Several media outlets are reporting that Jim DeMint could soon be out as president of the Heritage Foundation. Politico had the story first, indicating the former U.S. senator from South Carolina and tea party leader would be ousted by the board of the organization — a key Washington, D.C. think tank.
As the Post and Courier notes, (Charleston, S.C.) “DeMint raised eyebrows in 2012 by cutting his Senate term short to become the organization’s president. His stated objective in taking the position was to drive conservative policy from the outside in order to make a difference on the inside.”
DeMint, as an early supporter of Trump, has had a significant hand in influencing administration policy and the makeup of the president’s Cabinet.
DeMint’s success in expanding the think tank’s conservative brand has reportedly resulted in a current rift with the Heritage Foundation’s board, which is expected to lead to his ouster. According to reports, board members used contract negotiations to air grievances about DeMint’s efforts to make the group too political and ideological, at the expense of its original mission to focus on policy. His contract wasn’t going to be renewed, reports said.
DeMint was the SC 4th District congressman from 1998-2004 until he was elected to the Senate before stepping down to take the Heritage Foundation job.
It’s not difficult to figure out how DeMint ran into trouble. When you have the president on speed dial it’s very tempting to try to dictate the direction and focus of the organization’s activities. Board members have a funny way of believing themselves in charge, because they are. As DeMint is finding out, he’s not going win that battle.
A very old story. Then again, how long will it be before DeMint ends up in the Trump administration?