Scott to Replace Demint in the Senate as Hawaii Seeks to Replace Inouye

Senator-elect Tim Scott

After two weeks of speculation about who will replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made it official and appointed second term Congressman Tim Scott to fill out the remainder of Senator DeMint’s term. (See video below)

In an overwhelming show of unity and support for her decision, the appointment was made by Governor Haley during a late Monday morning press conference where she, Tim Scott, and Jim DeMint were joined by several Republican members of the South Carolina Republican congressional delegation, and senior South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.

With praise from all, the decision to have Tim Scott fill out the remaining two years of DeMint’s term was celebrated as one which help ensure that South Carolinians continue to be represented by the same type of conservative values championed by Jim DeMint, who has been considered the most conservative member of both houses of Congress. But filling DeMint’s shoes will not be much of a challenge for Tim Scott who in less than two, already established himself a strong conservative voice. In his first term, Scott turned heads as one of the staunchest supporters of South Carolina’s free-rider-anti-union laws and as South Carolina’s Club for Growth’s scorecard gave Scott a B and a score of 80 out of 100, he is praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes. It well earned praise for his tireless advocacy for smaller government, lower taxes, and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington.

After winning the general election in 2010, Tim acted upon his desires to regain fiscal sanity in the federal government and to limit its size and scope by acting on such issues with immediately and with urgency. The first bill he authored would defund and deauthorize the President’s health care reform package. e was also named to the influential House Rules Committee, asked to serve as a Deputy Whip and sits as one of two freshmen on the Elected Leadership Committee. Then he confronted our nation’s outdated and cumbersome tax code by sponsoring the Rising Tides Act. That initiative would lower burdensome corporate tax rates that discourage job growth and allow for the permanent repatriation of overseas profits. The latter would encourage American companies to bring home more than $1 trillion dollars that can be used for investment and job creation.

In general, Tim Scott is a consistent voice for significant cuts in federal spending, and staunch opponent of measures he believes do not go far enough. Tim was an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which would do just as it says – cut spending, cap our spending moving forward based on how much we bring in, and add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also cosponsored two stand-alone bills that would create a Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted against raising our nation’s debt limit.

While Rick Scott is not the only member of Congress who holds such positions, he, like his soon to be predecessor in the Senate, he is one of the few who has been so consistent in those positions. However, while Tim may not be the only member of either house to hold those positions, he is the only African-American in the United States Senate and that distinction will make him a leading voice in the Party, within the conservative movement, and in the nation.

Hiram Revels

Being African-American, Scott will have an incomparable ability to respond to and discount the left’s persistent attempts to paint those who hold his beliefs and political ideology as anti-black. And for a Party that needs desperately to attract Hispanic and African-American voters, the ability to convincingly contradict such mischaracterizations is invaluable. Meanwhile, Scott takes his place in history as only the seventh African-American to serve in the Senate.

Coming before him were Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, who briefly represented Mississippi during Reconstruction.

Blanche K. Bruce

The The first African American elected to the Senate by popular vote was Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Brooke served two full terms during which he championed the causes of low-income housing, an increase in minimum wages, and promoted commuter rail and mass transit systems. He also worked tirelessly to promote racial equality in the South.

Following Brooke in the Senate were Carol Mosley Braun and Barack Obama who were both elected from Illinois. Braun was elected in 1992, a year that saw more women than ever before elected to political office. For Braun the distinction was and is that she became the first and only African-American woman ever to serve as U.S. Senator.

Edward Brooke

In 2006, Illinois elected Barack Obama to the Senate and in 2009, after becoming President of the United States, another African-American, Roland Burris was appointed to fill out the remainder of his term.

Scott is expected to be officially sworn in to the Senate on January 3rd, 2013 and he has already committed himself to run for election to a full term in the Senate. That race will take place in 2014.

Another Seat Opens as Daniel Inouye Passes Away

Senator Daniel Inouye

On the same day that one replacement is named to the Senate, another seat became vacant as Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate’s most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, died at age 88.

First elected to the Senate in 1962, Inouye’s tenure is second only to Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who died in 2010.

Under Hawaii law, it is required that the appointee be of the same Party as the person they are replacing. As such the state’s Governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, will appoint a Democrats successor to Inouye until a special election can be held. State law also requires that the Governor base his decision on a field of three candidates provided by the state Party. The appointee will then serve until 2014, at which point a special election will determine who serves the final two years of Inouye’s term.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

Some of the names being considered for submission to Abercrombie by the Hawaii State Democrat Party include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, 61, who was just re-elected to her second term the House in, and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. Other names include Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbar, the first Hindu-American elected to Congress and who is set to take office in Januar. Also on the list are former Hawaii governors, Ben Cayetano, 73, and John D. Waihee, 66. Odds are though that Hanabusa will get the nod. She is said to have been Inouye’s preferred candidate to take his place one day, and news reports following Inouye’s death have indicated that the Senator informed Abercrombie that Hanabusa should get his job.

