We now return you to our regularly scheduled election, already in progress:

SEPT. 8, 2010: Today political blogger and former Sanford spokesman Will Folks released a Hallmark get-well card he received from Republican gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley in 2007.

Folks said it is proof that she "cared enough to send the very best."

Haley's campaign could not be distracted for comment.

If something doesn't change soon, that is the summer we could be facing in "randy South Carolina," as The New York Times called us Friday.

Ten days from the party primaries, and an entire week has gone by without any discussion of real issues. All the nuts-and-bolts talk has fallen by the wayside in favor of the he-said, she-said of whether Haley had an affair three years ago. And the more late-night phone calls and conspiratorial text messages that are released, the less people tend to believe it.

They must be waiting on the "substance." Which is funny, because most don't seem too worried about the "issues."

The center ring

You know, there is other news in the governor's race. Some chicken hawk wants to shoot Foghorn Leghorn. And the Dark Lord of the Sith came out of his undisclosed location this week to endorse U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett.

Who would have ever thought Andre Bauer would be the least controversial person in this race?

The candidates aren't helping to make the decision any easier for Republicans because they aren't talking much about substantive stuff. Sure, if you go to their websites, they have position statements on issues -- but most of them are regurgitated talking points aimed at whatever demographic it is they are courting.

Henry McMaster wants to get rid of Obamacare, Barrett wants you to forget he voted for a bailout, Haley wants votes recorded so we'll know when she's not at work. Bauer has gone mostly quiet since comparing welfare recipients to animals.

They all want to "take South Carolina back," but it's not clear from whom. Don't "they" already control the state?

Step right up

Maybe these candidates know something the rest of us don't: People aren't picking candidates based on their positions.

It's all sound bites and quips, and who can beat up on Washington the most (which is good, because D.C. is in season).

Part of the problem here is that, in primaries, the candidates' positions don't differ much on rank-and-file stuff. There's not much to talk about.

So instead of parsing policy which is -- let's be honest -- boring, they focus on one little thing.

If you need proof of that, look at Haley. She has one issue -- transparency -- that she has been flogging the entire campaign. It got her nowhere until Sarah Palin endorsed her.

So, was it the issue or the celebrity that finally led to Haley's inflated polling numbers?

Based on what this state focuses on most of the time, you have to figure it's the sideshow.