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Palmetto Fallout




U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) dropped a bombshell on the national political scene this week when he announced that he was giving up his seat in the U.S. Senate to serve as the new leader of The Heritage Foundation.  DeMint’s sudden, surprise resignation means that S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley gets to name his interim successor.

It also means that there will be a special election in November 2014 to fill the remainder of DeMint’s term.

Here’s what people are saying in response to the news …

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has served South Carolina and the national conservative movement exceptionally well. His voice for freedom and limited government has been a true inspiration. On a personal level, I value Jim’s leadership and friendship. Our state’s loss is the Heritage Foundation’s gain.

-Nikki Haley, S.C. Governor

Just got off the phone with a reporter who wanted my thoughts on what Gov. Haley should do about appointing a replacement for DeMint. It took me 10 minutes to say, “I ain’t got a clue.”

-Bob McAlister, GOP consultant

Jim DeMint has shown that principled conservatism remains a winning political philosophy. His passion for rigorous research, his dedication to the principles of our nation’s founding, and his ability to translate policy ideas into action make him an ideal choice to lead Heritage to even greater success.

-Thomas A. Saunders, Heritage Foundation Chairman

Jim DeMint has been a consistent champion of the conservative cause. I am certain he will keep fighting for freedom and federalism in his new role as head of The Heritage Foundation. While we lose his voice in the United States Senate, his support for South Carolina values will still be felt in Washington and across America. I congratulate him on his new position and look forward to continuing to work with both Senator DeMint and The Heritage Foundation in defending the Constitution and the rule of law.

-Alan Wilson, S.C. Attorney General

The news of Senator DeMint’s resignation from the Senate comes as a surprise. Senator DeMint has been a strong conservative voice, and he leaves big shoes to be filled. I have faith Governor Haley will appoint someone with the character, leadership, and conservatism Senator DeMint has provided South Carolinians for the past eight years. I am proud to have worked with Senator DeMint and I will continue to call him a friend and a mentor in the years to come. I wish him the best of luck as he continues fighting for the conservative cause at The Heritage Foundation.

-U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney

There has never been any question as to what side of that ideological divide Sen. Jim DeMint stands; he has long been a warrior in the United States Senate for restricting government and empowering people. And thanks to Sen. DeMint’s willingness to challenge the status quo Republican leadership, we now have true conservative champions like Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz serving alongside him in DC.

Today’s news that Sen. DeMint is leaving the United States Senate, in the middle of the debate on how Congress should respond to the so-called “fiscal cliff,” is akin to an army losing a general in the midst of battle, and it is my hope that Gov. Nikki Haley swiftly appoints someone to serve in his stead who is just as committed to the liberty movement, and who is just as willing to stand for what is right as opposed to what is politically expedient.

-Tom Davis, S.C. Senator

Senator DeMint has been a conservative champion and a dedicated public servant to the nation. Jim has always been someone I’ve admired, and I’m proud to call him a friend. Jim’s leadership and voice will be deeply missed in the United States Senate and in South Carolina. I’m excited for him as he begins his new role with the Heritage Foundation, and grateful that he’s continuing the fight in other ways.

Whoever takes Jim’s place in the Senate will have large shoes to fill. I hope that person is committed to the same values of limited government, free markets, and individual liberties that Sen. DeMint has championed for so many years. I’ll be praying for Gov. Haley to select a leader who believes in the principles that Jim has fought so hard to defend.

-U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan

OK S.C. Politicos … it’s trivia time: In the wake of Rod Blagojovich, the DOJ began tapping Governor Haley’s phones: a) Before noon b) Before 10 a.m. c) Before DeMint’s resignation letter hit the desk in the Senate.

-Jason Zacher, GOP consultant

Today’s big winner? Lindsey Graham who just had a bunch of pressure relieved from his likely primary challenge in ’14. The big loser? South Carolina. While it’s good that crazy DeMint is getting out, our politics will be splayed out and on display for the world to mock once again as Haley chooses a successor and we have two open Senate seats in 2014.

-Brian Barrie – Political Satirist

What do you think of DeMint’s resignation?  Post your thoughts in our comments section below …