History-making isn't a term that the young Tim Scott would have ever dared dream might one day be applied to him. Dreams were not for people like Scott, who was being raised in a single-parent household where money was tight and, he's not too proud to admit, he was failing in high school.
But on Tuesday, history was indeed made when he took the oath of office as the first African-American elected to the Senate from the South since Reconstruction. Surrounded by family, friends and the South Carolina congressional delegation, the experience, officiated by Vice President Joe Biden, Scott says, was more emotional and meaningful for him than it was two years ago when Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Jim DeMint.
This time, the people had decided, giving him a landslide victory over his Democratic challenger in a November special election to finish the remaining two years of DeMint's term.
"We hear so many negative things about South Carolina, yet we continue to overcome those statements and challenges. It was certainly a moment where all crystallized for me and that's been really helpful. To watch it all happen and unfold was really great," Scott said. "I think, honestly, I can't tell you that when I was 14 or 15 years old and not doing very well in high school, frankly flunking out, I thought the American dream was possible for me. And today as I look around our nation I think it's important for us to reinforce the notion that the American dream is alive and it's well and it's available. It doesn't really matter where you come from; it matters where you're going."
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(Photo: Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Tim Scott)