Who is the real Elizabeth Colbert Busch? It appears she comes in two versions, one of which her campaign staff is desperately trying to delete before voters in the District 1 Congressional race go to the polls May 7.
They’ve gone so far as to decimate part of her Twitter account, wiping out 500 tweets she sent before she became the painfully bland, utterly “moderate” businesswoman you see every five minutes on television in campaign ads so mind-numbingly dull that if you played them in a loop while driving, you’d crash. She’s for jobs, business, economic development, and, well, jobs, the ads say, clearly striving to position Busch as the vanilla, safe contrast to Mark Sanford, the Republican in the race.
But Elizabeth 1.0, the author of those deleted tweets, which were saved and archived by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, bears little resemblance to the woman in the campaign’s jobs ads. Her greatest passion, given the number of times she tweets about it, isn’t jobs at all, but gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals. Kudos to Hillary Clinton “for backing equal rights for our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) friends” she tweeted in one of nearly a dozen tweets on the subject, “#LoveisLove.”
On Twitter, Elizabeth 1.0 is also passionately pro-choice, backed President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the minimum wage, and has openly mocked the GOP’s unwillingness to socialize medicine. “GOP LOGIC: Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism,” she tweeted.
Her fondness for business doesn’t come up as much in her deleted tweets as her fondness for unions does. Elizabeth 1.0 was pumped to get the endorsement of the United Steelworkers and even went so far as to tweet a request for volunteers and contributions to the AFL-CIO, which endorsed her.
The deleted tweets aren’t the only place you can catch a glimpse of Elizabeth 1.0. In a video of her speaking to union leadership captured by Patch.com, the boring business mom from the TV ads doesn’t mention her zeal for business at all. Instead, she leaves the room with the impression that she was going to Washington to fight for … unions. Passionately. “The voices of the union and all unions need to be lifted up,” she says in the video. “Nobody is recognizing that and I promise to be that voice for you. Know that I hear you. Know that I’m working closely with your team.” Who exactly is this woman?
But all of this puts Colbert Busch in the liberal wing of the Democrat Party in Washington. The problem with that is that in her latest ad, she promises to be “independent” and to never “take any special interest pledges or follow any party line.”
I wonder if she explained that to the 39 Democratic Senators and Congressmen who hosted her April 15 fundraiser in Washington. In fact, there weren’t any other hosts of that event except Congressional Democrats, and the list reads like a who’s who of Washington’s liberal elite. Included on it are Senators Al Franken and Dick Durbin and Representatives Steny Hoyer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and S.C.’s Jim Clyburn.
I’m betting the woman they’ve all come to know — and probably to like — is Elizabeth 1.0 of the deleted tweets, the one who has a fervor to her voice when she speaks about unions that’s just not there when she talks about business.
In her deleted tweets, Elizabeth 1.0 proudly retweeted tweets referring to her as a progressive. She rooted for the Democrats to take over the House of Representatives in 2014 and hoped to be part of it. She enthused over donations from Democrats like Tom Daschle, a well-known liberal and long-time proponent of socialized medicine. She basked in the attention she got from Clyburn, who she called a “shining beacon of blue light in South Carolina.” Bottom line, Elizabeth 1.0, the deleted version, is a hard-core liberal Democrat.
If she wins, you have to wonder which Elizabeth will go to Washington. Will it be the one that sent out a breathless press release cheering the 2,000 new jobs Boeing says it will create in North Charleston? Or will it be the one who took a donation from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union that tried to use a federal labor board to block Boeing from moving thousands of jobs from unionized Washington plants to Charleston?
Even the smoothest politician eventually has to pick sides. Either that or the voters will do it for her.
Tara Servatius hosts the morning show on Charleston’s 1250 AM WTMA. E-mail her at email@example.com. Follow Servatius on Facebook at facebook.com/TaraServatiusOnline and on Twitter at @TaraServatius.
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