a clone of these knuckle draggin knuckle heads. I'm done with them and I pray America is too. Go peddle your crazy somewhere else.

    May 7, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Nothing new here

    How about spending less time bashing Obama and raising money, and more time creating jobs.
    It's the economy that matters right now.

    May 7, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. Reality Check

    Connelly is a small man with a belly full of power. He scares no one.

    May 7, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Bill

    He looks like a typical southern racist.

    No big deal; Obama doesn't stand a chance in South Carolina. He'll work on keeping Virginia and North Carolina though.

    May 7, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. deb

    The people in the south always ask (Especially South Carolina) "Wy does everybody from other states thinl were "Duuummmbb? If "YA ALL" want any respect, This is why ya all don,t get it? You better Vote out gop/TP, or ya all going to eat "Poke Salad for along time to come? Wise Up? DAH

    May 7, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  10. ja

    Obama has been haunted with racial intolerance, got any more whale manure, the republican party thrives on exclusiveness, and that mess is a thing of the pass, we want our country back, where the hell did it go and under whose watch

    May 7, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Pumor

    "...vowed to be President Barack Obama's "worst nightmare."

    Connelly probably thinks that because he keeps a white hood and noose in his closet...

    May 7, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. little lulu

    Who is this guy? He looks like Chris Farley in that old SNL skit where he play Matt Foley 'motivational speaker' who lived in a van down by the river. This guy is a crook and a shame. But just too stupid to know it.

    May 7, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    Here is a list of what the Republican/Tea Party does NOT show any concern or plans for- jobs, the economy, education, improving the infrastructure or our country, ending poverty, alternative energy, medical and drug breakthroughs, dealing with natural disasters, the safety of all citizens at home and abroad… and did I mention JOBS. Here is what they DO care about: winning an election against a truly exceptional American who makes them feel inferior. If the county and future generations suffer, so be it. All that matters is their collective ego.

    May 7, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Dave

    A fat middle-aged white guy from South Carolina. Gay-hater and Jesusy. Ooh, scary.

    At least he's not a lawyer.

    May 7, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  15. BeverlyNC

    I seriously doubt President Obama is worried about some no-name Republican from the most ignorant and racist state behind Mississippi.. Please – This is the state who elected Jim DeMint and Lindsay Graham and Joe "you lie" Wilson. South Carolina has made itself irrelevant and just another redneck state that is becoming more poor, more uneducated, more racist, and with no credibility and no serious leaders. SC is its own worst nightmare.

    May 7, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. Roscoe B

    Congrats from a fellow Prosperity native. I want you to know, I am not the Roscoe who posted the comment referring to your wife on May 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm (above). Good Luck in your ambitious undertaking.

    May 8, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  17. MikeH

    Add another turd to the steaming pile of Republican dung.

    Americans, how has it come to this? These fecal pellets who call themselves Republicans are willfully and with malice aforethought destroying American Democracy. They are setting up a Corporate Facist Plutocracy. Why are the citizens of the dying middle class not taking to the streets in mass protest?

    May 8, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. shs

    My don't we think highly of ourselves.

    May 8, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  19. JimmyW

    Why doesn't South Carolina elect someone who will work to lower their poverty rate or improve the schools? They are so worried about Obama when they should be worrying about their own people. Yeah, I'm sure Pres. Obama is shaking in his shoes over the ole Chadster, riiiiigght....

    May 8, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  20. Peter s

    South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare' ??? Bring him on!! I hope he doesn't wear diapers coz he will be wetting them now and then!!!.

    May 8, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  21. dangyankeeinSC

    @ARTRaveler.. You said "And yes, I lived there and it is all about race. They can't stand a smart black/white man, especuiallty one that much smarter than any of them."

    Are you that much of a dope.... We just Elected Congressman Tim Scott (Black) (R), The Governor is a woman of Indian Decent, The state National Committeeman is also Black.. You need to get with the times. Stop trying to act like your a 1860's Southern Democrat...

    May 8, 2011 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  22. thomas

    We live in a world of nightmares thanks to those without dreams and wisdom. Such as Mr. Connelly.
    He lives in a closed minded self centered jar , he need not worry , the under thirty vote will unscrew his lid !
    Dinosaurs went extinct because they couldn't CHANGE.

    May 8, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |

    Conservatives and Liberals are both good people with some(literally some) good ideas/approaches......However for this moment in time their is a thinking man in the Whitehouse that will do what's best for the nation at the end of the day and will often offend libs and conservs. The economy is moving along, and will continue to grow........We'll see whats up this time next year.
    Obama/Biden 2012.

    May 8, 2011 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  24. Freddy

    Another low-end Republican (sorry for being redundant). Come on in – there's plenty of room at the circus.

    May 8, 2011 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  25. erininCA

    Obama most likely wants the most crazy rightwing nuts available running the GOP.All politics are local...Go S.C!

    May 8, 2011 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
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