DeMint has been a destructive force, threatening to primary colleagues, resisting all deals and offering very little in the way of attainable legislation. He has contributed more than any current senator to the dysfunction of that body. He has worsened relations between the House and Senate, as he did in the budget fights in recent years, by meddling and pressuring his home state representative. His departure leaves other senators who seemed impressed with his brand of politics free to find their way to a more constructive position in the body.The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin • Discussing why Jim DeMint’s departure from the Senate is a good thing for Congress … though it could prove much worse down the road, due to the influence he’ll yield as head of the Heritage Foundation. Rubin suggests he hurts the Heritage brand. “By embracing him, Heritage, to a greater extent than ever before, becomes a political instrument in service of extremism, not a well-respected think tank and source of scholarship,” she writes. “Every individual who works there should take pause and consider whether the reputation of that institution is elevated or diminished by this move. And I would say the same, frankly, if any other non-scholarly pol took that spot.”
Jon Huntsman’s campaign was never going to work. He finally realized that and will drop out to give Mitt Romney, for whom he exhibited no small amount of animosity during the debates, his support. In New Hampshire he preposterously told supporters that a weak third place finish, in a state in which he had campaigned almost exclusively, was his “ticket to ride” to South Carolina. But it wasn’t, just as his campaign wasn’t based on any natural constituency or rationale.The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin • Offering up her harshly-worded take on why Jon Huntsman’s leaving the race. “If it was the GOP presidential nomination he sought,” she continued, “it was of a GOP in some parallel universe created by the press in which the darn Tea Party never arose, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was still speaker of the House and Republicans yearned for an isolationist foreign policy even to the left of President Obama’s.” While the conservative Rubin clearly has her opinions, there is a grain of truth here. Huntsman’s a likable guy, but this was not a campaign that worked in his favor.