Tim Scott of South Carolina poses with Mindy Noce after the Republican Presidential Debate on November 8, 2023.
Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign wasn’t the only 2024 election story line that wrapped up on Sunday. Senator Tim Scott announced that he and his girlfriend, Mindy Noce, got engaged on Saturday night at the beach in Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
This is a dizzying twist, as four months ago many people thought Scott’s girlfriend was imaginary. Scott, who is 58, rarely mentioned a significant other during his decades in politics, and in the ’90s he declared himself a “proud” adult virgin. When Scott launched his presidential campaign last spring, the media noted that he would be the first bachelor president since the 19th century. He tried to shut this down by alluding to a girlfriend in May, then sharing some details about his Christian, pickleball-playing partner with the Washington Post’s Ben Terris in September. This only raised suspicions that Scott had invented a ladyfriend for political purposes, as even some of the senator’s friends told Terris they were unaware of the relationship. But in November Scott proved he was dating an actual flesh-and-blood woman when he brought Noce onstage after the third Republican debate.
And now they’re getting married, which is sweet. Congrats!
But Scott still injected some weirdness into this story. He broke the news by talking to the Washington Post, which he supplied with photos of the engagement. He said:
“As a guy who is mostly an introvert and on the quiet side, having to have a conversation about the engagement is a little, you know, uncomfortable in a way, but it’s the most exciting thing I’ll do with my life besides making Jesus my Lord,” Scott said in an interview Sunday.
“I’ve been very patient and prayerful, and I’m really excited and somewhat nervous, and I couldn’t be more thankful for having found a soul mate and someone who shares a lot of the same interests, passions and goals that I do.”
Why is Scott “having to have a conversation about the engagement” if it makes him uncomfortable? And why is the next paragraph in the article phrased like anonymous sources “spotted” Noce with a ring on her finger and ran to In Touch Weekly, when this information came directly from the senator?
Noce, a Charleston-area interior designer and mother of three who was previously married, was spotted Sunday at a church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., wearing an engagement ring, Scott said.
The answer is hinted at in the headline: “South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a possible VP pick, is engaged to be married.” Scott dropped out of the presidential race in November. At the time he declined to endorse another candidate and told Fox News he had no interest in being anyone’s VP, saying “Being vice president has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now.” Then on Friday night, the eve of his engagement, Scott endorsed Donald Trump at a campaign event in New Hampshire and signaled that he is now open to being his running mate.
Trump gently teased Scott about the news when they shared the stage at a Monday night rally in New Hampshire. “Everybody knows him and today was a big story — the biggest story out there,” Trump said. “He’s engaged to be married. We never thought this was going to happen, what’s going on?”
So does this mean that Scott is scrambling to the altar because he thinks he’ll be Trump’s running mate and Americans prefer a married VP? Maybe! But Trump has plenty of other VP options, and he said on Saturday that he’s in “no rush” to announce his pick. In the meantime, Scott has found love but has yet to master the art of sharing that news with the public.
This post was updated to include Trump’s reaction.