Tim Scott Is Running for President in 2024, and He Really Shouldn't

Senate Television via AP

Tim Scott is about to launch a 2024 presidential bid, according to a new report from political insider Cockburn over at The Spectator. The South Carolina Republican has been flirting with the move for months, and an official announcement is now expected sometime in the next week.

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Scott will be joining a quickly growing field of lower-tier candidates, all having very little justification for running in the face of the two-man race going on at the top between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. Presidential campaigns aren’t just about winning, though, and Scott may have other reasons for what he’s doing.

South Carolina Tim Scott is set to announce his bid for the presidency as soon as this week, Cockburn has heard from three sources.

Scott has been doing the pre-announcement ritual of touring early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire — as well as his home state of South Carolina.

Per one of Cockburn’s sources, Scott will announce at an event in South Carolina. No surprises there.

Scott is set to throw his hat in the ring after former president Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, and as Florida governor Ron DeSantis, thought to be the party’s top alternative to Trump, falters in the polls. DeSantis himself is also yet to announce.

After 2016, my tolerance for the inane food fight that takes place at the “kid’s table” of candidates is essentially non-existent. If someone is going to run in the Republican presidential primary, I expect them to have shown some level of strength to bolster their argument. Scott hasn’t done that, as he’s consistently polled in the low-single digits, joined by figures like Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie. Just above that tier are the mid-single-digit candidates such as Nikki Haley and Mike Pence. They shouldn’t be running either, in my opinion.

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Really, what is Scott’s path? I don’t dislike him, and for the most part, his politics are fine, but we are talking about a guy who enthusiastically endorsed Lisa Murkowski. He’s also been out of step with the conservative base on several major issues over recent years. What lane is there to capture that would put him into contention? I’d suggest one doesn’t exist.

So is he just running to make himself attractive as a vice presidential selection for someone? That seems probable, though I doubt such an offer would come from Donald Trump. Both the former president and Ron DeSantis would likely gravitate toward picking a woman to put on the ticket anyway.

There is another possibility, though. Namely, Scott received a large $15 million donation to his PAC last year, and he may now see financial opportunity in running. Running for president is lucrative despite the fact that a senator wouldn’t be eligible to draw a salary from their campaign committee. There are many other perks, though, from private jet travel to the possible business relationships made along the way.

Whatever the reasoning, Scott is a long shot. First, he’d need DeSantis to not run. Second, he’d need Trump to implode. Lastly, he’d need the GOP primary electorate to forget it’s 2023. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Scott as a person. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, and he seems like a good fit in the US Senate, but he’s not where the majority of the party is at this point. I don’t think he should run.

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