Jim DeMint Retiring: Nikki Haley to Appoint Replacement


Senator Jim DeMint (R - S.C.) has told the Wall Street Journal that he will resign his seat in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, replacing Ed Feulner. That means Governor Nikki Haley will appoint a successor, who will then have to run in a special election in 2014, in accordance with state law. That is also the year senior South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is up for reelection. Although DeMint, 61, is leaving elected office, he remains passionate about politics, saying of his next position, "This really gets my blood going again thinking about the possibilities. This is the time to elevate the conservative cause."

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank founded in 1973 that promotes limited government in the domestic arena, but has had a streak of hawkishness in foreign affairs. Critics have deemed the institution a neoconservative outpost, and some have even declared it responsible for the individual health insurance mandate that was implemented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

The current president, Ed Feulner, has been planning to step down for some time, and he will remain on as chancellor, and also the chair of the organization's Asian Studies Center.

According to Foundation's website,

"[T]he principles and ideas of the American Founding are worth conserving and renewing. As policy entrepreneurs, we believe the most effective solutions are consistent with those ideas and principles. Our vision is to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

"Heritage’s staff pursues this mission by performing timely, accurate research on key policy issues and effectively marketing these findings to our primary audiences: members of Congress, key congressional staff members, policymakers in the executive branch, the nation’s news media, and the academic and policy communities."