U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) announced last week that he is
stepping down Jan. 1 to become the next president of the largest
conservative think tank in the nation.
Sen. DeMint was elected to
the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 after owning a successful
advertising and market research company for 20 years. He left the
House after limiting himself to three terms, then was elected to
the U.S. Senate in 2004, where he was easily re-elected in
Ron Meyer, spokesperson for American
Majority Action, thinks the conservative will be effective at
"Heritage will actually be able to do some better things …
instead of coming up with the individual mandate and thinking about
cap and trade and things like [the Senate has] done in the last
decade," Meyer offers. "And he'll be much more focused and a lot
more effective in that regard, so that's exciting."
DeMint succeeds Edwin J. Feulner, who first envisioned the think
tank in 1973 and has led it as president for the past 36 years.
While Meyer believes DeMint's
departure as a lawmaker is a tough loss for the Senate, he says
his conservatism will be used in other efforts now.
"It's just encouraging to see more conservatives who have a
really focused message, a really conservative message, a really
articulate message going to places where they think they can make a
better difference," the American Majority Action spokesman
comments. "I hope DeMint can, and I hope that he becomes a bigger
voice for sure."
DeMint, a tea party favorite, is known for bucking party leaders
to back challenges to establishment Republicans that he did not
view as conservative enough.