The Tatler has learned that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is almost certain to appoint former South Carolina Republican Party Chair and former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster to fill the unexpired term of retiring Senator Jim DeMint. McMaster was a prominent supporter of Haley in a contentious GOP primary. Haley has reportedly already informed key South Carolina politicians of her decision.
Yesterday I blogged that Haley should appoint Congressman Joe Wilson to this post, or in the alternative, Tea Party favorite Rep. Tim Scott. A Republican in Washington in 2012 must have experience with the organized Left that now dominates the Democrat Party. It isn’t 1995 anymore, and any politician not familiar with the militancy that is driving Democrat policies in Washington in 2012 will have a steep learning curve. Wilson and Scott have experienced it firsthand and would have made excellent U.S. senators. South Carolina is [thankfully] far removed from the sort of militancy that characterizes Democrat politics in Washington.
McMaster is a conservative South Carolina Republican in the Carroll Campbell mold (the South Carolina governor who served from 1987-1995). He has extensive experience working in the Republican Party trenches. Ronald Reagan appointed McMaster to be the United States attorney for South Carolina (upon Strom Thurmond’s recommendation). He led a revolution of sorts in the 1990s, taking over the state party apparatus as chairman and dislodging a number of more moderate party staff. He has won statewide elections and lost statewide elections, including to former U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings. He won the election for South Carolina attorney general in 2002.