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

Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

Galifianakis gives Obama a nickname
Zach Galifianakis once came up with a very special nickname for President Obama, he recounted on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night. It all started when Galifianakis came to the White House to film the Emmy-winning “Between Two Ferns” episode to promote Obamacare. “Before we went to interview the president, I ate in the White House […]

White House

President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]
Obama reveals his favorite Supreme Court decision

President Obama dished on his favorite Supreme Court decision during his presidency, and it wasn’t either of his interviewer’s top guesses.

Poll: Obama less ‘effective’ at ‘managing basic functions’ of government than George W. Bush
Since his popularity and approval ratings began to slide during his second term, former President George W. Bush has served as a scapegoat for Democrats and current President Obama. Bush’s name has been invoked with almost every negative event that has come America’s way. But it seems that the “blame Bush” strategy hasn’t made the […]

Congress

Udall struggles to think of his favorite books

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed a bit rattled in his recent interview with ABC 7 News.

Rand Paul: W.H. hasn’t accurately described Ebola
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Bloomberg politics he believes that the White House has been inaccurately depicting the risks of contracting Ebola. “I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us,” said Paul. “They’ve so wanted to downplay this that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their […]
Rand Paul doesn't want to 'turnip for what'
Sorry Michelle. It doesn’t look like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to “turnip for what.” Paul let the first lady know about his first stop in New Hampshire Thursday on Twitter. The likely presidential hopeful went from the plane to the Dunkin’ Donuts and snapped a photo. Just arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire. First stop: @DunkinDonuts cc: […]
Americans could face $15B in new internet taxes
If Senate Democrats don’t take up the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act before the end of the year, American internet users could be looking at nearly $15 billion in additional taxes, a new study found. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, passed during the 1990s, prevents state and local governments from taxing people for access to the […]
Rand Paul talks with NAACP in Ferguson
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) met with black leaders in Missouri Friday and urged them to use the “ballot box” not riots in the street to try and make a change. Paul headed to Ferguson, the location of another police shooting, for a 45-minute “listening session” with a group of 20 local black leaders, including pastors, local business […]