Jim DeMint: The new Gipper?

As a senator, DeMint opposed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, President George W. Bush’s signature domestic policy initiative, as well as Bush’s internationally acclaimed PEPFAR initiative for combating the global spread of AIDS, and the 2008 government rescue of the financial services industry.

This kind of record would render DeMint a fringe candidate in several of the swing states the GOP will need to defeat Barack Obama next year. But there is an increasingly vocal element on the right wing of the Republican Party that doesn’t seem to care — because they are looking ahead to the next election after this one.

“In 2016, you’ll see a traffic jam of conservative senators who will want to run for president,” Viguerie told me from a cruise ship in the Baltics. “And principled movement conservatives are so hungry for one of our own to challenge for the presidency.”…

“There are a number of fairly conservative candidates in the race, but Senator DeMint is the one who can bring together all conservative factions,” she says. “When you mention Jim DeMint, they all come flocking. He is the only one who can unify and electrify the conservative base, and we’re going to need that going up against Barack Obama.”