The Senate's only African-American will be a Republican.
WSJ Editorial, 12/18/12
Liberals tend to overemphasize racial diversity, especially in politics, but the diversity lobby was notably missing in action Monday after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's announcement that she chose Tim Scott to replace departing Senator Jim DeMint. It is a striking moment nonetheless.
A Republican Governor who is the daughter of immigrants from India appointed a Republican who will become the only sitting African-American Senator in the 113th Congress. Mr. Scott, who was born in 1965, the year the Voting Rights Act passed, defeated the son of the late Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in a GOP primary for a House seat in 2010. The former businessman represents Charleston, where the Confederacy fired the first rounds of the Civil War, and he will be the first black Senator from the Deep South since Reconstruction.
Mr. Scott's appointment requires him to stand for a special election in 2014, though he has a record as a House conservative in sync with Palmetto State values and emerged with the Tea Party. It's also worth noting that the movement deplored by liberals as retrogressive has done more than anything in years to increase diversity in politics—and not merely of thought. Think Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Ms. Haley herself.
The best news is that Senator-designate Scott's story isn't about racial grievance and preference. It's a measure of personal achievement, political conviction and the opportunities available in modern American politics.