If you listen to some Republican strategists, the Tea Party is driving minorities away from the GOP. But tell that to Nikki Haley, the nation's second Indian-American governor, who yesterday appointed Tim Scott to be the only African-American senator in next year's Congress. Both are Tea Partiers. "Contrary to the ugly stereotypes of conservative activists being right-wing to the point of racist," writes Josh Kraushaar in the National Journal, the Tea Party has been "behind the political success of most prominent minority Republican officeholders."
Minority candidates like Haley, Scott, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz have been knocking off white establishment figures thanks to the "conservative grassroots' strong sentiment for outsiders." Yes, the Tea Party's strident conservativism may turn off some minorities, but a bigger issue is the face the party shows the world. Mitt Romney "was a throwback to a past generation, who seemed downright out-of-touch" to young voters. Republicans need fresh, young, minority standard-bearers, and the Tea Party "provided a playbook for how it can be done."