No one at the Aiken County Republican Club likely would argue that Chad Connelly is a very entertaining guy.
Club members welcomed the chairman of the State Republican Party at their monthly meeting Wednesday.
He had some serious issues to discuss, but in an engaging running commentary.
America is an amazing place to live, and these are crucial times, Connelly said. Was he disappointed with President Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney? He had been on the victorious side with George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Here’s how Connelly described election night last November.
“I took my kids to the party,” Connelly said, “and I was convinced we would see the coronation of a new president, not a king. But I realized this thing was going south, and I was watching my four kids watch me. It was all I could do not to cry.”
Connelly had traveled throughout the state and beyond, beginning on Sept. 1. About 600,000 calls were made statewide, and 125 doors were knocked on, many of them by volunteer cadets from The Citadel. Of course, South Carolina went for Romney by more than 10 percentage points.
But the Democrats had a better “ground-game” organization nationally. Yet, some of the problems stemmed from his own party, Connelly said, despite their valid call for less government and greater freedom for Americans.
“I look at the principles of our party and I believe in them,” Connelly said. “I see what the Democrats want and it doesn’t work. But if we let dividers in our party let them, they will.”
That’s the key issue, he said. South Carolina Republicans can lead the way, but they need a percentage of issues they can agree on. No one can be 100 percent in agreement on anything.
“It’s really amazing to see the dividers in the party,” Connelly said. “If they’re not happy with 82 percent or 92 percent, they won’t be happy with five.”
Republicans have to come together for the sake of the country, he said. Some 50.8 percent of voters apparently believe socialism works, yet there’s nowhere in world history where it works. Too many people, Connelly said, expect something from the government.
He tries to play fair, he said. Connelly appears as a contributor on Fox News, but he also shows up on MSNBC. Still, the Republican Party doesn’t need to support the national media.
Todd Akin, a Missouri congressman, received nationwide attention by saying that women who have been “legitimately raped” are not likely to get pregnant. He went on to lose to Democrat Claire McCaskill.
“We need to be smarter with our message,” said Connelly. “We crucify our people when they do something. The Democrats circle the wagons and the media will not give us that opportunity. We have to circle the wagons, too, and defend our people.”