by Jennifer Burke
When South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate effective in January, the conservative world experienced a breathtaking blow. DeMint has long demonstrated that he takes a consistent stand for the Constitution and does what he can to be the voice in the fight for freedom in the gridlocked Senate.
Immediately, speculation arose regarding who should be appointed to fill this seat. With the recent purging of conservatives from their committees and leadership positions in the House, conservatives wanted a strong advocate on their side to fill the seat that DeMint has held since 1999. The immediate pick by many as their favorite to be appointed to the seat was Rep. Tim Scott. Not only is Scott a staunch conservative and tea party favorite, but he would be the only black person in the Senate. Since South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley also won her office riding the tea party wave of 2010, the appointment of Tim Scott seemed likely. Until this morning.
Reports have been coming in that Haley intends to appoint her former opponent for the governorship, former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, to the soon to be open Senate seat. Following McMaster’s loss in the 2010 Primary for Governor, he endorsed Nikki Haley. Although previously appointed as U.S. Attorney General for South Carolina by Ronald Reagan, McMaster’s 2012 endorsement of John Huntsman, Jr. for President, when the field was filled with actual conservative candidates, will likely overshadow that connection.
If the reports are true and McMaster is appointed to the seat, there will still be a special election in 2014 to fill the seat for the full term. However, in that time, conservatives would have lost a strong voice for their principles for almost two years. This at a time when strong conservative voices are most needed. It begs the question, is Haley making the best choice or the payback choice?