I live in the Myrtle Beach metro area, so usually I have little reason to be jealous of Charleston.
The beaches are better here.
We do a better job of honoring a quirkiness that’s a nice mix of some of the country’s deepest historical roots and a pleasantly eccentric atmosphere that convinces roughly 14 million people to visit every year.
We are the center of South Carolina’s No. 1, tourism, even though Charleston often pretends it wears that crown.
Our school systems are better
Heck, the sky and Atlantic Ocean are bluer on this part of the coast.
But, I must admit. There is one area Charleston has a major leg up on us.
It is currently ground zero to the most interesting political race in the country.
What makes it worse is that it is the First Congressional District, which we used to share with Charleston.
It’s good that we are now the center of the newly-created Seventh Congressional District. The first race to fill that seat had its dramatic moments, including when the presumed Republican front-runner had to drop out because of a stalking charge and the presumed top Democrat left the race after being arrested for DUI with a young woman in his car who happened to not be his wife.
Then the former S.C. Lt. Governor who had moved to the area to run was bested by the local boy.
But compared to what’s going on in Charleston, it’s like comparing the Waltons to Jersey Shore, John-Boy to Snookie.
In Charleston, there’s a former S.C. governor who had a good shot at the 2012 GOP presidential ticket before he gave SLED the shake and hiked the “Appalachian Trial” to the home of his mistress, in Argentina.
Teddy Turner is running in the Republican primary – even though he’s the son of the iconic, well-known and outspoken liberal Ted Turner.
“Yes, I’m Teddy Turner. You can’t pick your parents,” he reportedly told a Republican gathering at Hilton Head Island.
Yep. Only in Charleston would someone believe having been born to a billionaire media mogul is an unfair, debilitating hurdle.
Life would have been easier if he had been the son of a paraplegic crack-addicted single mom with 12 kids.
On the Democratic side (read usually doesn’t matter side in that part of South Carolina) is the sister of Stephen Colbert, a S.C. native comedian who plays a blowhard Republican commentator on Comedy Central.
Are we sure this is a real political race and not a reality TV script put together by the Colbert show?
Remember the Charleston legislator who said his part of the state doesn’t accept trashy tourists that prefer Myrtle Beach?
Their standard for who gets to walk around in a bikini and flip flops seems to be higher than the one for who gets to represent them on Capitol Hill.
After a few hiccups, the Seventh Congressional District race in 2012 came down to one of the most educated women in the nation who happens to also be an economist, and a man who earned a masters degree in accounting and established his own law firm.
I half expect to see headlines from Charleston saying Larry and Curly are in the running to represent the First District as well. Moe decided to sit this one out.
Though he became famous for making a fool out of himself, he said a man has to have his limits.
But wouldn’t you fit right in? I asked him.
“Oh, a wise guy, eh,” he said. “Why I oughta...”
Contact ISSAC J. BAILEY at email@example.com or at Twitter at @TSN_IssacBailey.