Tim Scott drew a large crowd of around 250 people to Rye Thursday evening, spoke for over an hour, and said nothing that would offend a single one of them.
About the worst thing anyone can say about the senator from South Carolina is he’s not really running for president; he’s running for vice president. His appearance at the latest No B.S. BBQ event hosted by Scott Brown and Gail Huff Brown did nothing to dispel that impression.
The Tim Scott seen at the first debate – liked by all, hated by none, unwilling to engage in the fray while hoping to be among the last ones standing after the others have killed each other off – was exactly the candidate who came to Rye.
Scott had nothing to say about former President Donald Trump or any of the other candidates. They may as well not exist. He drew no contrasts with anyone. His criticism of President Joe Biden was mild. He offered no unique policy positions or innovative ideas. He was not there to tell people unpleasant truths or things they didn’t want to hear. Just the opposite.
If Scott was there to make and keep friends, the audience responded in kind. They were not there to challenge the candidate with difficult or nuanced questions, either. Rather, they teed up one opportunity after another for Scott to deliver polished lines from previous speeches, which Scott would often deftly link to anecdotes from his compelling up-from-poverty bio.
It was like the Barney song, “I Love You,” come to life:
I love you, you love me
We’re a happy family.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you
Won’t you say you love me too?
I love you, you love me.
We’re best friends like friends should be.
With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you
Won’t you say you love me too?
If you want a generic Republican on the issues, Tim Scott is your guy. Scott fielded 17 questions over 50 minutes of Q&A, responding with an uninterrupted stream of answers that were right in the strike zone of Republican primary voters.
Why, yes, we should secure the southern border; thank you for asking that unusual question. And don’t forget the northern border, too! Fauci should have been fired, and Attorney General Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray of the FBI will be. Scott shares the questioner’s concern that the military is too woke and not focused enough on lethality. He holds the controversial position that military families should be supported. He’s pro-police, pro-Israel, and pro-term limits. Now that the Supreme Court has sent abortion policy back to the states, Scott supports a federal 15-week ban. On Iran and climate, just do the opposite of whatever Biden is doing. There is no fiscal issue that spending cuts and economic growth can’t solve.
It was heaping servings of plain Republican vanilla, over and over.
Along the way, Scott joshed with his former Senate colleague, Scott Brown, who emceed the event and kept things moving. Among those mingling with the crowd were Gov. Chris Sununu and state GOP chairman Chris Ager.
Vice President Scott will be an excellent keynote speaker at state party dinners. The attendees will love him.