Earlier this month U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) announced he was resigning from the Senate in order to lead The Heritage Foundation. It was then up to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to appoint someone to fill DeMint’s seat until a special election in 2014. Today she announced that Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC) will be her pick. On her short list was also Jenny Sanford, wife of former Governor Mark Sanford.
Senator-Designate Scott will become the only African-American serving in the Senate and the first African-American Senator from the South since Reconstruction. Congressman Scott is a Tea Party favorite, a staunch conservative, and pro-life. Ideologically, putting the historical implications aside, is a good fit for DeMint’s seat.
Governor Haley last week said that she wanted to appoint somebody who intended to run for the seat not a placeholder.
As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a “placeholder” appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it. I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a “placeholder.”
Governor Haley had already ruled out appointing herself and has pledged not to run for the Senate seat in 2014. News of Congressman Scott’s appointment and the historical significance of it was met by vitriol by a black radio host, Amos Brown, in Indianapolis. He said on Twitter:
Gee, courtesy of S Carolina GOP, the nation gets Tim Scott an ultra-rightwing, Tea Party devotee US Senator who’s Black only in skin color
— Amos Brown (@Amoswtlcindy) December 17, 2012
Brown hosts Afternoons with Amos on 1310 AM The Light in Indianapolis, IN. This is just a sample of some unfortunate reactions Senator-Designate Scott will receive from the left.
I will update later with highlights from today’s press conference.
Update: Linked at Mental Recession. Twitchy also has a run down on liberal reaction to Governor Haley’s appointment of Tim Scott. Also below is the video of Governor Haley’s press conference announcing her appointment of Congressman Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate.