Breaking: DeMint retiring from Senate

posted at 10:46 am on December 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), who has led conservatives in the upper chamber for years, will resign his office next month, according to a statement from his office earlier this morning.  DeMint will move across town to the Heritage Foundation and will become its new president:

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) announced that he will leave the Senate at the beginning of January to become the next president of The Heritage Foundation, the largest and most respected conservative think tank in America.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future.

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.

“I’m humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Feulner, who built the most important conservative institution in the nation. He has been a friend and mentor for years and I am honored to carry on his legacy of fighting for freedom.

“My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I’ve always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator. South Carolina has a deep bench of conservative leaders and I know Governor Haley will select a great replacement.

“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I’m confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them.”

Jim DeMint was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 after owning a successful advertising and market research company for twenty years. DeMint left the House after limiting himself to three terms and then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2010.

During his time in office, DeMint has been tireless advocate for Americans taxpayers. His goal has been to support and defend the Constitution, which was written to preserve liberty by restraining the federal government. Toward that end, he authored legislation to balance the budget, ban earmarks, replace the tax code, and reform our entitlement programs. He also led the fight against unconstitutional power grabs like the Wall Street bailout and Obamacare.

The Wall Street Journal breaks down the political situation of DeMint’s departure:

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.

Frankly, I’m disappointed by the move, although this gives Heritage a big boost.  I had hoped to see DeMint act as a conservative leader in the Senate for the next four years, especially with Democrats taking a bigger majority after this past election.  Haley will make a wise appointment, I’m sure, and other Republicans in the chamber will get an opportunity to fill his shoes. However, considering the fights ahead of us, it would have been much better to have DeMint as a stalwart on the inside rather than an activist on the outside.

Regardless, I wish Senator DeMint the best, and thank him for his invaluable service to the conservative cause over the last several years.  I’m glad we’ll see him at Heritage, and look forward to the great work he will do there.


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*sigh* my favorite Senator

22044 on December 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Special election or gubernatorial appointment to fill out the term?

Eye on tha ball here…

Bruno Strozek on December 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Alvin Greene is gonna get that seat!
/s

SnowSun on December 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Getting out while the getting is good, still, he signed up for a full term and should have served it out.

Bishop on December 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Why stay? Both parties fight him ever step of the way. Heritage could use an update on what conservatism is also.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

*sigh* my favorite Senator

22044 on December 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Mine too. Even though I am in MN and he is in SC.

Dasher on December 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

figures probably the only one that shows he may have a spine is retiring. the house and senate repbulican leadship should be the ones retiring.

ChunkyLover on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I’m honestly disappointed in him.

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

New party forming?

Mr. Arrogant on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

NOOOOOOO !

stenwin77 on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

The fruits of defeat.

Rogervzv on December 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Special election or gubernatorial appointment to fill out the term?

Eye on tha ball here…

Bruno Strozek on December 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Both? Appointment until 2014 when there is a special election.

strictnein on December 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

that sucks, maybe she can pick Tim Scott, the 1 remaining black R in Congress, to fill the seat.

gsherin on December 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Dang it

Wanted him to stay

cmsinaz on December 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Well, at least someone didn’t plan on staying the rest of his life.

Wait…does this count as…quitting?

Dongemaharu on December 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Probably realized that the GOP is on it’s way out the door. Good good him. He will be missed.

Living4Him5534 on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Inside is better than outside. He’ll be missed.

With any luck, in 2014 the tea party will primary Lindsay Graham and whoever Haley appoints and we’ll lose two more seats.

BacaDog on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

On the one hand I’m disappointed in him, but on the other, what influence did he successfully exercise in the Senate? He is very good at energizing grassroots, so maybe this is a better move for him.

John_Locke on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Why stay? Both parties fight him ever step of the way. Heritage could use an update on what conservatism is also.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Yup, I’m guessing he wants out before things go totally pear shaped.

oryguncon on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Big loss for the Senate but he’s gonna rock the hizzy at Heritage.

dczombie on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

He knows what’s coming and wants no part of it.

DanMan on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I’m confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them.”

More need to follow before the Republican leadership purges them. Their conservative constituents who elected them will understand. Marco Rubio is only being used by Republicans because of his hispanic ties, and Paul Ryan went to the other side when he ran for Romney’s Vice President. Eric Cantor has shown his stripes by taking part in this conservative purge.

I changed my voter’s registration to unaffiliated yesterday online. I was never for a third party, until now.

lea on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Wait…does this count as…quitting?

Dongemaharu on December 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

That will depend on who you talk to.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

COWARD! When the going gets tough, the tough..resign. You are pathetic. Thanks for nothing. POS

TeaParty on December 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

that sucks, maybe she can pick Tim Scott, the 1 remaining black R in Congress, to fill the seat.

gsherin on December 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

That’s just what I was about to post. He’s only been in the House for one term, but it would be absolutely classic if the GOP had more Latinos and blacks in the Senate than the Dems.

Doughboy on December 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

BacaDog on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

you a Graham cracker?

DanMan on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

With no senate leadership from Mitch McConnell, and fellow Senators like McLame & Graham, he probably sees that he can do more good at Heritage.

portlandon on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I hope Gov. Haley doesn’t nominate herself. She needs to finish out her term as governor. I think the biggest thing that killed Palin’s career was her not finishing her term as governor.

dczombie on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Good news for people who like good news!

Alpha_Male on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

“My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I’ve always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator.”

From the book: “Things Harry Reid Will Never Say”.

Bishop on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Why would a senator leave the senate for a think tank? Odd.

I guess I would understand if he had been in the senate for 15 years or something.

terryannonline on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I’m honestly disappointed in him.

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

He’s getting out while he can. I wish he hadn’t had to do it, but he sees which way the wind is blowing.

Doomberg on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

John_Locke on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Haven’t you noticed that lately he has been painted as a nut?

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Tim Scott (R) is your newest senator from “racist” South Carolina.

But the GOP still hates blacks or something – Liberal Media.

sentinelrules on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Evidently, the Senator figured out that the GOP Establishment wants to continue their march to the Left of the squishy Middle.

kingsjester on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

And, the hits just keep on coming…

Fallon on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Seems the good ship GOP is indeed sinking.

The smart ones have already abandoned ship, and others, like DeMint, are lowering life boats.

The rest?

Rearranging deck chairs and working on new color schemes.

coldwarrior on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Demint, Quit the Senate, I wish he would have stayed to help Ted Cruiz but he knows what he is doing.

BroncosRock on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I was never for a third party, until now.

lea on December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Which one?

thebrokenrattle on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

portlandon on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

That’s how I see it.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Jennifer Rubin and the GOP Establishment rejoices today! Bunch of mofos!

This is major lost for the conservative movement. Who will fill his shoes? I hope they do select Tim Scott for the Senate. That would be great. He’s a true conservative who can articulate in a unique way.

milemarker2020 on December 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Whatever. I hate to try to top AP as an Eeyore, but none of this seems to matter anymore.

What the h3ll has happened to us as conservatives? When someone says to take down our Christmas trees, we aren’t we saying “F*ck you, go away”. When someone extols the virtue of ‘Bammy livin’, why aren’t we just laughing in their face and calling them a f*cking idiot?” I’m done.

Scott P on December 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

It’s disappointing, but you really can’t blame the guy. He’s one of the few people in the Senate who can be counted on to oppose the Dems, and the establishment never supports him.

Just another step towards the collapse of the GOP. Too bad the party people don’t see it…

PetecminMd on December 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

sentinelrules on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I like that idea also.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I’d say we can take this as a bad omen.

a capella on December 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Can’t say I blame him, though.

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

There is more to the story.

BocaJuniors on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Is this a vote of no confidence from DeMint in the Congress’ ability to actually affect meaningful course correction?

gwelf on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

you a Graham cracker?

DanMan on December 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Not even close, DMan.

I forgot the sarc tag, but I am very frustrated with the candidates we’ve been picking. Both from the GOP and the tea party. They’ve all been either nutcases or dems in disguise.

BacaDog on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Nikki Haley should appoint herself…

JohnGalt23 on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Evidently, the Senator figured out that the GOP Establishment wants to continue their march to the Left of the squishy Middle.

kingsjester on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

And his solution is to leave, thereby shifting the Senate GOP towards the middle?

I hope you’re wrong, because DeMint is not a blithering moron, and that’s exactly what a blithering moron would do.

KingGold on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I gotta say, I’m happy for him. He did a lot of time in that building. More than what should be necessary. To voluntarily leave is a good thing. Of course, at the end of a term would be fairer to the constituents, but…

Dongemaharu on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I hope Sen. Paul is up for being the new chewy toy for the media.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

From the book: “Things Harry Reid Democrats Will Never Say”.

