GREENVILLE, SC: We have been working the primary from the ground here in South Carolina the last few days at RedState, and will continue coverage all the way through the vote. I wrote previously about the Presidential forum at First Baptist Church in Spartanburg. Yesterday, among other things, I was at a Marco Rubio rally where he appeared along with Trey Gowdy, Nikki Haley, and Tim Scott.
"Marco Momentum is real." That's what Sen. Tim Scott told reporters this week. It sure seemed that way at his rally, although at rallies it always does. But there was something different about this particular rally. I've been to several large crowd events this week, two with Sen. Cruz, and in each case the crowd was incredibly receptive to the message from the microphone, even if in interviews afterward they seem less certain about particular candidates.
At the Marco Rubio rally I didn't find indecisiveness. The people were elated to be there with Rubio, and were likewise excited about each of the other three. Gov. Haley, Congressman Gowdy, and Sen. Scott make an impressive array on the stage together and it showed in the audience reactions.
The tone was different too. Much more was about Obama, Hillary and the Democrats. Very little was about the other GOP contenders. Whereas both Cruz and Carson spoke at length about threats we face - which is unquestionably a critical point in this election - Rubio focused on the opportunities ahead, and how his presidency would help us achieve success in them.
A small portion of Marco Rubio's remarks at a rally in Greenville, SC on Thursday, February 18th.
In short, I found much more "Morning in America" and much less "A time for Choosing" in the message from the Rubio campaign. Not in the sense that everything is great. In the sense that it CAN be. It is impossible to deduce by attending rallies which message resonated more with voters this week. We'll find out tomorrow.
As someone who follows politics religiously, I will add my personal view here that this Rubio message is easier to get behind than a lot of what we've been hearing lately. At least in the abstract. Fear of the future is a powerful motivator, but it isn't a good or pleasant one. Listening to folks I admire, such as Gowdy, Haley, and Scott, speaking about what a new administration can be like for this country, what a Rubio administration can be like, is a strong tonic.
Just my own two cents. I remain an equal fan of Cruz as of Rubio.
We'll continue to bring your our own observations from South Carolina throughout today and tomorrow. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more.