Magazine February 22, 2010, Issue

Senator Tea Party

(Roman Genn)
In Jim DeMint of South Carolina, the conservative resurgence finds an ally

Jim DeMint wasn’t looking forward to his conversation with Arlen Specter last spring, but he didn’t want to avoid his Senate colleague, either. The Republican from South Carolina had decided to endorse Pat Toomey, who had launched a GOP primary bid against Specter in Pennsylvania. “I wanted to tell Arlen face to face, before it became public,” says DeMint.

On April 23, in a room just off the floor of the Senate, DeMint approached Specter and let him know. “I was going to explain my reasoning,” says DeMint, but Specter cut him off. “I’ve heard enough,” he muttered, and walked away.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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