Sally Atwater is the widow of the Republican Party's most ferocious, hated political fixer. She's running to be in charge of South Carolina's education policy. If votes were awkward right-wing radio interviews on sex ed that turned adversarial, this woman would win in a landslide.
Atwater—whose husband, the late RNC chairman Lee Atwater, famously codified the party's Southern Strategy in colorful language and Willie Hortoned Democratic presidential hopes in 1988—wants to be the Palmetto State's superintendent of education. Sadly, her communication skills may hurt her in the GOP runoff next Tuesday.
Last Wednesday, she did a radio interview with conservative-friendly Russ Cassell. What she said left Cassell—whose show comes on just before Rush Limbaugh's—ready to vote for Barack Obama's Bolshevik Kenyan demon spawn against Atwater:
"Folks, I don't want to be brutal, I don't want to be mean. I just want to be realistic. What you have just heard is an example of a person running for public office on name recognition only, who is clueless."
What did she say? Well, nothing, really. In between uncomfortable pauses, she established her position on sex education and abstinence: "Well, I am for our health standards right now. Once I get in there I will look at other things, but I am for our health standards right now." Pressed for details, she restated the point.
After a few minutes of frustrating go-around, Cassell changed tack and asked for Atwater's opinion on human evolution: "What's appropriate for the classroom, what's not appropriate?"
Atwater: Again, I'm gonna go back to what our science standards are.
Cassell: [Pause.] What are our science standards?
Atwater: Our scie —well, our science standards, just —that's what we teach in our schools now.
Cassell: Oh, I know that. I just wonder if, specifically, you knew what they were. Since you want to be superintendent of education.
Atwater. Well, I— I do, but I'm not gonna go any further than that right now.
Cassell: [Pause.] Okay. Uh. Thank you, Ms. Atwater. Good luck!
For extra fun, listen to Cassell read listeners' reactions to the Atwater interview, starting around 5:30. Whew.
In fairness to Atwater, "South Carolina superintendent of education" has to be one of the easiest jobs going:
[h/t Philip Bump]