This Ex-Con Rapper Loves Mark Sanford

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 7 2013 12:33 PM

Ex-Con Rappers for Mark Sanford

photo (33)

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Before Mark Sanford arrived at his polling place, 23-odd reporters had gathered to capture the moment. Shortly after 10 a.m., they spotted him—the former governor in one of his three checked dress shirts, carrying an umbrella to block the spitting rain afflicting the city and suburbs today. But Sanford was stopped by an excited-looking black man with a gym-built body shown off by a red tank top. The man, 34-year-old Jason Cunningham, hugged Sanford while shaking his hand, then eventually let him up into the throng.

Cunningham, who apparently goes by the stage name J-Scribbles, had only recently become a fan of Sanford. He spent nearly half his life in prison, from 1994 to 2010. He got out and started "pursuing my dream" of being a musician. (He gave out a number for a manager which wasn't answered quickly.) Cunningham trusted Sanford because they'd both been through "some stuff" and they'd come back harder.

"Somebody robs your house, OK, and he runs away"—Cunningham sprinted away for effect—"he did wrong. But if he comes back? And Sanford came back!" It was some contrast with Elizabeth Colbert Busch, of whom only pleasant things were known. "She's a single mom, she did this, OK, what about what else she's done?"

Cunningham was an anomaly. Most Sanford voters I talked to fit the profile of reliable conservatives, mostly white, who shied away from anything that might encourage the monsters in D.C. Cece Stricklin, a 76-year-old semi-retired realtor, voted right before Cunningham and hoped that Sanford would oppose the debt limit and repeal Obamacare.

"I'd like it if they got rid of the whole thing but went back and passed some of the parts that worked," he said, such as "something that would make it easier to get insurance if you're not getting it from an employer."

He had mixed feelings, too, about the state opting not to take Medicare expansion money. "That's money we sent to Washington," he grumbled. But he was a conservative, and that meant sticking with Sanford.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 2:55 PM Nuptial Expert Sarkozy Worries About Gay Marriage and the Family
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 3:16 PM Watch the Best Part of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.