HICKS COLUMN: Just say No, Joe
If there’s one thing locals really hate, it’s snowbirds coming down here and adding to our traffic problems.
Especially snowbirds with motorcades.
On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden visited the area for the second time in two months — this one for a midday fundraiser. But if there were any questions about whether this meant the Obama team thought South Carolina was in play this year, they were quickly put to rest.
Because once again, Biden scheduled his travel plans during rush hour.
You know, it’s great that the Veep likes the Charleston area so much — who can blame him? But how about showing his affection by throwing us some discretionary money for the harbor-dredging?
Instead, he just keeps showing up at the worst possible time, stranding motorists who sit in their cars and mutter “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
Among other things.
Somebody needs to remind Biden that the last time some guy in an SUV screwed up rush hour around here, we threw him in jail.
Biden was here to attend a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Sullivan’s Island home of attorney Mark Tanenbaum, an event that went quite well by all accounts.
Trouble is, Biden left Sullivan’s just in time to roll down Coleman Boulevard as Christ Our King-Stella Maris school was letting out.
“We were kind of stuck here,” says Nancy Tezza, who works at the school. “We had a lot of leftover kids, but no one had to spend the night.”
But parents who didn’t know about the visit saw all those police lights and worried. Then they learned a Democrat was in town, and they really got scared.
There are a thousand stories like that — at Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital, one person got stuck in the lot while another couldn’t make an appointment.
Not to worry, no pets suffered as a result of this domestic policy.
Like so many others, Mount Pleasant resident David S. Bonner’s wife and son were stuck in separate traffic jams.
“SCDOT should have coordinated the Highway 17 closing with the Biden visit and they could have completed the Hungryneck overpass,” he said.
Now that’s a stimulus package.
Tanenbaum says his friends ribbed him a little about the problems his party caused for everyone else. One Republican pal called from Florida to tell him Biden had traffic backed up to the Keys.
But as Tanenbaum notes, presidential traffic problems are bipartisan. He remembers President Dwight Eisenhower shutting down roads from the Air Force Base to Charleston City Hall during a visit in the ’50s.
And of course Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his undisclosed location six years ago to visit the Hibernians — during rush hour. On a Friday, no less. Luck of the Irish, bane of everyone else.
For the record, Biden raised about $150,000 for our troubles, so he might be back.
Let’s hope next time he plans to visit, he quietly lands sometime after midnight.
Now that’s a change we could believe in.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.