S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley will not appoint a “caretaker” – or “placeholder” – for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.

“I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office,” Haley said in a statement issued by her office.  “I do not want to deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state’s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.”

“I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time,” Haley continued.  “Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.'”

Haley’s announcement effectively rules out the likelihood that S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster will be appointed to the seat.  It also dramatically increases the likelihood that she will select U.S. Rep. Tim Scott – whose candidacy is being aggressively pushed by national “Republicans.”

Haley and Scott don’t have an especially warm relationship, as the Lowcountry lawmaker is a close ally of fiscally liberal S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell.  Also Scott’s support for crony capitalist bailouts and costly transportation boondoggles like the Interstate 73 project hardly make him a worthy ideological successor to DeMint.

Nonetheless, Scott finished just behind comedian Stephen Colbert in this week’s Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of South Carolina voters as to their preference for DeMint’s replacement.  According to the poll Colbert received the support of 20 percent of Palmetto State voters, compared to Scott’s 15 percent.

This website has recommended that Haley appoint U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, one of only a handful of South Carolina elected officials who has the fiscal conservative credentials/ devil may care approach to the status quo embodied by DeMint.