As South Carolina’s legislature prepares to debate removing the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds, Sen. Tim Scott is weighing in with state lawmakers in typical Scott fashion – quietly and behind the scenes.
“We’ve already started talking to some folks, just letting people know where we stand, and we’ll be talking around the state,” Scott, R-S.C., said of his lobbying effort to persuade state legislators to remove the flag. “It’s definitely a great opportunity to use your relationships as a way to infuse yourself into a conversation without taking over the conversation.”
The massacre inside Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and its aftermath has thrust Scott, the first elected African-American senator from the South since reconstruction, into the national spotlight. It’s a place that he’s studiously avoided in the past.
In Washington, Scott has been one of the Senate’s low-key members, making very few floor speeches, keeping hallway interviews with reporters cordial but brief, and keeping his appearances on national cable and network news shows to a minimum. Scott would rather be in Moncks Corner, S.C., than on “Meet the Press.”