DeMint advisors: He might run in 2012 if there’s no “suitably conservative” candidate in the race

posted at 8:35 pm on January 27, 2011 by Allahpundit

My Christmas list this year: (3) New iPad with two, count ’em, two cameras; (2) field-level tickets to the Pro Bowl, natch; (1) Palin/DeMint primary showdown.

Winner gets the nomination, loser gets the keynote address at RINOcon. Let’s do this.

But the ground may be shifting in DeMint-world, and several of his closest advisers and political confidantes are now telling CNN that he is at least open to a presidential bid if a suitably conservative candidate fails to emerge from the early and wide-open GOP field…

“He hasn’t completely shut the door on running, and if there is a massive void in the group of candidates, who knows what could happen?,” said the adviser, who was quick to caution that there is only a five percent chance the senator will run.

Aside from Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who is currently deciding between a presidential run and a gubernatorial bid in his home state, DeMint’s advisers are having a difficult time envisioning a candidate that he could get behind…

Peter Brown, a prominent South Carolina donor and a member of DeMint’s kitchen cabinet, predicted that DeMint could warm to the idea of a White House bid as the rest of the field takes shape. Brown said potential candidates like Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich are failing to generate any kind of broad excitement among conservatives.

So Pence was the only prospective nominee who cleared the “true conservative” bar, eh? Well, problem solved. Interestingly, at least one of DeMint’s other confidants insists that he doesn’t want to run but might feel obliged if he thinks no one else in the field adequately represents his ideological interests. In that case, though, wouldn’t he end up being a stalking horse for Romney and Daniels by siphoning off votes from Palin and Huckabee? Or is his team thinking he really might win the nomination? A key quote from K-Lo at the Corner per today’s Pence bombshell:

Others close to the draft movement admit to be in a “funk” about Pence’s decision. One stating: “Seriously, we have no one for 2012 now.”

No one for 2012 now. Might be hard for JD to resist if that feeling persists, especially since the early primaries favor him. He has home-field advantage in South Carolina, and his social con pedigree would stand him in good stead in Iowa. And of course, he’s done big business with his PAC fundraising for tea-party candidates. It’d be easy to turn that congressional money machine into a presidential one.

Here he is issuing the obligatory formal denial to Wolf Blitzer. Incidentally, today was the first meeting of the new Senate Tea Party Caucus. Total members: Four and counting.

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unseen on January 27, 2011 at 11:49 PM

The whole culture is going in the toilet.

Mirimichi on January 27, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Only Palin can raise the kind of money needed to run against Obama and his billion $ campaign.


There’s not enough money on the planet to get her elected over peebo.

So, um, even Palin’s not considered conservative enough?


She’s conservative enough, she just can’t win.

Look, Sarah Palin appeals to people in every group.


Except the group that matters…..voters.

She appeals to white, blacks, hispanics, straights, gays. She appeals to independents and Reagan democrats.


Where do you guys get this nonsense? Yeah, she’s got the black vote wrapped up in a race against Obama for sure, lol. I think you might be interested in this thread when you get the chance.

The anti-Palin group here at HA is small but annoyingly persistent.


It’s not the small anti-Palin group here that matters, it’s the large, national anti-Palin group that won’t vote for her that matters. I’m not anti-Palin, but I’m not stupid either. If she’s the candidate, I’ll be voting for her. I’ll also be preparing for 4 more years of Obama.

If lying to yourself that she really is popular, that all the polls are wrong, and that she will crush Obama makes you feel good, knock yourself out. It won’t get her in the White House though. Don’t blame me and others for facing the reality folks like you prefer to ignore.

xblade on January 28, 2011 at 12:05 AM

I’m just translating since it’s apparently understood, all this hand-wringing is because “they” (don’t you just love anonymous sources), whoever “they” are, can’t find…

“a suitable [MALE] candidate for 2012.”

If you leave the MALE out, I’ve got a terrific suggestion.

She might not be “acceptable” to Mr. DeMint (or Allahpundit for that matter — but at least AP’s up front about it), but she’s more than acceptable to a whole lot of other people.

Let’s just see if the R’s can honestly blow this chance to fix some fundamental problems in this country by proving, once again, that many of them are politicians first (translate that to “ME” people) and citizens second.

IndieDogg on January 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM

xblade on January 28, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Excellent post.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM

If lying to yourself that she really is popular, that all the polls are wrong, and that she will crush Obama makes you feel good, knock yourself out. It won’t get her in the White House though. Don’t blame me and others for facing the reality folks like you prefer to ignore.

xblade on January 28, 2011 at 12:05 AM

We do not believe the polls reflect Palin’s ability to win. They merely reflect current attitudes and can change. She’s not that far behind Obama when polled heads up and will need to persuade relatively few voters. We are going to give her that chance.

alwaysfiredup on January 28, 2011 at 12:14 AM

My opinion on Jim Demint is that I believe him when he says, “I don’t have the fire in the belly.”

Here else is why I don’t believe he will run:

1)If he wanted the job of President he would have spent 2010 in a more self-serving way to raise his profile rather than handing money out to other candidates. Believe it or not everybody in the country know who Jim Demint is.

2)Running for President is a 2+ year marathon. Nobody can jump into the race without getting their ducks in a row first and succeed unless your name is Jeb Bush.

3)We already saw what happens when Senators are nominated for President in 2008? McCain vs Obama; now a 3rd Senator. No way Jose.

