COLUMBIA, SCMayor of Myrtle Beach and Republican Senate hopeful Mark McBride jumped ahead in the polls Monday after announcing his new low-carbohydrate political platform.
"The people of South Carolina have allowed starchy politics to become a staple in their diets," McBride said, addressing a crowd of supporters at a capitol-area convention center. "You are what you vote for, and when you vote for McBride, you're telling Washington that you want a leader with meaty ideas. You're telling them you aren't going to swallow any more sugar-coated lies."
Having failed to capture voter interest with his previous platform of lower taxes, increased support for job programs, and tort reform, McBride decided a low-carb message was more likely to resonate with voters.
"Americans have asked for a leaner government, and they've been handed bread and circuses," McBride said. "What we have now is a lethargic ruling body, willing to down anything that special-interest groups spoon-feed them. I'm gonna put an end to that. A vote for me is a vote for this country's long-term health."
South Carolina voters have responded enthusiastically to McBride's low-carb initiative, boosting the candidate as many as 11 points in recent polls.
"I'm on Atkins, so I always keep my eye out for new low-carb choices," Pauline Illford said, holding a campaign flyer that read "McBride: Great for Atkins dieters!" "I used to see McBride as just another white-bread politician from South Carolina. But his new campaign has really got me energized. Compared to him, all the other candidates seem really bland or hard to follow."
McBride said that, if elected, he'll push Congress to "cut the excess weight that's dragging the U.S. budget down."
"Take one look at the fat cats living large off your taxes, and you'll agree that the old way wasn't working," McBride said. "If you send me to Washington, you'll get quick results. You'll see a noticeable change within weeks. The first day I'm sworn into office, you'll notice a leaner, healthier government."
McBride declined to give specifics about which policies he'll vote for, but he did hand reporters coupons for the steak-and-shrimp dinner at his restaurant, Crabman's Seafood and Country Buffet.
"As mayor of Myrtle Beach and owner of a popular local restaurant, I've learned a thing or two," said McBride, who changed his restaurant's menu to reflect his low-carb program last year. "I've been listening to the people of this great state, and the majority of them want to know one thing: Do you have anything low-carb?"
"I know what's good for South Carolina, as my public-service record and the success of my restaurant clearly prove," McBride said, before taking a bite of a salmon steak wrapped in romaine lettuce.
Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, the race's former frontrunner, has yet to comment on her opponent's platform. Despite the popularity of the low-carb campaign, Tenenbaum has chosen to stick to her original goals of job creation, affordable healthcare, and increased national security.
"Tenenbaum isn't running a quick-and-easy fad campaign," said Jack Rissol, a reporter from the Charleston Post And Courier. "She's going the long route, hoping constituents come back around to the idea that the only way to get long-term change in government is to consume a balanced array of fresh ideas and regularly exercise one's right to vote."
"On the other hand, there's plenty of evidence that McBride's new platform is working," Rissol added. "I thought it sounded crazy at first, too, and that there was no way a platform like that could possibly work. But there's no denying it: McBride looks great in those polls."