Jim DeMint, Ron Paul Sympathizer, Resigns to Lead Heritage Foundation

In a rather surprising move, the Heritage Foundation, long known as a bastion of social- and neoconservative thought, will appoint Republican South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint as its new president in January.

DeMint, who will leave his senate seat, will replace the retiring Ed Feulner, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Despite being a traditional conservative, DeMint has urged Republican colleagues to take Ron Paul and libertarian ideas more seriously during Paul's most recent presidential campaign.

Last January DeMint told radio host Laura Ingraham, "One of the things that's hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul ... I'd like to see a Republican Party that embraces a lot of the libertarian ideas ... You don't have to agree with everything he's saying, but if the other candidates miss some of the wisdom about what he's saying about monetary policy ... that will be to our detriment."

This is a major departure from Heritage's tradition position on foreign policy, which has been decidedly more hawkish, even insisting that defense spending never fall below 4% of GDP.

DeMint has said he plans to use his new position as a means of popularizing conservative ideas with the public in the wake of the recent disappointing election results. "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."