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BREAKING: DeMint Will Leave Senate to Run Heritage Foundation – UPDATED: Gov. Palin Weighs in; Update II: More on Tim Scott

This morning, Jim DeMint announced that he will be leaving the U.S. Senate to head the Heritage Foundation. A press release from the Senator states:

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."

You can read the entire press release here.

We wish all the best to Jim DeMint in his new role.

Update: Governor Palin sent out the following tweets regarding the news.
First one:


Update II by Doug: Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard has more on the benefits of Tim Scott as a replacement for Senator DeMint:

With Republican Jim DeMint’s resignation from the Senate, Republicans now have a chance to take a bold and politically beneficial step by making Congressman Tim Scott the new senator from South Carolina.

Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, will appoint DeMint’s replacement once he resigns in April to take over the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The appointee would then run in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint’s term, set to expire in 2016.

Scott would be the first African American Republican in the Senate since Ed Brooke of Massachusetts. But Scott is no Ed Brooke, a liberal Republican who was defeated in 1978 by Democrat Paul Tsongas.

Scott is a reliable conservative. He was first elected in 2010 in the House district in the Charleston area—one of the most conservative districts in the country. In the House, he declined to join the liberal Congressional Black Caucus, which consists entirely of Democrats.

In Congress, Scott has become an influential member and, if he doesn’t jump to the Senate, is likely to move up the leadership ladder among House Republicans. Besides his conservatism, he is known for his likeability and skill in developing personal relationships with other House members.

As a senator, Scott would be highly visible. He would counter Democratic claims that Republicans are, at best, indifferent to minorities. His opposition to Democratic initiatives would draw national attention.

More here. Readers may recall that Tim Scott was one of Governor Palin’s picks in 2010, having endorsed him in the primary:

I’m very proud to add my support to Tim Scott’s campaign to represent South Carolina’s 1st congressional district. Tim has a remarkable success story. He grew up in poverty and was raised by a single-mom who struggled to provide. With help from a mentor and his brave mom, Tim learned to appreciate the value of hard work and American opportunity. He went on to become a business owner and has served in public office with integrity on the county and state level.

Tim is a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-development, Commonsense Conservative who’s been endorsed by the Club for Growth because of his solid commitment to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.

He will represent the Palmetto State with distinction in DC, so I encourage you to vote for Tim in his run-off election next Tuesday, June 22nd. Please visit Tim’s website at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

– Sarah Palin

With Tim Scott being Senator DeMint’s choice, it will be difficult for Nikki Haley to appoint someone else, as the WaPo’s Philip Rucker notes:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has told state Republican officials that he wants Rep. Tim Scott to become his successor, according to a South Carolina Republican operative with knowledge of the conversations.

“Jim DeMint has said he wants Tim Scott — period,” the operative said. “The ball is in Governor Haley’s court. Does she go with the status quo and appoint Scott? I think it would be hard not to.”

This should be a no-brainer for Haley. In addition to picking a constitutional conservative in Tim Scott, she could regain some of the credibility she lost with the Tea Party when she endorsed Mitt Romney. We’ll see if she does the right thing.

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  • dave7777

    Man, we’re going to miss this guy.

    • fb274

       Good possibility he will have more opportunity to seek out more true conservatives to run in 2014 from his perch with the Heritage Foundation than being in the Senate.  This could be a win, win situation.  Hope so anyway.  At least, he will much more free to comment on how the Congress is dealing with the turmoil we are now facing without having the Dems stating he is overstepping his boundaries if he is vocal.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Nothing but respect for Demint and how he has run his race thus far. Godspeed.

  • PhilTan

    This is so out of the blue IMHO. I heard him on Levin the other night and didn’t get any indication this was coming.

  • PhilTan

    The Guv tweeted something about Demint wanting Tim Scott to be his replacement. I’m still thinking SP for SC . It’s perfect for her. Is it possible ?

    • Quiet_Righty

      Do you know of a female South Carolina resident with the initials SP?


  • Lennart Bilén

    Nikki, maybe you can fill the post with, say Sarah Palin?
    After all it is because of her you are governor.
    You can still redeem yourself after Romneys loss.


       Palin doesn’t even live in that state….doesn’t even pass through it. How the heck can she become it’s jr Senator ??

      • PhilTan

        I know it’s a stretch but she supported Newt in SC and he won there. Im sure she could establish residency there in short order. It’s a perfect fit and launching pad for her. If she runs for dog catcher, the left would explode and attack her family mercilessly. If appointed as Senator, she gets more protections and doesn’t have to put her family through a primary process. If she was appointed now with Demint stepping down in Jan, the left would be caught flat footed. She got Haley elected there when nobody gave Haley a chance. Thirty plus days from now, nobody would be listening to Boehner, the total Media focus would be on Sarah. Don’t know all the ins and out’s but I think this one could be a gift horse. Take it if it’s there. IMHO

        • Quiet_Righty

          Tell me, should Sarah call Bekins, Mayflower or Atlas Van Lines?

