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Jim DeMint resigning from Senate to head up Heritage Foundation (Senator Tim Scott?)

Jim DeMint resigning from Senate to head up Heritage Foundation (Senator Tim Scott?)

This is a political earthquake (h/t @ErickErickson):

South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint will replace Ed Feulner as president of the Heritage Foundation. Mr. DeMint will leave his post as South Carolina’s junior senator in early January to take control of the Washington think tank, which has an annual budget of about $80 million.

Sen. DeMint’s departure means that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, will name a successor, who will have to run in a special election in 2014. In that year, both Mr. DeMint’s replacement and Sen. Lindsey Graham will be running for reelection in South Carolina.

Mr. DeMint was reelected to a second term in 2010. The 61-year-old senator had announced earlier that he would not seek a third term.

Who replaces DeMint as the face of conservatism in the Senate?

I predict the newly-elected Ted Cruz.

Update Who will Haley name?

(The move appears to be a break for Graham, who may see potential Republican and Democratic challengers flock to the open seat instead of challenging him.)

The nature of the appointment process means it’s anybody’s guess as to who Haley will pick, but Republicans did catch a break by not having to defend the seat in a special election in mid-2013, as is the law in many other states.

Some names that are likely to be bandied about include Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who would become the only black senator and the first black Republican senator since the 1970s, and other Republicans in the state’s House delegation, which includes Reps. Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, and Mick Mulvaney.

Haley could also pick a placeholder — i.e. someone who doesn’t intend to run for the seat in 2014 — to avoid giving anyone a leg up for the open seat….


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9thDistrictNeighbor | December 6, 2012 at 10:48 am

Will DeMint be demonized for being a “quitter” like Sarah Palin?

Related observation, also from Erick Erickson: Will the Republicans, via Gov. Nikki Haley appointment power, soon have the only African American in the U.S. Senate?

That would be fun.


    Because the GOP is turning into an arm of the progressive movement–skin color over substance?

    Or is it the ABAWM (Anybody but a white male) part that is fun?

      Badger Pundit in reply to Browndog. | December 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

      By “fun,” I meant that if it turns out that Haley decides the most qualified candidate to replace DeMint (a combination of solid conservatism and ability to get reelected in 2014) is Tim Scott, it will help undermine the Democrats’ pretense to be the party of “diversity.” In fact they’re the party of racial tokenism, of gerrymandered congressional districts which push their most capable candidates so far left that they rarely can get elected statewide (Obama being one of the rare exceptions). Of course, even if Tim Scott is appointed, the Dems might soon get their own African-American senator, if Kerry’s appointed Secretary of State and Deval Patrick can figure out a way to get himself appointed to the vacancy.

      Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | December 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Maybe Tim Scott IS a substantial pick.

        Browndog in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

        I’m not saying he isn’t. I was responding to the reference to African-American.

        Watching the so called “conservatives” adopt the same language, thought processes, and values of the progressives gets my hair up.

        AmandaFitz in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

        Tim Scott would be a FABULOUS pick to replace DeMint! He’s a real conservative, knows and understands the Constitution, and is able to speak effectively about WHY conservative principals are good for citizens and good for the country.

        Our bench of younger Conservatives is outstanding- but look for the Democrats to start demonizing them NOW, not later. Ryan, Paul, Rubio, Cruz, Scott, Cucinnelli, etc.- watch your backs, gentlemen, MoveOn is always propagandizing.

    DeMint requested that he be replaced by Tim Scott. Great pick.

I’m sad for us, but happy for him. What conservative would want to be in this government anymore the way the mainstream media (and the idiots who listen to them)treats them and their families

    Badger Pundit in reply to wendybar. | December 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Well, he’d already announced he wouldn’t see reelection in 2014, so all he’s doing is leaving 2 years early. Surely he’s prearranged with Gov. Haley the appointment of a solid conservative to replace him in the Senate, and at Heritage he’ll have access to greater resources to help advance the conservative movement, so this looks like a big win for conservatives, all around.

“Who replaces DeMint as the face of conservatism in the Senate?”

I’m hoping Rand Paul has the right stuff. Cruz has potential, but some of the stuff I’ve half-heard from him lately have me a bit concerned.

Is Alvin Greene available?

Going Galt, eh?

