Jim DeMint’s Comments to Heritage Staff
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I’m sorry to see him go. We need as many genuine conservatives in D.C. as possible.
I hope that he really will be able to spread the conservative message further through the Heritage Foundation than as a senator.
The Senate is set to lose one of its most influential conservative voices after South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced on Thursday that he will step down.
DeMint will take over the Heritage Foundation, and will leave the Senate on December 31.
DeMint, seen as a “kingmaker” with Republican congressional candidates due to his prodigious fundraising abilities, has long said he would not seek a third term in the Senate when his current one runs out in 2016.
But now the Palmetto State’s Republican Gov. Nikki Haley will be faced with appointing a senator who will serve nearly two years in the Upper Chamber before a 2014 election.
Sen. Jim DeMint said Thursday, after announcing that he would resign to become President of the Heritage Foundation, that he felt he could do more to promote conservatism working outside the Senate than he could as a member.
“This is a critical time for America and there’s no organization in the country, in fact the world, that’s better positioned to convince the American people that the conservative policies that the Heritage Foundation has delivered over the years are the solutions to the problems that we now face as a nation,” DeMint told a small group of reporters gathered in the lobby of the Heritage Foundation. [...]
DeMint said that President Obama’s re-election last month made clear that conservatives were not doing a good enough job communicating their ideas.
“The re-election of President Obama was a very clear message that we need to do more as conservatives to convince 100 percent of Americans that our ideas are going to help them and their futures, make them more prosperous, create more jobs. And we haven’t done an effective job of doing that,” DeMint said. “And so as someone who’s spent a lot of his life in marketing and advertising and research, I am looking forward to working with the Heritage Foundation, to take these ideas, these real solutions, and show Americans in as many ways as we can that these are the ideas that will work.”
He said this could better be done from outside the legislative body.
[...] He said he left the Senate in good hands with a crop of young conservatives.
“This is a good time to leave, in effect, because I have term limited myself. I never intended to be a career politician. I’ve played a role in stocking the senate with solid conservatives who are younger and brighter and better spokesmen than I am, and so I know I’m leaving the senate better than I found it, with some real leaders,” he said.
“But this is an opportunity to do more to get the American people behind them,” he went on. “If we don’t do that it’s gonna be hard to keep people here in Washington that are promoting the right ideas.”
I hope he’s right.
Jim DeMint’s power in the conservative movement just grew exponentially. A man who was going to retire in four years anyway, will now be leading the conservative movement from its base of operations for years to come.
[...] There is no better person to take Ed Feulner’s job. It is a marvelous transition. Ed Feulner knew he was not the indispensable man, but has now made sure the Heritage Foundation remains the indispensable organization within the conservative movement. That is a brilliant legacy.
As for Jim DeMint leaving the United States Senate, it is a very good thing.
The more I think about it, the more I think this is a great thing. Just yesterday, John Hayward noted Jim DeMint may just be the leader of the resistance within the GOP on the fiscal cliff deal. But DeMint has replenished the bench of conservatives within the Senate. As long as he remains there, the new conservatives will be in his shadow.
Jim DeMint is, like Ed Feulner, not indispensable. But his ideas are. It is time for the tea party senators he brought to the Senate to stretch their legs and prove they are Jim DeMint’s ideological heirs. In the meantime, he will be on the outside providing them the support and intellectual ammunition they need.