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.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will now appoint a replacement, whose term will last until 2014, which means both seats will be contested in the next election. It also means we likely won’t see a conservative challenger to Lindsey Graham in the primaries unless Governor Haley puts someone in the seat conservative enough they won’t attract challengers. She might do that. I’ve been surprised before.
Honestly, I don’t know what to think about DeMint’s move. My inner political cynic has been on a real “I told you so” kick lately and it’s not wrong, but I’ll spare you its initial reactions. You all tell me what you think!