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa (1972-01-20) January 20, 1972 (age 40) Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michael Haley
Children 2
Alma mater Clemson University (B.S.)

Nikki Haley came to office as Governor of South Carolina as a TEA movement favorite known for her record of fiscal conservatism, a record she accumulated as a state representative.

That record is one which has yet to be tested as an executive officeholder but she remains a promising conservative who is leading a state which has an approximate 10% unemployment rate and is by many, considered to be under direct attack of the federal government. As such Haley and her state has challenged everything from South Carolina’s plight for voters to provide identification before voting, to their enforcement of anti-illegal immigration laws, and even the state’s right to work laws.

This puts Nikki Haley on the frontline of many of the hot button, conservative issues and that in turn makes her a prominent name to be considered for Vice President. However, Haley has really yet to cement her reputation as a fiscal conservative and with less than two years in office, it can be said that there are better choices to go with. Especially when you consider the fact that South Carolina is not likely to vote for President Obama. And at the moment, Governor Haley is not the most popular politician in her state. Recent polling indicates South Carolinians were evenly divided on if they approved of the way in which Haley was doing her job.

Another bump in the road deals with the unanimous agreement by members of the South Carolina House of Representatives’ House Ethics Committee to take a closer look at an ethics complaint against Gov. Nikki Haley. The complaint alleges Haley used her position as a House member to lobby and then vote on bills to benefit employers. But she still remains a potential candidate for the long list of vice presidential options. It is also worth noting that Nikki Haley was a prominent early supporter of Mitt Romney who even though he lost the state’s primary to Newt Gingrich, is certainly appreciative for her help.

Between her personal story as the daughter of Indian immigrants and her being the first woman Governor of South Carolina, she would bring to the G.O.P. ticket an interesting demographic which Republicans must considered.

Pros:

  • Helps Romney with the T.E.A. activists that he needs on his side.
  • Helps Romney energize the Southern base.
  • Aides Romney with the women’s vote that he needs help with.
  • Haley’s fiscal conservatism helps underscore Romney’s command of economic issues and the federal budget deficit.
  • The potential to make history as the first woman vice President carries a degree of excitement around it that the Romney campaign could use a touch of.
  • Nikki Haley is a strong and energetic speaker.

Cons:

  • Haley is not seasoned.
  • Lacks any foreign affairs credentials.
  • Is not as popular in South Carolina as she was in her first year in office.

Overall Assessment:

While Haley is a politically attractive and definitely qualified candidate for Vice President, she fails to bring to the table as much gravitas to the ticket that several other male or female prospects do. And while her brief tenure in office has proven her to be a rising star, now is probably not the time when her star should rise to the second highest office in the nation. But the Romney campaign must still consider Nikki Haley for the job.

She is strong on many of the issues that Romney needs to stronger on, including the issues of abortion, and limited government. He also needs to be sure that voters with T.E.A. Party sentiments do not sit on their hands on Election day and Nikki Haley can go a long way in winning them over at the voting booth.

Of all the potential female running mates that exist for Romney, Haley is probably one of the best. She is a safer choice than several others and Romney likes playing it as safe as possible. So Nikki Haley will probably make it to the short list of candidates but in the end, she is not likely to make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 1227

Legislation (Sign)

March 29, 2012

More Key Votes

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Nikki Haley On The Issues

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What if Santorum Wins Michigan?

Rick Santorum is polling just slightly ahead of Romney in Romney’s home state of Michigan.  This is significant for more than just that reason.  Michigan is a blue state that has seen what the Democrat party can do to an economy.  So why is Santorum leading billionaire successful businessman Mitt Romney in a state that is starving for economic turnaround?

If Santorum does win, I think one thing it will demonstrate is how much Romney hurt himself with his scorched earth approach to his competitors. Romney has not set himself up as a policies or ideas candidate.  Instead he has set himself up as the “not the other guys” candidate.  Romney has correctly calculated that Ron Paul supporters would rather see four more years of Obama than vote for someone who has insulted Ron Paul.  So he hasn’t.  On the other hand, Romney knows conservatives will suck it up and vote for him if their guy loses.

What Romney didn’t seem to calculate was what effect his being the presumptive nominee and Ron Paul’s disappointing finish in Iowa and South Carolina would do.  Or what vetting Newt to death would do.  Now Social Conservatives, unburdened by the fear of a Ron Paul ascendency and no longer split now that Newt has descended into irrelevance, are freer than ever to vote their conscience.  It’s no longer about electability.  If you want to know what Social Conservatives with nothing to lose look like, look at the polls in Michigan.

But here is where it gets interesting.  Romney may be on the verge of losing Maine to Ron Paul.  Santorum is capitalizing on the mandatory abortion pill provision Obama has decreed.  Newt is all but finished with no momentum and the March 1 debate canceled.  Suddenly, Santorum is looking more viable than ever.  If Mitt loses Michigan, we could see the impossible: Barack Obama versus Rick Santorum.

