Filing from the bar of Husk restaurant in the Holy City – this is Fishbowl Charleston. As the state prepares to vote in the GOP primary this Saturday, we trudged through the beautiful weather and fine dining to bring you a report from the front lines.
Our Thursday began with a slow start when the closest thing we could find to a D.C. celebrity was Bob Livingston, disgraced former Speaker-designate of the House, trolling radio row of the Southern Republic Leadership Council at the TD Arena. Once we left, we saw a blurry eyed John Roberts from Fox News entering the arena, presumably for J.C. Watts‘s speech to the Council. Walking back to the hotel, we spotted Perry Bacon, from the Grio in an animated phone conversation outside of iconic Charleston restaurant, Jestine’s Kitchen. Considering we saw a reporter named Bacon outside of a restaurant well known for it’s pork laden dishes, we were quite pleased with ourselves.
After an uneventful afternoon, we decided to spice things up with a Rick Santorum speech. Upon arriving, we saw pundit extraordinaire, Michael Barone. While chatting with him, we ALMOST missed the diminutive Lindsey Graham, on his way to fire up the DOZENS of people who had showed up to see the “Sweater Vest of Truth”, Santorum.
Oh, and Perry Bacon was THERE, too. Before Santorum began his speech, we were treated to the arrival of Herman Cain himself. We were tipped off when we saw THIS guy hanging around outside, cigarette firmly ensconced in his mouth, naturally.
That’s right, Mark Block is BACK. We asked him if he tires of posing with his now famous cigarettes. He says he’s “gotten used to it,” but one person in New York recently asked him to SIGN a cigarette butt. The most interesting part of the Mark Block story is that when we made our way into the arena, he sat down just a few seats away from Josh Kraushaar from National Journal. It wasn’t long ago that Block famously butchered the relationship of Kraushaar to Cain sexual harassment accuser KAREN Kraushaar in the news. Block claimed on Fox News that she was Josh’s mother. (They aren’t related at all.) We asked him about that incident when it happened.
Kraushaar even acknowledged the weirdness on Twitter.
Mark Block a couple rows back in crowd as Herman Cain readying to address audience. Still haven’t heard from him since the Hannity botch.
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) January 19, 2012
We settled into our seats in the arena, which wasn’t hard. The place was nearly empty. We’ll give a conservative estimate and say there were roughly 150 people there. Easily half were reporters. As we settled in, we noticed a loud rustling behind us and turned to spot 11 members of the Duggar family, from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, filing in to catch the Santorum address.