Bishop on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Fixed it.

Gatsu on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Is this a vote of no confidence from DeMint in the Congress’ ability to actually affect meaningful course correction?

gwelf on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I think that it is. He’s a conscientious guy, and I think he’s going where he thinks he can be more effective. I can’t blame him.

Scott P on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

KingGold on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Why does that make him a blithering moron?

kingsjester on December 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

DeMint Shrugged.

ebrawer on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Politico headline tea party leader

So you know msdnc and the rest of lsm will call this the end of the tea party and gloat

cmsinaz on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

KingGold on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

There is no stopping the march to the Left that our folks have been doing. They try to hide by using different code words but they are all basically working toward the same goad, large all encompassing federal government.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Why would a senator leave the senate for a think tank? Odd.

I guess I would understand if he had been in the senate for 15 years or something.

terryannonline on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

He had previously said he wouldn’t run for re-election to the Senate anyway.

Besides, as president of the Heritage Foundation he will have a much larger and longer lasting influence than he would as an individual Senator.

Someone mentioned whether he’d be viewed as a quitter. I think not. If he was quitting midway through his first term, perhaps. Certainly seems like that view took hold with Palin’s resignation. But DeMint is a man who served several terms in the House and is in his second term in the Senate. It’s not like he’s hanging up his cleats at the very beginning of his political career. I think he sees an opportunity to make a longer term investment in the conservative cause and he’s taking it knowing full well that Gov. Haley will appoint a well qualified conservative to succeed him.

dczombie on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Looks like it really doesn’t matter which party holds the majority of either Congress. I can no longer distinguish between the two. I’m sure they are all slapping each other on the back and planning their celebratory dinner for tonight.

lea on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

DeMint Shrugged.

ebrawer on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

He’s headed to DeMint’s Gulch, I guess.

Scott P on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Greatest evidence that liberals are winning.

IR-MN on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Alternate headline: DeMint Pulls a Palin

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Good news for people who like good news!

Alpha_Male on December 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Indeed.

rockmom on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Good news. The man is an enemy of liberty, voting and supporting anti-free speech Const. amendments and legislation, and voting in favor of the Patriot Act, among other statist, authoritarian acts.

Dante on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

That’s how I see it.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I also think that DeMint can say and do what needs to be said about the GOP at Heritage. I hope he cleans house at Heritage as well. He can put the full support of Heritage behind conservative candidates and work against he Establishment GOP Hierarchy successfully.

portlandon on December 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I’m still puzzled at DeMint’s decision not to run for President.

I was thinking the other day “gosh, Jim DeMint has been rather quiet lately.” I was actually waiting for some kind of scandal to break.

If you want to move the country, Heritage is the last place from which to do it. This is a sinecure position. Whatever DeMints reasoning is, this is not a positive development.

SAMinVA on December 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

There is no stopping the march to the Left that our folks have been doing. They try to hide by using different code words but they are all basically working toward the same goal, large all encompassing federal government.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Yup. They want to be seated at the banquet table with the other ruling elites.

And, after attending a local Republican caucus a couple of days ago, I think I am done with the whole steaming pile of them.

Fallon on December 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Good grief.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I don’t see how he’ll have more influence at Heritage than he does now in the Senate. Nobody will care what he does there. These pols want us to join them in these fights, until they themselves tuck tail and run from them. Disappointing.

changer1701 on December 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Demint understands our political system is broken beyond repair.

The only way through this is from the PRIVATE sector (aka the people).

katy on December 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

He’s headed to DeMint’s Gulch, I guess.

Scott P on December 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

If only there was such a place… :-(

Fallon on December 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

MSM reaction on Twitter is fairly hysterical. Libs cannot understand people who don’t want to be in public office forever. It is the ne plus ultra to them. Just like Dana Milbank’s weird screed yeaterday about Mitt Romney returning to business.

rockmom on December 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Bad, bad move. The Heritage Foundation is an important organization, but we need men like DeMint in the Senate now more than ever. No guarantee what will come from the special election.

Shump on December 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I’m also disappointed in this move. Sen. DeMint chose to run for reelection in 2010. His constituents had a right to expect he’d choose to serve out his term and not stick them with the extra hassle of replacing him. Fortunately, the special election won’t cause a tremendous amount of extra cost since it’ll be held with the regular federal election, but still this is a pain. Unless he’s ill and can’t continue he should finish his term. It’s also a disservice to the party that will have to recruit another candidate and fund defense of an incumbent with only 2 years to build a record. Shoddy move. I’d expect better of him.

