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Jim DeMint Steps down From Senate to Become President of Heritage Foundation
5 years ago



South Carolina U.S. Senator  Jim DeMint will replace Ed Feulner as president of the Heritage Foundation. Mr. DeMint will leave his post as South Carolina's junior senator in early January to take control of the Washington think tank, which has an annual budget of about $80 million.

Roll Call/Getty Images

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was reelected to a second term in 2010.


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.

Mr. Feulner,  who is 71 and planned to step down, is to be named chancellor of Heritage, a new position, and will continue in a part-time capacity as chairman of the foundation's Asian Studies Center.

Columnist Dan Henninger on South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint stepping down to head the Heritage Foundation. Photos: Associated Press

In an interview preceding the succession announcement, Sen. DeMint said  he is taking the Heritage job because he sees it as a vehicle to popularize conservative ideas in a way that connects with a broader public. "This is an urgent time," the senator said, "because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections." Mr. DeMint, who was a market researcher before he entered politics, said he plans to take the Heritage Foundation's traditional research plus that of think tanks at the state level and "translate those policy papers into real-life demonstrations of things that work." He said, "We want to figure out what works at the local and state level" and give those models national attention.

Mr. DeMint, an active conservative partisan often at odds with his party's leadership,  says he will "protect the integrity of Heritage's research and not politicize the policy component. Heritage is not just another grassroots political group."

Still, the senator acknowledges that the political fires still burn: "This really gets my blood going again thinking about the possibilities. This is the time to elevate the conservative cause."

Sen. DeMint plans to join Heritage in the first week of January, before the new session of Congress begins.


This post was modified from its original form on 06 Dec, 16:27
5 years ago


I think this man will make a difference.  I see a very strong resemblance to the greatness of Abraham Lincoln and Pres. Lincoln should never be kidnapped by the progressives as a role model becauce their only role model is Karl Marx.


Abraham Lincoln was a humble, intelligent man of great humanitarian spirit who led in the most trying of times and he was a Republican. 

5 years ago

Thank you SL L..he will be missed here in South Carolina.  He promised he'd not run a third term ..he is for term limits and kept his promise and is now going where he can again do good.  God bless Jim DeMit!

5 years ago

I agree with you, Sheila.    He is a great example of a solid republican.    He is needed at The Heritage Foundation.    Looks presidential to me.

5 years ago

Heritage is getting far more involved in the conservatism platform which this country needs to embrace to survive and Jim DeMint is the best conservative politician.


I hope that he can bring the bickering Gop together; it does not look good esp. last night when 2 of them ran on Sean Hannity's show to air dirty laundry and openly complain about Boehner.

The 3rd one did not go on and I give him credit.  These are the same two who would not vote or support Paul Ryan's budget either. 


They may be bad eggs, it is to early to tell.  But, if they are, they will be ousted and dems will get those seats.  We don't need this especially now, Obama is doing a major beating down to the republicans and he is doing so to destroy the GOP.  It may very well backfire and he is the most evil and disspeakable president to hold the seat.  

5 years ago

Sheila, after reviewing Paul Ryan's budget, I could not fully support it either and if that makes me a whiner, I guess I am a whiner.  There are some major issues with it that need to be addressed IMO.  I see why there were many Republicans that could not vote for Romney because of Paul Ryan now and I do think that people need to open their eyes some in this regard.  Great guy, good potential, but not the "authority" on all things as pertains to the answers to the budget.

5 years ago

Paul Ryan put out a budget and where was everyone else?


I am sure it is not perfect and that is where his party intervenes and makes suggestions.

Maybe, DeMint being President of Heritage Foundation will be the best thing for the GOP now because Heritage will serve more actively as working think tank for the republican party and help them stay grounded and develop a very strong conservative platform which Americans can readily embrace and throw down this socialism driven by the demagogues.

5 years ago



DeMint Joins Heritage To Broaden Conservative Message

December 7, 2012 by Sam Rolley

DeMint Joins Heritage To Broaden Conservative Message
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is Tea Party favorite and a strong social and fiscal conservative

Influential conservative Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is exiting his final term in the Senate four years early to take over as president of the Heritage Foundation, a GOP-affiliated think tank in Washington with a budget of about $80 million.

DeMint is Tea Party favorite and a strong social and fiscal conservative who has said in the past that “you can’t be a fiscal conservative unless you’re also a social conservative.” The Senator said he is taking the job at Heritage with the goal of popularizing conservative ideals that could appeal to a broader public.

“This is an urgent time,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, “because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections.”

DeMint will take over the role of the foundation’s president from Edwin J. Feulner, the man who first envisioned the think tank in 1973 and has led it as president for the past 36 years.

Despite hard leanings to the right on social issues in the past, DeMint has taken a stance more recently saying the Republican Party must adopt more Libertarian values.

“The new debate in the Republican party needs to be between conservatives and libertarians,” he said in an interview with Reason. “A lot of the libertarian ideas that Ron Paul is talking about…should not be alien to any Republican.”

The Senator may also push for the GOP as a whole to back off its traditional aversion to any kind of military spending cuts in his new position.

“I’m not sure what that number is. But I do know there’s waste in Pentagon spending. We’ve identified waste not only in the Pentagon but all across the board….But we have to have a vision for what we want our military to do,” DeMint said in a recent interview.

This post was modified from its original form on 07 Dec, 12:48
5 years ago

I listened to talk radio this afternoon and Jeff Kumar saw DeMint as a sellout.  I don't think so and Rush Limbaugh saw it as a positive move.


There is much division in the GOP and maybe Heritage can help mend fences and lay groundword.  This is how the Democrats became successful as they reigned in the Soros think tanks and implemented all of their policies which are simply dreadful and all socialism as we know by now.


I am reading between the lines here and I see that the GOP is aware of their problems and are trying to rebuild and utilizing Heritage as the demogogues did with John Podesta and CAP; they will be far stronger.    There has to be a very defined foundation which the House will support and they can rehash points out with guidance.  Heritage will provide valuable sources for the House and DeMint will use Heritage in a far different way right now. 

5 years ago

I agree, Sheila, 100%.   We have to start rebuilding and there's no better place to start than The Heritage Foundation.     We must look forward.

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