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Scott Senate appointment shores up Haley’s right flank

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has named the tea party favorite Rep. Tim Scott to fill the seat left vacant by conservative stalwart Sen. Jim DeMint.

With rumors flying that she would name to the Senate anyone from former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford to a ‚??caretaker‚?Ě who would serve only until the next election in 2014, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley Monday gave conservatives Rep. Tim Scott to fill the seat of soon-to-be former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Scott, a hero to the ‚??tea party‚?Ě movement in the Palmetto State, is one of only two black Republicans in the House.

Just re-elected to his second term in the House, Scott (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 96 percent) will now become the first black Republican senator since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts (1966-78) and the first black GOPer from the Deep South to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction.

Most state political observers Human Events spoke to agreed that Haley‚??s move was a tactical one. Backed by Sarah Palin and much of the tea party movement, then-State Rep. Haley won a major upset over several well-known candidates in the Republican primary for governor two years ago. Since then, however, many tea partiers have complained that the governor has not pursued their smaller government agenda or appointed political allies to high positions.

So Haley, who is likely to face both a primary challenge and a stiff general election opponent in 2014, moved to shore up her ‚??right flank‚?Ě in naming Scott. He will next face the voters in 2014 in a special election to fill out the term of DeMint, who resigned earlier in December to become president of the Heritage Foundation.

But, as dramatic as Scott‚??s appointment is, it nonetheless creates other problems for the Republican Party. Coupled with the defeat of fellow GOP Rep. Allen West in Florida this year, Scott‚??s exodus from the House leaves it with no black Republicans. In addition, his pending resignation from the House will trigger a special election in the Charleston-based 1st District that Democrats will seriously contest.

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ‚??the man who knows everyone in Washington‚?Ě and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what‚??s going on in the nation‚??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ‚??Gizzi on Politics‚?Ě and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ‚??Gizzi‚??s America,‚?Ě video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John‚??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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