At left: The man of the hour.
I am off to WOLT-FM to plug our new venture on (yow) live radio. While I'm busy, Vogue model and sometime SC governor Nikki Haley will be appointing our next Senator, filling the empty (but still annoying) shoes of nightmarish Teabagger Jim DeMint.
The Associated Press has confirmed that Congressman Tim Scott is the man, which I already figured. Haley blathered at length about bringing minorities into the GOP at the Republican National Convention this past summer, and if she appointed another white man, she would look like the hypocritical opportunist she really is... and we can't have that. Scott will be the first black Senator in South Carolina's history and Haley will get lots of favorable press as a result, which is crucial for her modeling career.
From USA Today:
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will tap Rep. Tim Scott to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, making Scott the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.At least it wasn't Trey Gowdy! (I try to think positively about these things, you know?)
The Associated Press has confirmed the Scott appointment, which will be formally announced by Haley at a news conference Monday at the statehouse in South Carolina.
DeMint, an influential conservative and Tea Party favorite, will resign in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. His replacement will serve until a special election is held in 2014.
"This is historic for all of the South," said David Woodard, a political scientist at Clemson University. Tim Scott is "conservative and he's Republican. ... What African Americans need are capitalism and conservative values, and Tim Scott is a great vehicle for that. He represents a generation that is interested in entrepreneurship, conservative principles and volunteerism."
Scott, 47, was elected in 2010 to represent a U.S. House district in the Charleston area. A former member of the South Carolina state Legislature, Scott quickly became a favorite of House Speaker John Boehner and GOP officials in Washington and served in a leadership position for the 2010 freshman class.
He has a compelling life story, according to his biography in the Almanac of American Politics. Scott and his siblings were raised by a single mother who worked as a nurse's assistant. By his own account, Scott was on the brink of flunking out of high school when the owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise took him under his wing. He later earned a partial football scholarship to college, and ran an insurance company and owned part of a real-estate agency before entering politics.
State law gives Haley sole authority to appoint a replacement for DeMint, who was first elected in 2004 and is leaving before his second term ends in 2016. The appointment holds major political weight for Haley, who has low approval ratings and is up for re-election in 2014.
Haley reportedly had been considering five candidates: Congressmen Scott and Trey Gowdy, both elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010; former state first lady Jenny Sanford; former attorney general Henry McMaster; and Catherine Templeton, head of the state Department of Health Environmental Control.
The appointment sets in motion a series of events, which will make 2014 a busy year for Palmetto State politics. Both Haley and Graham, the state's senior U.S. senator, are on the ballot in 2014.
Woodard noted that Scott is popular and well-liked and has the support of his fellow members of Congress from South Carolina, which would give him an edge if he runs statewide for the Senate seat, as expected. The five GOP House members from South Carolina are very close, and they stuck together during a high-profile vote last year against Boehner's bill to reduce the deficit.
There have only been six blacks who have served in the U.S. Senate, according to the Senate website. They are Hiram Revels of Mississippi, who served in 1870, Blanche Bruce of Mississippi from 1875 to 1881, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts from 1967 to 1979, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois from 1993 to 1999, Barack Obama of Illinois from 2005 until he resigned in 2008 after his presidential election, and Roland Burris, who was appointed to replace Obama and served until November 2010.
Stay tuned, sports fans.