by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Recent John Locke Foundation Headliner Fred Barnes offers Weekly Standard readers his top choice for filling the U.S. Senate seat that will open next month when Jim DeMint leaves his elected post early to take over leadership of the Heritage Foundation.
[Tim] Scott would be the first African American Republican in the Senate since Ed Brooke of Massachusetts. But Scott is no Ed Brooke, a liberal Republican who was defeated in 1978 by Democrat Paul Tsongas.
Scott is a reliable conservative. He was first elected in 2010 in the House district in the Charleston area—one of the most conservative districts in the country. In the House, he declined to join the liberal Congressional Black Caucus, which consists entirely of Democrats.
In Congress, Scott has become an influential member and, if he doesn’t jump to the Senate, is likely to move up the leadership ladder among House Republicans. Besides his conservatism, he is known for his likeability and skill in developing personal relationships with other House members.
As a senator, Scott would be highly visible. He would counter Democratic claims that Republicans are, at best, indifferent to minorities. His opposition to Democratic initiatives would draw national attention.