Political Animal


January 18, 2013 3:50 PM Kitchen-Table Bipartisanship

By Ed Kilgore

Seems that Mark Sanford’s candidacy will not be the only strange feature of the Republican special primary to choose a successor to South Carolina congressmen Tim Scott (recently appointed to Jim DeMint’s Senate seat). No, his ex-wife’s not running, which would have been great fun because everyone always figured her to be the brains of the Sanford family.

But already in the field is one Teddy Turner, son of the eccentric media mogul, bison rancher, and major benefactor to the United Nations. In a colorful profile for TNR, Molly Redden explores the candidate’s wandering career as a factotum for his father, a large-yacht sailor, and a hit-or-miss (mostly miss) entrepreneur. It doesn’t appear he has much of a background in policy or a terribly clear world-view; his pronouncements as recorded by Redden are mostly of the middle-school variety of conservative cant, bereft of the fiery attitude Palmetto State conservatives prefer.

But gotta say, the dude has one of the better lines about his preparation for bipartisan debates in Congress:

“I’ve sat across the dinner table from Ted Turner and Jane Fonda and discussed politics,” he says, in the course of explaining why he belongs in Congress. “And everybody’s come away happy.”

It’s a much better family story than anything Sanford’s likely to offer.

But that may not be the case with a potential Democratic candidate for the seat: Elizabeth Colbert-Bush, whose brother is named Stephen.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on January 18, 2013 4:11 PM:

    Colbert's sister married some guy whose last name is Bush?


    And something tells me, is he gets elected, Teddy is going to be closer to being like Rand Paul than anyone else in Congress.
    Whacko sons seem to get their fathers whacko gene.

  • exlibra on January 18, 2013 5:11 PM:

    Take a deep breath, and calm down, gulag :) Colbert's sister's name is Colbert-Busch, with a tricky "c" stuck between the "s" and "h". Nothing to do with the Dumbya tribe (maybe the beer Busch?)

  • arkie on January 18, 2013 5:19 PM:

    Not the beer Busches. Here is her father-in-law's obituary:


  • Sammy on January 18, 2013 5:39 PM:

    Wonder what role Mark Sanfordís friend will play in his campaign?

  • MuddyLee on January 18, 2013 6:33 PM:

    I don't believe Mark Sanford can win the repub primary for the house seat in SC. He might have been impeached after his stunt of leaving the country without anybody knowing where he was - Argentina - considering all his other problems with the state legislature - BUT - the lieutenant governor was Andre Bauer, known primarily for his speeding tickets and plane crashes. Bauer was impeachment insurance for Sanford. If Sanford wins, it'll only be because all the big money crazy conservatives line up behind him (Kochs, the Amway guy, Karl Rove, DeMint's PAC if it still exists). The republican voters I know were highly disappointed in him
    and in Bauer. There are still some descendants of Strom Thurmond out there - one just got elected to the state senate from Charleston (disclaimer - beat an old college friend of mine). Sanford? Please. He must be having trouble making a living - he is supposed to be a disciple of Ayn Rand and he needs a government job?

  • R on January 19, 2013 8:04 AM:

    Dana Milbank, I think you've found your ideal candidate! To hell with actual policy (or facts, for that matter) -- we have a self-anointed schmoozer. What more do we need?

  • jpeckjr on January 19, 2013 12:02 PM:

    Mr. Turner's lack of accomplishment certainly qualifies him to join the current House of Representatives.