As part of the Bully Pulpit Series hosted by the Department of Communication at the College, SC GOP Chairman Chad Connelly spoke to a small group of students and faculty in Randolph Hall on Wednesday Oct. 23.
Connelly was elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 2011, and has already distinguished his term as chairman. Active on the Republican political scene for over 20 years, Connelly has led the state party to host three nationally televised presidential debates, the most ever for the state of South Carolina.
Brian McGee, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of President Benson, introduced Connelly, by saying “We forgive him for being a Clemson grad.”
Rather than talking about the day’s proposed topic, “Reflections on Presidential Communication,” Connelly shared personal anecdotes, his passion for all political engagement and what it was like growing up in a Democratic household and becoming a Republican representative.
The Bully Pulpit Series is intended to be a nonpartisan way to discuss politics on campus, and even though most of the students present had questions about specific Republican platforms, Connelly addressed all ends of the spectrum.
Although Connelly directly represents the Republican Party, he said that not everyone is always going to agree with him, and that’s ok. “If you’re not here for us, I understand. I’ve been there. Some days I don’t think my family would vote for me, either,” he said.
Connelly also reverberated the belief from all those involved in politics this year. He believes that this election “matters more than maybe any other.”
Because of the magnitude of this election year, Connelly said the time to start your political career is now. “If you’ve got a bent to be a politician, not a bloodsucker, but a statesman, go get involved now…These chances [for political involvement] only come along once every four years,” he said.
Connelly agreed to speak as part of the Bully Pulpit Series because he said he believes it’s important to get people interested in politics.
He said, “[Americans] are sitting at home, making an impression on the couch, not in the hearts and lives of the people enough. The goal is to get the ‘atta boys’ to outnumber the ‘oh, crap’s.”