South Carolina’s Professional Political Class Won’t Want a DeMint Bid

Over the weekend, one of the big rumors is the possibility of a 2012 bid from Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican:

Aides to U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last week that DeMint will attend a March conference in Des Moines.

Ann Trimble-Ray, a spokeswoman for the conservative western Iowa congressman, called the event a “daylong conference for Iowa conservatives.” It will be held March 26.

DeMint — a leading voice for conservatives, especially those in the Tea Party movement — has been mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, interest he has disclaimed.

But his visit to Iowa likely will re-spark speculation about his possible presidential plans, thanks to Iowa’s role as the first state to hold presidential caucuses. The event is also unusual for King, because it is being held in Des Moines rather than his western Iowa district.

However, it’s worth considering this cautionary note from one of my regulars, a GOP consultant who works in a key primary state:

Does Jim DeMint really understand what he’s stepping into? A few people have tweeted about how some South Carolina folk might oppose the idea of him running for president because it might “diminish” South Carolina’s “importance” in the nominating process. “Importance” isn’t what it’s about. It’s about money. If Jim DeMint runs, nobody in South Carolina makes any money off the Presidential campaign. The state’s campaign would be like when Tom Harkin ran for president in Iowa…dullsville [and a foregone conclusion]. Nobody makes money. If DeMint goes too far with this, expect some “scandal” to crop up. It won’t involve hiking the Appalachian Trail, but they’ll find something…

The South Carolina GOP gubernatorial primary experience of Nikki Haley demonstrated that vicious, unverified allegations against front-running Republicans are an unfortunate fact of political life in the Palmetto State…

UPDATE: Jeff Dobbs writes in with a grand compromise: “Run, Jim, Run! But only on one, very specific and critical condition: DeMint must resign his Senate seat, and Governor Haley must commit to appointing Alvin Greene as his replacement. Otherwise, I’m not interested.”

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More