Republican former Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is soon announcing for president. SC GOP Senator Tim Scott may be doing the same thing relatively soon. The questions are: Are these South Carolinians really running in earnest? Or are they actually, per Buttigieg, running for a Cabinet slot?

Haley had this to say on Wednesday, “My family and I have a big announcement to share with you on February 15th! And yes, it’s definitely going to be a Great Day in South Carolina!” Why do adult women today feel the need to constantly use exclamation marks?

“It is time for a new generation. It is time for more leadership. It is time for the fact that we really start to take our country back.” Haley said Jan. 20 on “Hannity.” “We cannot have another term of Joe Biden. And we have to remember, too, we have lost the last seven out of eight popular votes for president. It is time that we get a Republican in there that can lead and can win a general election.”

But all is not roses. She is unpopular with some hard-core conservatives because she removed the rebel flag from SC state capitol grounds. “This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state,” she said.

American conservatives have been looking for their own Margaret Thatcher for some time. Is she the real deal? Unlikely. While an attractive candidate with solid creds, she currently seems to lack the inner killer instinct so prevalent in Thatcher and needed to rise to the top of the American greasy pole. She’s likely running to be Secretary of State. Then after that and in a presidential year not full of political land mines, she’s only 51, she gets fangs and runs for real.

Tim Scott is different. The guy is a dream walking. Our Obama, but not a communist. A personable strong conservative respected by both parties, a Scott nomination would be almost impossible to beat. But can he get through the primaries? Going to Iowa is a good way to find out.

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“If you’re going to have a message about restoring faith in America, what better place to go? Iowa represents the heartland of America. They understand the importance of these conversations and respect for the process to give tough, honest feedback,” said a Tim Scott insider.

“This tour will be more than just speeches and policy events. We have this great chance to listen to people across the country and to share a vision of hope and opportunity,” the Scott honcho said. “We look forward to taking our message to multiple other states over the coming months.” And Scott has said this is his final term in the Senate. Oh yeah, the guy is running for real.

Unless DeSantis gets in he’d be the odds on favorite. Trump? He’ll say something inadvertently bigoted in a clumsy attempt to trash Scott and that would only work to Scott’s favor. Scott further renders him yesterday’s news. DeSantis? If he gets in before Scott he could beat him. But if he waits Scott could have already beat the other guys and be sitting in the cockpit. Stay tuned.