4)Doesn’t want to face MSM propaganda campaign that Sarah Palin has faced over the last 2 years.

technopeasant on January 28, 2011 at 1:00 AM

Looks like xblade and twerp are playing with their crystal balls again.

So, xblade and annoyinglittletwerp, are you going to tell me who in the Republican party is popular enough to defeat Obama and who I should vote for in the GOP primary?

I need your guidance please. I was under the impression that I could vote for who I wanted for in the primary and then see who eventually wins. Obviously I was sadly mistaken. Please forgive me for I know not what I do.

I am so glad that you have explained to me that since Palin has no chance against Obama that I can now vote for the candidate that the two of you deem worthy of the GOP nomination. Do the two of you have the final say on the GOP nominee choice or is their a higher power that decides these things?

Wow, how bad would I have felt if I had voted Palin in the primary when she has no chance to win the general election. What a waste of my time and my vote. Thanks to you both and praise Jesus for your intervention. I will forever be grateful.

Oh yeah, who is this GOP contender that is destined to win the general election if only I will turn away from the Palin cult long enough to see his greatness deliver him my vote?

Please name this super popular GOP candidate and please give me permission to cast my vote for him. The scales have fallen from my eyes and I just need the name of this great man that is destined to defeat Obama.

I can’t wait to hear from both of you. Thanks in advance.

chief on January 28, 2011 at 1:52 AM

If a lot of RINO’s end up running it could throw the primaries to a real conservative. On the other hand, if there are multiple winners in the early primaries, we could see a convention without a clear winner on the first ballot. You get a brokered convention and the establishment will weasel a way to get one of their guys in. A RINO, of course. That would probably be the beginning of the end of the Republican Party.

trigon on January 28, 2011 at 3:42 AM

I have read many of the posts on this subject and have to say I am bewildered at the negativity. Has Jim DeMint not proven that he is a real conservative time and again over the past four years? Has he not stood up for us over and over when no one else in the Senate would?

The last time around we had NO conservatives in the mix and now we may have two (Mrs. Palin). Yet it appears the Palin supporters are disparaging Mr. DeMint even though he has said he’d consider running only if there were no other conservatives doing so. I see Palin and DeMint as allies not enemies. Even though I am, admittedly, a DeMint fan I’d want him to run even if I wasn’t just to move the direction of the discussion in the conservative direction.

I like Mrs. Palin very much but remember her comments about “Wall street fat cats” as being one of the reasons for the financial meltdown in ’07-08 rather than the Community Reinvestment Act, Dodd and Frank. That could have been the McCain influence but I’d like to hear what she has to say about that now.

To me the 2012 primary is simple: Conservatives=Good, Rinos=Bad.

ncjetsfan on January 28, 2011 at 6:43 AM

What about Herman Cain? He is conservative across the board from everything I have seen. He is extremely intelligent and business savvy (a proven problem solver). He has a radio show, so he is used to public speaking and asking/answering questions. He still has a long time for people to learn about him and get to know him. And he is immensely likeable. He is also a tea party guy. I just don’t see why he wouldn’t be a great option (and he is already in the mix). I don’t want to see the conservative votes divided, allowing a RINO to come out ahead. Conservatives need to find someone they can unite around. Why not Cain?

squeek71 on January 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM

I’m not sure that boycotting CPAC over GOProud qualifies him as “suitably conservative”.

Levinite on January 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM

To me the 2012 primary is simple: Conservatives=Good, Rinos=Bad.
ncjetsfan on January 28, 2011 at 6:43 AM

While I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, any Senator would be my last choice for President. I think they become so used to the political games that they forget how to lead (assuming they ever knew). My perfect choice is a principled conservative who is a proven leader, someone with substantial executive experience. Herman Cain comes to mind as someone who possesses those qualities.

I like that Senator DeMint does not compromise on his principles. However, how much wrangling goes on behind the scene? “Jim, you can vote ‘Nay’ on this because we have it in the bag, but we’re going to need you on this other bill.” Unfortunately, the President doesn’t have that luxury on tough executive decisions. The past two years is a good demonstration on where lack of leadership abilities in the chief executive gets us. We can only pray that the feces doesn’t hit the rotary instrument in the next two years.

RedinPDRM on January 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

chief on January 28, 2011 at 1:52 AM

No xblade and twerp just don’t believe that Sarah Palin is the best candidate for 2012. That’s a nice thing about being autistic…celebrity does nothing for me.
As Petunia said so eloquently in another thread, If Palin is involved with something she replaces the original headline as the topic of conversation. This great nation doesn’t need a ‘headliner’-it needs a leader. She also has high negatives. I know CONSERVATIVES that will vote 3rd party if she’s the nominee. My mother is part of that group. You can forget about many moderates crossing over to vote for Palin as well.

My first choice was Bobby Jindal. He’s not running. Mike Pence isn’t running either. I liked T-Paw but he shot his mouth off during the ‘crosshairs’ smear campaign.
I don’t have a pick right now.
I can tell you that while I will vote for Gov. Palin if she’s the nominee…I don’t want her as the nominee.

My first c

annoyinglittletwerp on January 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

To me the 2012 primary is simple: Conservatives=Good, Rinos=Bad.

ncjetsfan on January 28, 2011 at 6:43 AM
Good point.

Btw:I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to use the term ‘RINO’ because as a conservative animal rights girl I could be considered to be a ‘rino’ by some.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 28, 2011 at 10:27 AM