Mick Mulvaney for Governor?

Mick Mulvaney for State House

Mick Mulvaney for State Senate

Mick Mulvaney for Congress

Mick Mulvaney for Governor?

Among the many pieces of wisdom imparted on me by my father was his stern warning to be wary of social climbers: “to someone who sees the world as a ladder, everyone else is a step.”

human-stairs-vector-illustration-created-adobe-illustrator-43018305

Perhaps the most worrisome sorts of social climbers are the ones whose behavior is plainly evident to anyone watching but who deny it nonetheless.

In November 2008, Mick Mulvaney conducted an interview with The Lancaster News.

“As for his future political aspirations, Mulvaney said several people told him during his recent campaign that he should run against U.S. Rep. John Spratt for the 5th District Congress seat. 

‘I couldn’t stop laughing,’ Mulvaney said. ‘I’m perfectly happy being in the Senate. So much in politics is timing. Public service is public service and you go where you can be the most effective.’ 

His family has grown roots in the community and he says to run for federal office ‘would mean ripping all that away.’ He said he’s looking forward to staying in the Senate for at least ‘a couple terms’ in order to serve the district.”

“A couple of terms” turned into less than one. South Carolina Senate terms are four years. One year after Mulvaney “couldn’t stop laughing” at the idea of running for another office, just one-quarter of the way through his first term, he filed paperwork to begin his Congressional run and announced it in the press.

Two years after that interview, just halfway through his first term as a South Carolina Senator, he was a Congressman-elect.

Mulvaney was elected to the South Carolina House in 2006 and served one term. He didn’t even make it through a full term in the SC Senate. Perhaps no one should be surprised that he had his eyes on a bigger prize after less than two terms in the United States Congress.

Mick Mulvaney first confirmed his plan to run for governor in 2018 all the way back in June 2014, long enough ago that folks seem to have forgotten that his interest in the job is not just a rumor.

See this piece published in the June 14, 2014 issue of The State in Columbia:

“While a lot can happen between now and 2018, the short answer is, ‘Yes,’ ” Mulvaney said last week, when asked if he was considering the 2018 race for governor.”

Mulvaney backtracked in November 2014, speaking to Bristow Marchant of the Rock Hill Herald, but only slightly. Mulvaney admitted “I’ve had several reporters reach out to me regarding the race for governor in 2018,” but hedged on saying much else: “While it may well be something to consider in the future, for now I have plenty of work to do on issues that are much more pressing.”

In March 2016, fitsnews.com reported “Of all the prospective candidates for governor of South Carolina in 2018, U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney is generally viewed as being among those most likely to run.” They cited “several sources close to the fifth district congressman” who say the announcement would come soon after the 2016 election. In others words, he’ll make his next move right after promising several hundred thousand South Carolinians that he’d represent them in Washington.

Indications that Mick Mulvaney plans to run for governor in 2018 come from many other sources: The Post and Courier, the Statehouse Report blog, even The Washington Post.

It sure seems dishonest for Mick Mulvaney to tell the people of the Fifth Congressional District about his plans for his next term when he knows that as soon as this election is over his attention will be onto another race entirely.

Mick Mulvaney’s Biography

I’ve assembled a lot of information about Mick Mulvaney: his record, his funding, his ideology, but it’s probably best to begin with his biography.

Mick Mulvaney’s official biography includes what would seem to be the basic facts about his life and career. It’s the stuff we all have at our fingertips: where we’re from, what we’ve done, what we do.

The first paragraph checks out. Rep. Mulvaney was, in fact, elected in November 2010 and represents the citizens of the five big towns listed. (He also represents those of us who don’t live in any of those towns, though apparently we don’t rate high enough to get a mention.) No problems there.

The second paragraph notes that “Mick” is “a lifelong Carolinas resident,” though plenty of sources, including his biography on the GOP party page, list that he was born in Alexandria, Virginia, right across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. That’s not the Carolinas. But maybe that’s picky and the family home was in Charlotte and he was born on a vacation to Mount Vernon.

Facts suggest that’s not the case. His younger brother was actually born two years later in Minnesota — so not only were the “Carolinas” (apparently North and South Carolina are the same in Mick Mulvaney’s mind) not his home from birth, they weren’t even the first place his family moved after he was born. (I can’t link from behind the paywall at ancestry.com, but the record is in the Minnesota Birth Index as 1969-MN-052010.) Mick Mulvaney’s father starts to turn up in corporate records in Charlotte in 1975, and his sister was born in Charlotte the following year, so Mick apparently got to Charlotte sometime when he was a little kid. He also spent 4 years after finishing high school at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., near his birthplace in northern Virginia. So it would be accurate to say he’s lived in the Carolinas for most of his life, or since childhood except college, but “lifelong” is a stretch.

And let’s be honest — does living in Chapel Hill (where he lived during law school) or Charlotte and lumping it in as the “Carolinas” somehow make him more of a local? He voted in Charlotte in November 2002 and bought land to build his house in South Carolina at the end of December 2002. According to Lancaster County records, the house wasn’t finished until 2005. Presumably he was still in Charlotte in 2005. He may have even been there later, since he used the address of a home he owned in Charlotte for a campaign donation in 2008, by which time he was already serving in the South Carolina house. A January 2007 donation to the South Carolina Republican Party was made from a residential address in Columbia.

At best, he’s been a South Carolina resident for 11 years, 4 of which he worked in Columbia and 5 and a half of which he’s been in DC. Lifelong resident of the Carolinas, indeed.