Two weeks ago, South Carolina Republican Congressmen-elect Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney, Tim Scott, and Jeff Duncan joined 86 other freshmen congressmen-elect for orientation in Washington, DC.
Founding member of South Carolina Conservatives for Truth in Politics David Woodard says these new congressmen were elected partly because voters are placing less emphasis on the importance of seniority as an attribute they want in their U.S. House members. Woodard surmises that television has worked to give neophyte politicians instant credibility, and for South Carolina’s new congressmen, the state’s importance in the Republican Presidential Primary pecking order will also help.
Woodard is also Clemson University Political Science professor and a South Carolina GOP consultant.
Woodard says it seems that the “bring home the bacon” push associated with the strategic use of seniority that has long been a staple of congressional politics has been replaced by how much “face time” you can generate to push your agenda and political views on the various television news networks along with the judicious use of Twitter and other social media.
Woodard says Republican Mick Mulvaney’s victory over U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt in the Fifth District illustrates that voters are more willing today to sacrifice seniority for a change in political policy. Spratt was vying for a 15th term.
Woodard says South Carolina’s freshmen GOP Congressmen should be prepared to be invited to many functions and to have their ears bent often especially by their Republican colleagues in the soon to be majority GOP House.