Jill1066 on December 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I don’t know anything about DeMint

but I don’t like anyone in Congress. The more of these losers gone the better.

Slade73 on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

It is a safe seat for Republicans.

SC.Charlie on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Tim Scott!, but wouldn’t Joe Wilson drive the Left crazy?

Tater Salad on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Good news. The man is an enemy of liberty, voting and supporting anti-free speech Const. amendments and legislation, and voting in favor of the Patriot Act, among other statist, authoritarian acts.

Dante on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

LoL. I see someone’s been taking full advantage of the Colorado weed legalization.

The Count on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Any chance Allen West can establish residency in SC real quick?!

Dexter_Alarius on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Jim DeMint was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 after owning a successful advertising and market research company for twenty years. DeMint left the House after limiting himself to three terms and then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2010.

Hopefully he can help hone a conservative message that appeals to women, youth, and minorities. I was always surprised he wasn’t a bigger spokesperson for the party; perhaps he was shut out to some extent by party politics.

hawksruleva on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Sounds like a very efficient and effective use of the NSA/FBI Naris system.

More purging to come. Stay tuned.

scituate_tgr on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Good grief.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

That was supposed to be a joke.

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

portlandon on December 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I may be wrong but I’d put money on the idea that you won’t see Heritage endorsing any future take overs of private industry by the federal government. How many times did we have to hear, “well, Heritage thought government healthcare was a great idea”? I may actually join Heritage now.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Is this a vote of no confidence from DeMint in the Congress’ ability to actually affect meaningful course correction?

gwelf on December 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Could be, but we didn’t need his resignation to know that. With the Senate and White House still under the control of the Dems and spineless wimps like Boehner and Cantor “leading” in the House, nothing will get fixed in the next 4 years.

I can’t blame DeMint for stepping down given those circumstances. What the hell is he gonna accomplish in the Senate Minority between now and 2016? If he wants to be a conservative leader, he probably is better off running the Heritage Foundation.

Doughboy on December 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I believe that Ryan was offered the Heritage post, but he clearly has his eye on the Presidency.

Illinidiva on December 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

steebo77 on December 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Thanks for the clarification. I can’t keep everyone’s views straight but I expect Bradky to weigh in any minute now.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

It is a safe seat for Republicans.

SC.Charlie on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Unless those nutwing crazy moderates nominate an Obamaesque squish.

portlandon on December 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Good news. The man is an enemy of liberty, voting and supporting anti-free speech Const. amendments and legislation, and voting in favor of the Patriot Act, among other statist, authoritarian acts.

Dante on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Who isn’t an enemy of liberty in your eyes? You see enemies everywhere.

thebrokenrattle on December 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Who can blame him? What has he accomplished in the last six years? The demographic tsunami is drowning the DeMint’s of the world. Worse still come the latest polls showing that a majority of the Dem party prefer socialism with 59% of all 18-29 year-olds, regardless of party, preferring the same. Socialism aside, perhaps even worse, 69% of all people want more government involved in the economy and society. He knows no one listens to him anyway, not even Repubs.

patrick neid on December 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

It is a safe seat for Republicans. As a South Carolinian It will be a bit strange to have to vote for two senators in the same year, if I am still alive.

SC.Charlie on December 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Any chance Allen West can establish residency in SC real quick?!

Dexter_Alarius on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

As much as I would enjoy the schadenfreude of such a move, Allen West is far to principled to do so.

SWalker on December 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

He should serve out the term he was elected for. I guess he’ll make a lot more money at the Heritage Foundation.

Vince on December 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Quitter!!!! just quitting elected office to make money!!! I’m sure all of you will drop him like a sack of potatoes just like you did to Sarah Palin, even though her being in elected office as Governor was causing her to go personally bankrupt from having to personally pay to defend herself in court.

rjc115 on December 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Slade73 on December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

LOL! Unfortunately with the set number required, we don’t lose losers, they just get replaced with other losers.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Maybe he’s clearing the decks (and getting the stench of Congress off him) in preparation for a 2016 run. By then, hopefully Americans will be appalled enough by socialism to want a change.

michaelo on December 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Who isn’t an enemy of liberty in your eyes? You see enemies everywhere.

thebrokenrattle on December 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Oh, Dante calls Queer Puff Bradley Manning a hero.

sentinelrules on December 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

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