Meet Tim Scott

Scott is less popular among African-Americans, almost all of whom are Democrats. “He comes across to black people as someone we can’t trust,” says Conquestrina White, a Charleston art student. “I especially don’t appreciate the way he bashes Obama.” Others, though, are willing to wait and see. “We didn’t know who Tim Scott was,” says Pat Bellamy, a resident of Atlantic Beach, the fabled black beach-resort community that has fallen on hard times in recent years. “But then here comes this colored boy, pardon the expression, and he beats Strom Thurmond’s son? That’s a dynasty in South Carolina. You have to ask yourself, who is this?”…

What, I asked, would be his message if he is sent by the party to evangelize among African-American Democrats? “Faith in God,” he said. “School choice and vouchers. And private enterprise. I want people to know that the American Dream is still alive and well, and I’m living proof.”…

At 44, Scott is a lifelong bachelor with no hobbies except working out and an occasional game of flag football. On weekends he drives his 89-year-old grandfather, a former construction worker, to look at building sites. Sundays he has a standing lunch date with his mother. “I’m not really a fun-filled guy,” he said without evident regret.

Scott has heard that a lot of freshman congressmen live in group homes in Washington during the week, but that isn’t for him. “I’m not one for hanging out with groups,” he told me. “That’s a way of getting into trouble. I want to come home to Charleston on the weekends and spend time with my family and friends. I’m not going to Washington to make new friends.”