DeMint says he will not be active political force in 2014

Not only has Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) decided to get out of Congress, he has also decided he needs a break from playing conservative kingmaker.

Fresh off the heels of announcing his resignation from the United States Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, DeMint told POLITICO today that he has no plans to involve himself in any active politicking during the 2014 midterm elections.

“I am anxious to get away from the political angles, the partisan angles and focus just on the ideas. Hopefully candidates will embrace these ideas. But part of what we have to do is convince Americans that the ideas are right,” DeMint told POLITICO’s Manu Raju earlier today.

DeMint also gave Raju a flat-out “no” when asked if he would endorse primary candidates in 2014.

DeMint’s announcement that he is sitting 2014 out entirely is surprising considering that many in Washington viewed DeMint’s move to Heritage as one that would both increase the Senator’s ability to bring the Republican Party back to its conservative roots and ensure the Heritage Foundation’s status as the conservative movement’s premiere organization for years to come.

Founded in 1978 by outgoing president Ed Feulner, Heritage, a 501(c)(3) non-profit,  has always focused more on policy than politicking. In an attempt to become more involved with grassroots activism, friends of the Foundation established a separate political and lobbying arm known as Heritage Action in 2010 to advocate for conservative policies in Washington, including the repeal of President Obama’s healthcare law. It even hired a former DeMint staffer as its Chief Operating Officer.

“The Heritage Foundation makes [politicians] see the light; Heritage Action makes them feel the heat,” Feulner said of the two groups in 2011.

So it made sense last week when Heritage Chairman Thomas A. Saunders described DeMint’s appointment to President of the organias one that is “turbo-charging our already powerful engine.”

Conservative lawyer Dan Backer, who represents both DeMint protégé Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and his potential successor, Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), told The Huffington Post last Thursday that DeMint’s move to Heritage will make the foundation “directly competitive with Freedomworks…as an intellectual powerhouse targeting the grassroots conservative movement that is embodied in ‘the Tea Party’.”

RedState’s Erick Erickson also commented last week that DeMint “will now be leading the conservative movement from the base of its operations for years to come.” And the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol called the foundation under DeMint “a powerful political force.”

It is clear that the Heritage Foundation will remain a powerful political force under DeMint’s leadership, however, what kind of force it will be is still slightly uncertain.

Comments

Polititainment

Bill Clinton, Usher fundraiser for Dem

In the latest instance of Democrat-celebrity coupling, former President Bill Clinton and singer Usher will join forces at a September 13 fundraiser for Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia Michelle Nunn.

Eric Roberts: Bush killed James Foley

Actor Eric Roberts on Twitter Monday accused former President George W. Bush of killing American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by an ISIS terrorist in a video posted to YouTube in August.

Palin asks fans to pray for Joan Rivers
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol are asking their fans to show support for comedian Joan Rivers, an unlikely pal of the Palins. Rivers,81, has been unconscious in the hospital since Thursday after she went into cardiac arrest during a procedure. Palin posted on her popular Facebook page Friday directing fans to a blog post by Bristol. […]
Grover Norquist loved Burning Man
It’s official: Grover Norquist absolutely loved this year’s Burning Man festival. Before the blaze with co-founder of Burning Man Larry Harvey.He has created a wonderful festival/movement/Brigadoon pic.twitter.com/3iq5UzcPYG — Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 31, 2014 Burning Man. 65,000 participants. 1000s of works of art. Anyone who walks through BM and only notices nudity tells you only […]
Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]

White House

Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants. The White House on Monday released a letter formally letting Congress’ leaders know that Obama approved the mission that repelled Sunni fighters in the northern Shiite […]
Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

Congress

Dem candidate: Republicans 'worse than ISIL'

Jesse Smith, a Democrat running for Alabama's 3rd Congressional district, compared Republicans to ISIL (or ISIS) militants on Twitter Monday, asserting that the GOP is "worse" than the terrorists that have wreaked havoc in Syria and Iraq.

When Congress was popular
THE HILL — If you’re not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress. The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years […]
Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]