- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
Editor's Note: John Avlon is a CNN senior political analyst and anchor. He is the author of "Lincoln and the Fight for Peace." The views expressed in this commentary are his own. Read more opinion at CNN.
South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott made it official Monday, announcing his long anticipated candidacy for the White House. The lone Black Republican in the US Senate is gearing up for a campaign that elevates his deeply conservative values. But he's making a decided break with some others in his party, offering something that was in short supply during the Trump years: optimism.
"I am living proof that America is the land of opportunity, and not a land of oppression," he told a boisterous crowd in South Carolina.
"We have an unusual responsibility. We have the responsibility to prove that self-governance works," Scott added.
If you glanced at the headlines, you might think that he was selling a warmed over form of former President Donald Trump's "combative vision," served with a side order of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' bitter culture war assaults.
That would be a mistake. Because if you actually listened to Scott's speeches, you'd hear a very different pitch to voters.
Yes, Tim Scott is an unapologetic conservative. He is a person whose religious faith genuinely defines his personal journey and his politics. That may or may not be your policy preference. But his vision is fundamentally optimistic, a rebuke to grievance politics on the left and (implicitly) the right.
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