Rep. Tim Scott

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina has chosen Representative Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate, according to three Republican officials. The move will make Mr. Scott the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century. [The Caucus - New York Times]

THE 2012 presidential election cycle will become a demarkation in political history for the Republican Party.

It begins with Tim Scott.

The racial component of the GOP will slowly begin to change shades. What it means for actual policy is another matter altogether.

The seat in South Carolina became vacant when Tea Party Senate leader Jim DeMint left to lead the American Enterprise Institute. That move not only further cemented the far right Tea Party in Republican politics, but also brings with it the hope that the AEI will be resurrected from the dust bin of history, where it was headed. The only people still invoking the AEI name or relying on its mothy construct living on or listening to Rush Limbaugh and wingnut radio.