        • Independantminded

          GOP would assign her to the commitee that cleans the bathrooms

      • Terry Malpass

        Hey! I met Sarah in SC.  So, she does pass through there.  :)

        But, you are right, she doesn’t live there and while she is very popular, I don’t think it would go over well to pull the carpetbagger routine.

    • PhilTan

      Great Idea.


    Mixed feeling that’s for sure.

    We sooooo need him in the Senate….who’s Haley going to replace him with?…probably some "whobbly wuss" that fits right in with Boehner. 
    But I certainly can understand his reasoning. The GOP is a sinking ship. With what’s been going on and Boehner at the helm…..he’s able to do more on the outside rather than inside is how I see it.

    Getting out there and supporting constitutional conservatives sounds like someone else I respect…..what a formidable team they will make. :))

  • Carolyn Dixon

    Let’s pray she selects a conservative who will stand up for the country and not be a puppet.

  • patnatasha

    I hope that the gov. haley doesn’t screw this up and appoint someone else.

  • SonOfOriginalTed

    MAJOR DEVELOPMENT:  For the first time Rush just plain out said it — The current GOP crop in DC is finished, that’s Obama’s mission, and mission will be accomplished, BUT IMPORTANTLY, Rush said opposition, conservative opposition that is, WILL SURELY ARISE, the Tea Party!

    Hello POTUS Palin run in ’16!!!

  • misterlogic0013

    Jim DeMint wants Tim Scott he gets Tim Scott / good news for Sarah, us .. rebuilding well underway ..  smile it gets better ..

  • Patriot41

    I remember when Sen. DeMint broke with his establishment colleges in the Senate and let his true conservative values take over.  As a senator, that takes real courage, because you immediately get the cold shoulder from the middle of the road crowd of elites, that make up the Senate.  He was one of the few willing to step forward and warn the nation of the fiscal crises that it faced and for the need to take action now.  That was not a very popular move on his part, but he continued the fight and became very instrumental in recruiting true conservative candidates, that had the courage to step forward and fight the reckless spending attitude that prevailed.

    It saddens me to see him leave the senate, as he leaves behind a lot of seniority for the conservative cause.  Any replacement, will be a newbie and not have very much influence within the senate structure.  Hopefully, he will be replaced by a strong conservative person, but I would not count on Gov. Haley making such an appointment as she is a member of the Bush tribe. 

  • Terry Malpass

    listening to Demint on Rush. he has background in marketing and wants to bring that into play to get the conservative message out there.

    This is a good thing because the GOP  ISN’T conservative and has no interest in promoting American conservative values and ideas.

    • wodiej

      not too many conservatives are really conservatives either.

      • Terry Malpass

        Very true.

        "republican" doesn’t mean "conservative" just like "conservative" doesn’t mean Christian.

        Folks can call themselves anything, but their actions tell us the truth of the matter.

        • $8196935

          What is wrong with Jewish Conservatives.  Does everyone have to
          be Christian to prove they are Conservative

          • Terry Malpass

            Any intelligent person understands my post said nothing about anything being wrong with Jewish Conservatives.

          • Carolyn Dixon

             why can’t we just be AMERICANS?  why do we have to be hyphenated Americans?

            • Terry Malpass

              "why can’t we just be AMERICANS? "


              Thread winner!!!!!!

    • $8196935

      That is why there are many Conservative Republicans in office

      Why is their no compalining that the Democrats are not conservative.

      • Terry Malpass

        Intelligent people understand most Democrats AREN’T conservative and don’t claim to be so complaining about it would be pointless.

  • Freempg

    Haley’s first choice is herself.

    • Kelly Laraia

       It would be too obvious.  She can run for the Senate in 2014 if she wants to give it a shot.

  • Guest

    light on a parabolic dish…
    sounds like an involved, well thought out plan is unfolding….
    wonder who’s behind it. ;-)))

  • Kelly Laraia

    Tim Scott has to be the choice to replace DeMint.  He is exactly what the GOP needs right now to silence the race-baiting left.

    • Terry Malpass

      No, it won’t.

      You could replace every elected Republican with black women and it wouldn’t stop the race baiting.

      There-in lies the folly of making choices based on skin color. Never works, and in itself is "racist".

      Tim Scott is probably the best pick for the slot, just happens his skin has more melanin than Demint’s.

      • StandProudNow

         Thank you, right on!

        And the very moment someone starts acting to appease the opponent, one has lost the fight. And that’s where the gOP goes wrong time after time….. they are trying to PROVE that they are not what the left accuses them of being.  

        Such NONSENSE!!!  The left will never CARE what the right does or says. They just continue their attacks. Thus trying to "prove" or "show" how the left is wrong fails and fails and fails and fails!!!

        How about going out there making the case for who and what we believe in??? How about building and making OUR case??

        Sick beyond words over the neutered and spayed congress!!!!!  

        BOOT THEM ALL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • section9

    This choice will dictate Haley’s future. Does she go with Jeb or does she leave the door open for Palin? You can bet that the Bushies don’t want Tim Scott.

    Palin just weighed in and sort of pushed Haley’s back against the wall. Now we know that both DeMint and Palin are backing Scott.

    Let’s see who wins this dogfight. If Haley picks anyone other than Tim Scott, she’s finished in South Carolina politics. DeMint and Palin will disown her, as will the South Carolina movement crowd.

