In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Is Strom Thurmond's Son About To Lose To An African American Tea Partier?


That irony comes on several levels. First, though Scott "has positioned himself as the more conservative candidate," the Post spoke to conservative activists on the ground who "resent" Scott's national support. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has donated to Scott's campaign and the paper reports that many in the GOP establishment are amped up about the possibility of gaining the first African American Representative since J.C. Watts (OK) retired in 2003.

That national excitement is earning Scott the predictable grumbling from some tea party types in South Carolina.

"The RNC is so hyped up to have the first African American in however many years," a Myrtle Beach tea partier tells the Post. "We don't have anything against minorities, we just don't think he is the best fit."

When Thurmond got in the race, back in January, he tried to tap into the conservative frustration dominating the cycle this year as well. But Scott grabbed the tea party mantle (and the support of related groups like the Club For Growth) with attacks on conservative bogeymen like earmarks.

The rest, it seems, is about to be history. And that brings us to the second irony of the race, as reported by the Post:

"When Scott began to draw support, few people believed a black man could win in South Carolina against an opponent named Thurmond," the paper reports. "It's not a question that's discussed much now."