From the piece (written months before he was chosen to become the state's newest senator):
In a city where members of Congress and lobbyists sport “glory walls” adorned with photos of them posing with the high and mighty, the birthday party can be a pretty good barometer of someone’s real status. So who were in attendance when freshman Rep. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, turned 46 in September? House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
That turnout was impressive, especially because Scott had been giving the leaders fits for months.
Hewing to such a hard line was difficult at the time. Scott’s office got so many calls that his staff had to shut down the phone lines twice. Scott is one of only two black Republicans in Congress, and many of the calls were filled with racially charged insults. And the anger didn’t just come from off the Hill. Scott said he received his fair share of cold shoulders in the hallway, and one fellow Republican even reminded him in the bathroom that South Carolina hadn’t yet seceded from the Union.