Republicans got very good news when South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that Congressman Tim Scott would become the replacement for Sen. Jim DeMint, who has resigned to become the head of the Heritage Foundation.
There was something very encouraging for the Republican Party’s future to have an Indian American woman governor appoint a Republican as the only African American senator. It was even more satisfying to have that senator be Tim Scott.
I very much admire Congressman Scott. He was a Tea Party favorite (repudiating the nonsense that the Tea Party movement was racist).
He first ran as a Republican for County Council in 1995. He had been inspired by the Contract with America. Throughout his career he has used the Contract model to campaign on specific issues and make specific commitments.
Tim Scott is a classic American success story.
I contacted several friends from South Carolina and here are their reflections.
Economist and political activist from Charleston Mallory Factor commented: “Representative Tim Scott is the right man for the job. He grew up with extremely modest means, was raised by a single mom, and became a successful small businessman. Tim understands fundamentally that government is more often the problem than the solution. Regardless of race, color, or creed, Tim Scott and other people like him should be the face of the Republican party. We need more leaders like Tim.”
Former Congressman John Napier asserted this is “one of the most significant developments in South Carolina political history. Shows party vision and inclusiveness at its best. Opens door for both to be strong leaders on the national stage.”
Katon Dawson, former South Carolina GOP Chairman and well known consultant added: “In South Carolina, the Republicans have been doing what the rest of the country should emulate. Electing conservatives to all offices including an African American to represent the state as the Republican National Committeeman, Nikki Haley as Governor and now Tim Scott as a former Congressman and soon to be a United States Senator.”
As one very senior Democrat commented to me, “This is the smartest thing Republicans have done since the election.”
As Adam Waldeck former Gingrich campaign director for South Carolina commented: “Tim Scott has the opportunity to become a major voice of a new Republican Party that is more inclusive, more solutions-oriented, and more willing to proactively make their case to every American, regardless of background or social status. As someone who overcame poverty through faith and hard work to become a successful businessman, he is the embodiment of the American Dream. By fighting for free enterprise and limited government, it’s now his job to help ensure that every South Carolinian, and every American, can pursue and achieve their American Dream as well.”