And isn’t it sad that it’s an open question, in a group of 40+ Senators, we wonder which Senator respects the Constitution to champion it like DeMint did? _Every one_ of them ought to be championing the Constitution like DeMint. The fact that they aren’t is yet another indication that it’s over.

I see this as a admission by Demint that conservatives have little to no chance to effect federal policies from inside of government.

Now, he is in the same place as Sarah Palin.

Joining the Legal Insurrection by private citizens against the enTitled Class.

    Ragspierre in reply to Browndog. | December 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Could be, too, that he’s come to the same conclusions many here have, and that he feels he can help drive some changes in the broad culture.


So he’s got a better chance of “fighting” the Left from the Heritage Foundation than the US Senate? That’s good logic. Maybe we’re better off without him. Sorry, but we need warriors in the center of the fray not more think-tankers.

    Browndog in reply to raven. | December 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    That’s certainly one way to look at it, and valid on it’s face.

    However, I’ll point out the fact that your statement is mere rhetoric as to DeMint actually living it.

    I’ll defer to his judgement.

      raven in reply to Browndog. | December 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      I don’t follow. Yes it’s rhetoric; it’s an opinion. DeMint has every right to make millions running a think tank. But maybe this Scott guy will be better at engaging the enemy in the thick of things and at a perilous time when we need fighters. Because we’re losing badly and I haven’t heard much from DeMint lately. But maybe now at Heritage he can put together an awesome position paper that will really grab the culture’s attention.

        Browndog in reply to raven. | December 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

        As I said, your viewpoint is valid.

        As to the rest, I don’t know how to make it more clear-

        Other than maybe to say that you talk about fighting on the inside, whereas DeMint has.

        Kinda like a reporter writing about the horrors of war…

        I’ll defer to the soldier.

          CalMark in reply to Browndog. | December 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

          DeMint quit on us. Period.

          Heritage is a joke. Yeah, that’s right, a JOKE.

          They called my father awhile back for money. He asked why they don’t leave their academic towers to engage in real-world fights in a tangible way. Their response: we’re a think-tank and we don’t, in effect, dirty our hands with practical matters. Screw Heritage. Screw DeMint, quitter and deserter.

          So: Boehner is purging conservatives, his caucus is too cowardly/corrupt/treacherous (pick one or more) to stand up to him. DeMint, on of the biggest, if not THE, conservative in Washington, is quitting and running away.

          It’s over. We’ve lost the country not because we have no will, but because our “leaders” area a pack of treacherous, self-serving bastards who are too cowardly to fight. They’d rather have a peaceful life and make money. Screw ’em.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Funny, Jennifer Rubin wrote a column yesterday resuming her role as the pretend “conservative” WaPo writer who thinks it is productive to bash authentic conservatives and promote RINOs. She blasted DeMint and Erick Erickson in the column. She must be uncorking the champagne today.

At times, she’s as nasty and vitriolic to authentic conservatives as the most vile Think Progress or Daily Kos lunatic. What a witch.

I wouldn’t count too much on Nikki Haley nominating Scott. She has proven that she is one of those go along types and wants to be with the “in” crowd, whatever that means these days.

    CalMark in reply to MAB. | December 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Remember…Haley is a self-serving witch who endorsed Romney in the most fulsome terms (that worked out so well for us, eh?) when her constituents gave Newt Gingrich a smashing Primary victory.

    Don’t count on anyone in the Republican Party. I’ve concluded that they’re all Democrats under the skin: corrupt, soulless, worthless scum.

Badger Pundit | December 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Excellent analysis of the top 5 prospects to replace DeMint — Tim Scott heads the list:

I see this as very positive.
I think a man like DeMint running an organization like Heritage is exactly what needs to happen. Listening to him speak on Rush Limbaugh, he hinted not so subtly at working to get rid of Boehner.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to | December 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Well my impression of Heritage right now is that they’re a source of endless junk mail “surveys” and fundraising appeals. I’m not wonky enough to wade through their policy papers most of the time.

[…] -William Jacobson: Who replaces DeMint as the face of conservatism in the Senate? […]

Perhaps it’s time for a Conservative “Progressive Party”. However, this time, a party based on principles, rather than reactive positions. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution provide reasonable guidance for its establishment.

Joe Wilson would be an in-your-face choice. OTOH, she might nominate Nikki Haley.

[…] If you follow politics you also know what a big deal this is. […]