  • 01_Explorer_01

    I’m thinking more than ever there will be a third party.  What do you think.  Glad to see Jim Demint and Sarah respect one another so much.  Hope Sarah is right there working in that think tank.

    • $8196935

      There are several  dozen Third Parties already and it does not make any difference who runs
      on them.  They are a gift to the Democrat Party, and how Woodrow Wilson was elected and Bill Clinton not to mention a number of  Democrat  menbers of congress over the many years.

      • MJosephSheppard

        It was also how Lincoln was elected, how the Whigs replaced the Federalists and how the Republicans replaced the Whigs. At some point in political progress a lost election may be the price of an eventual substantial shift. It only cost the Republicans Freemont’s loss before they became the majority party for the rest of the century and beyond. 

        If one takes the ‘it will just elect Dem’s" permanent attitude to the possibility of a new conservative third party then there is no chance of the possibility of a genuine, eventually positive, conservative realignment.

        • $8196935

          That analogy is one of the least to prove a point.

          You can’t compare the U.S. in 1860 vs 2012.

          The population of the U.S. in 1860 was 31 million — 2012 population is 313 million

          The Wigs lasted 27 years starting 1833
          the Republican Party is in its 158th year starting 1854

          There are more states, 10s of millions more people and the Republican and Democrat party
          are a fact in all states from City  to State government to Natioinal government

          A third party will be lucky to receive 2 to 6 million votes with the two major parties
          who are not going to be dissolved along with the dozens of of third parties who will receive votes.

          There are more examples why this will never happen

          • Carolyn Dixon

             you have such a defeatist attitude.  what if sarah palin runs as an independent? will you not support her? or will you continue to vote for the old guard of the gop?

            • $8196935

              supposition on your part

              • Independantminded

                You duck that question every time, by not answering we all know the answer

            • GetWhatYouPayFor

              Don’t expect a definitive answer anytime soon from Yankee. It would take me two seconds. I support Gov. Palin and all of the other pretenders can get in line. They can believe in the right things but not one of them can to be trusted to deliver like I trust the Governor to deliver. When somebody shows up I will let you know. He didn’t show up in today’s news.

            • Independantminded

              Did you see her lack of an answer below? Would take me one second to say Sarah

          • MJosephSheppard

            Sorry, your response is incomprehensible. I am sure you made some good points but they are hard to discern (something about relative populations which I don’t quite see having any bearing on the matter).

            • $8196935

              I think you understand very well.
              Easy to make changes with less population and with a party only a few decades old

          • section9

            Sorry Yankee, no sale. We’re not buying the GOP bullsh*t anymore. We’re not supporting the "Me Too" bootlicking GOP that dumped on Palin just because party hacks like you come around here screaming about the head-choppers all the time.


            • $8196935

              I don’t vote for Democrats or enable their wins

      • Carolyn Dixon

         yankee, the damn gop is punishing conservative/tea party elected congressmen if they don’t go along with the leadership.  this is why a third party will erupt and why many of us will bot the gop and dnc parties.  if you don’t like it, tough.  you have always been a moderate/liberal.  we held our noses, voted for rino romney and look what we got.

        • $8196935

          My conservative views go back even before my support for Barry Goldwater and my work at Reagan’s Headquarters for Gov.

          Not only Conservative but live in the real world

          Many who claim to be conservative on this site are liberal when it comes to National Security, right in line with the left

    • Betsey_Ross

      Yeah, me, too.  This is such an opportunity.  The Republicans backed themselves into a hole and Boehner is trying to purge the real Conservatives from their committee assingments.  The Republican Party is not called the Stupid Party for nothing.  This is Obama’s deal to get rid of them, but Obama doesn’t realize that we want them gone, too.  Go meld into the Democrap Party and let the Conservatives either start a new party or over take the So-called Republicans.  Let’s get this thing going.  The Republicans have disohonored the party so badly and have and are committing such treasonous acts.  They are very, very useless.  What say you Sarah? 

  • Jon Kelly

     If Scott is the RIGHT MAN, so be it.  All I ask that the decision is for
    the RIGHT reasons.

  • AngelaTX

    So does this make JimDeMint a "quitter"? If DeMint isn’t, then neither is Palin.

    • Betsey_Ross

      Jim DeMint has said quite a few times that this was his last term in the Senate.  He said he wasn’t going to seek another one.  This is the perfect time to leave for him.  A Republican governor is in power and will hopefully choose the guy that DeMint advised. While the timing was a surprise, his intentions were not.

  • Steve_Flesher

    "Does she go with the status quo and appoint Scott? I think it would be hard not to."

    What a crap remark by the South Carolina "operative."  Who said Scott was "status quo?"

    • OldPat

       Black, white, orange or garnet?  Doesn’t really matter ’cause Rep. Tim Scott was one of the ‘Faithful 22′, my friend.  Remember them?
      Like Jim, you, and me, Scott bleeds red, white and blue.
      As for Jim, it’s been a privilege to call him my senator – a true citizen legislator.
      Not so much the other one tho:  gotta make a change there.  LOL.

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