Tim Scott, the black Republican appointed to the Senate by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, was singled out by the NAACP’s North Carolina chapter president for, well, being black and a Republican. “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” the Rev. William C. Barber II, told churchgoers last week.
Asked about the insult on Friday, Scott took the high road. “The best way to respond to attacks from someone you’ve never met, who’s never been there during the most difficult times of your life, is not to respond at all.”
His decision not to fight fire with fire is typical of a low-key style that sets him apart from fiery tea-party brethren like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. While his fellow Republicans garnered national media attention for stinging appraisals of the government’s “War on Poverty” earlier this month, Scott’s speech on the Senate floor went largely unnoticed.
“I don’t know that I’ve been quiet. I’ve spoken when I wanted to say something,” he said after addressing a Republican National Committee meeting in Washington. “My thought is that just because you have a lot of microphones doesn’t mean you need to fill them all with words.”
That’s not a sentiment heard often in a town of loudmouths and grandstanders. And Scott, who grew up poor with a single mother, has a unique perspective on what he calls “the opportunity agenda.” He’s filed legislation to expand school choice and job training.
“I wouldn’t call him quiet. I would call him constructive,” said Matt Moore, chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.
Scott visits or Skypes with schoolchildren about twice a month, and Moore accompanied him last year to his old high school in Charleston. “When he was finished the kids stood up and cheered for him even though they all come from Democratic households,” Moore said.
In his speech to the RNC, Scott urged Republicans to offer solutions to help the needy. “We are going to have to embrace people in a way they deserve to be embraced,” he said. “If we win people, elections will take care of themselves.”
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."