Newt Wins, on to Florida

With Perry gone and Newt’s second resurrection complete, non-Romney supporters seem to have found their man in Newt.  I predicted Santorum would probably pull a Huckabee and win in Iowa.  I also predicted Romney would easily win New Hampshire.  South Carolina was the setup for the defining moment in this race scheduled for January 31 in Florida.  Had Romney won South Carolina, he would nearly have Florida locked up.  Instead, Romney will be going for the fight of his life again in Florida.  He has one week to show South Carolina is a fluke, because if Newt Gingrich can come back and beat Romney so handily in South Carolina based solely on a two strong debate performances, Romney has already lost the electability argument.  Newt swept all but two counties.

Liabilities for Newt include a strong negative campaign against him in Florida which is already underway.  Also, Santorum may not realize it, but he is in danger of doing to Newt what Huckabee did to Romney in 2008.  Newt was right, Santorum should get out of the race.  However, one thing is clear: Romney is not breaking out of his support base and he has fewer opponents to split the remaining votes.  If Santorum were to drop out of the race, Romney may as well join him.

Floridians watch a lot of TV.  They also are concerned with electability.  I will repeat my prediction that the key in the race for Florida will be the January 27th debate in Jacksonville Florida.  If Newt does well in that debate, the momentum from South Carolina will carry him.  If Newt wins Florida, it will be very difficult for Romney to make a comeback.  If Newt loses in Florida, then the assessment that non-Romney supporters need to make is what Newt plus Santorum’s votes combined would have been.

Oh, and one last parting thought.  The late breaking rumor is that Jeb Bush, the most popular Florida governor in decades, is choosing to stay neutral.  Most had been expecting him to endorse Romney.  I think Jeb sees the writing on the wall.

Santorum Will Remain in the Race Regardless of Where He Finishes In South Carolina

Bookmark and Share  According to officials in the presidential campaign of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum have stated that no matter where Santorum finishes in tonight’s South Carolina Primary, he will not drop out of the nomination contest and promises to campaign aggressively in Florida which holds its primary in 10 days.

Before polls even closed in the Palmetto State, it was already established that Rick Santorum is locked in a race for third place with Texas libertarian Congressman Ron Paul.

Whether he comes in third or fourth, a loss to both Romney and Gingrich who are locked in their own tight race for first place, would essentially put an end to any momentum that Santorum had after his surprise showing in Iowa several weeks ago.

Despite being endorsed by 150 evangelical leaders, pressure will begin to mount on Santorum to step aside, especially since while Gingrich is doing better the long race goes, Santorum is doing worse the longer the race goes on.

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Romney’s Critical Debate Slip

Romney is a classy debater.  He has style, smoothness, and grace.  Were it not for Newt in these debates, Romney would also have the market cornered on ideas and frankly the air of honesty.  I know most politicians are liars by nature, but when Romney refused to back down on Romneycare, he won some points in the straight-forwardness arena.  That has not hurt Romney, in fact it has been an asset, until perhaps now.

Romney emerged from the pro-life doghouse Thursday night after skipping the Personhood forum in South Carolina.  In the debate, Romney made a clear pro-life stand, but he also slipped up when he tried to deflect criticism from Santorum about abortion funding.

“Is there any possibility that I ever made a mistake in that regard?” Romney asked. “I didn’t see something that I should have seen? Possibly.”

As Rick Perry would say, “oops”.  What was one of the biggest problems with Obamacare?  The only people who actually read the bill were the grassroots groups who were against it.  Take the 1099 rule, for example.  The 1099 rule, written into Obamacare, would have required every business to send every other business a 1099 form for any amounts they paid for services.  For example, a mom and pop shop would have to send McDonalds a 1099 form if they ate there enough during the year.

Obama quickly recognized the stupidity of the 1099 rule based on the overwhelming response from businesses.  In his State of the Union address, he chalked it up to a “flaw” in the Obamacare legislation.

“We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.”

Bravo, Mr. President.  Why was it there in the first place?  Because nobody read or thought about Obamacare.  Now is Romney excusing his funding for abortion through Romneycare by admitting he didn’t see something he should have seen?  That is not what we are looking for in a President, especially on an issue as crucial as abortion.

I see a developing pattern.  It started with Romney’s distancing himself from superpacs that support him.  His excuse for the negative ads run against his opponents?  He has no control over what they run.  Then Romney responded to questions about his money in the Caymans by saying he has a blind trust that manages his money and he has no control over that either.

There are two things grassroots conservatives don’t want in a President.  The first is a President who has no control and is aloof from the actual governing processes.  We already have that with Barack Obama. The second is a President who is in control, but will not take responsibility for his actions.  Oh wait, in many areas that is Barack Obama too.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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