The Rise of the New South continues with South Carolina replacing Conservative Stalwart Jim DeMint with Conservative rising star Tim Scott. It is worth noting that South Carolina is now a state with a minority woman as governor and a minority man as U. S. Senator. Who would have predicted that outcome 3 years ago? One interesting historical fact is that the majority of blacks who will serve as U. S. Senators will have been Republicans.
While the historical side to it is intriguing, especially when we are talking about the firebrand state which birthed the old Confederate States of America, the most important part of the pick is that Governor Haley keeps the Tea Party in the loop, solidifies her standing with Pro-life constituents nationally, and the senate keeps a powerful constitutional voice. She picked someone as close to Jim DeMint as she could get without stopping him from retiring. The move is logical because Scott has a statewide following and political base that Haley shares. They will make a good team in 2014 and will help Haley keep her base energized even though Lindsey Graham is on the ticket. It unites the party because now Tea Party money and energy will focus more on electing Scott and reelecting Haley than defeating Graham. In one move, she unites the party and energizes her base.
The move also enhances Governor Haley’s standing nationally. The GOP now has 2 of the 3 Latino Senators and the only Black in the Senate. She has garnered favorable national attention for the party. Her choice is not only seen as adding to the diversity of the party, but she wins on points because her choice is also one of the strongest to win election in his own right. He has a national fundraising base. Senator Jim DeMint calls him a superior voice even to DeMint’s. In one stroke she changed the dialog about the GOP. She may have solidified her own growing national stardom. Unlike her ally, Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley has used her governorship in a way that builds her standing. Governor Palin was one of the most successful governors in state history with major economic, infrastructure, reform, and educational initiatives, but she left prematurely to become a celebrity not a politician/stateswoman. That hurts her in the pursuit of the ultimate political office. Haley is politically outwitting and outmatching her opponents in both parties.