What Time It Is

Former President Donald Trump speaks speaks at a campaign rally on September 27, 2023, in Clinton Township, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Six months ago, in honor of the senator’s entry into the Republican primary, I wrote a newsletter titled “How Tim Scott Wins.”

It wasn’t as embarrassing as it sounds. The subhead was “He doesn’t. Unless …”

The “unless” part had to do with the fact that Scott was well-funded and positioned to leverage the GOP electorate’s recurring interest in black candidates. Herman Cain and Ben Carson each led briefly in the polls in 2012 and 2016, respectively, and Scott was far more accomplished politically than either. His famous likability would wear well on the campaign trail, too.

If any challenger was set to have a “moment” in the race at Trump’s expense, the senator looked to be it. “It’s easy to imagine Scott creeping up in the polls on the strength of aggressive ad spending,” I wrote, “then capitalizing on the first primary debate to launch himself into contention.”


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