U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, Gov. Nikki Haley make 2012 watch list

Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott

Two new South Carolina politicos have made a national list of the nation's top 20 rising stars for next year.

Both newly elected Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Gov. Nikki Haley were included in the "Political Rising Stars of 2012" by Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast website.

The website notes that Scott "was anointed a star upon his election," as one of the first two black Republican congressmen in years.

"He's lived up to that promise since arriving in Washington," The Daily Beast added, noting his closeness with other South Carolina GOP freshmen helped derail a debt-ceiling deal backed by House Speaker John Boehner.

"Though he's still a freshman, he's already being talked about as a potential future governor or senator," it said.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has said he's leaning against seeking a third term in 2016.

The Daily Beast also noted Haley "is not your typical Southern good ol' boy" and bested more moderate, established primary opposition.

The website said Haley's endorsement "has been one of the most highly sought by Republican candidates for 2012," but it doesn't say that she already handed it to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"She's on most shortlists for the running-mate nod," The Daily Beast added.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian was not so impressed with the magazine's list.

"They need a better drug testing policy at Newsweek, because whoever is doing this analysis has been smoking crack," he said.