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Jim DeMint’s strategy is to help conservative underdogs

Over at his Right Now blog, David Weigel comments on my column about Jim DeMint, declaring that the Republican South Carolina senator would “look like a genius today” if he had endorsed Rand Paul in Kentucky and Mike Lee in Utah, instead of supporting Chuck DeVore in California and Marlin Stutzman in Indiana.

Weigel misses the point of DeMint’s efforts. DeMint is not interested in “looking like a genius” -- he is interested in helping underdog conservatives get a chance in the primaries against the hand-picked candidates of the establishment. This means taking risks and backing candidates who have a tough fight for the nomination. As DeMint points out in my column (and Weigel does in his blog) both Paul and Lee were doing fine without DeMint’s help. This is why he put his resources toward more uphill battles.

But if you watch the video of DeMint’s speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, DeMint all but endorsed both Lee and Paul several weeks ago. And yesterday, DeMint formally got into the Kentucky race by endorsing Paul.

Weigel also cites “ugly speculation” as to whether DeMint drove his then-Republican colleague, Arlen Specter, from the party by endorsing his GOP challenger, former Rep. Pat Toomey. If DeMint did in fact convince Specter to join the Democrats, good for him. It certainly has not hurt the GOP and may have helped. Toomey is leading in a head-to-head match up, and Specter is struggling to fend off a Democratic primary challenge. He may not even be the Democratic nominee.

By Marc Thiessen  | May 6, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Wait! FoxNews tells us that Americans are going to flock to conservatives in the 2010 election so how could their be any underdogs. Well, a teabagger Republican lost by 62% in a special election here in Florida to Congressman Deutsch in April 2010.
There was hardly a peep out of the "main street media" plus in the primary of last tuesday not one tea party candidate won. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has provided the citizens of his state one of the lowest standards of living in the US...along with other Republican states like Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Yeah, they all have guns but then are too poor to afford the bullets. What an accomplishment to run on.

Posted by: palmharbor | May 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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