DeMint Move Ignites Talk of 2016 Presidential Run

photo credit: gage skidmore

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint’s surprise announcement that he will leave the U.S. Senate in January to take over leadership of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank has ignited speculation among grass-roots conservatives that DeMint may use the new post as a launching pad for a presidential bid in 2016.

“Jim DeMint will have a bigger microphone than before,” conservative direct-marketing pioneer Richard Viguerie tells Newsmax. “If he wants to, this opens up a lot more opportunities for him. I think there’s a decent chance that he’ll be a serious presidential candidate in four years.”

Viguerie called the move to Heritage “an intermediate step.”

“It’s going to be a boon to the cause, to Heritage,” he said. “And it gives [DeMint] a major opportunity to run for president in four years. And if so, he would be the instant front-runner among most conservatives.”

DeMint already had effectively term-limited himself by announcing he would not seek another six years in the Senate. When GOP hopes of seizing control of the Senate were dashed in November, he was looking at four more years of life as a back-bencher, with relatively little influence over legislation passed by the upper chamber.

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