Jim DeMint may not look like your typical powerful politician but he is. He doesn’t seek the limelight but he is right in the thick of the attempted conservative Tea Party takeover of the GOP. He's not only in the thick of it. He is one of their true leaders. The tea Party may be a bottom up movement but DeMint, like it or not, is one of their main de facto leaders.
Let's be clear here. Jim DeMint is playing for the long term. Would DeMint like for Republicans to be in the Majority? Of course but not at the expense of his principles. DeMint is trying to build something here. He's trying to build a true conservative majority. He told me a few months ago that he is looking for some, "new Republicans" to join him in the Senate. If it means Mike Castle loses in 2010, then so be it. DeMint is not looking so much at 2010. He's looking at 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and so on. This is a process.
The GOP establishment skirmish with DeMint is now full throttle. DeMint welcomes the fight since it is a fight about his deeply held beliefs. He's choosing principle over practical.
Watch my interview with Jim DeMint where he talks about wanting some "new Republicans."
In this clip, DeMint talks about how GOP leadership has moved to the left.
Also, read more about the skirmish between the GOP establishment and DeMint: (From CNN)
Jim DeMint's political operation is firing back at anonymous Senate Republican aides who criticized the conservative South Carolina Senator on Tuesday night for helping Christine O'Donnell capture the GOP Senate nomination in Delaware, possibly jeopardizing the party's chances of winning the seat in November.
One unnamed senior GOP aide told CNN's Dana Bash: "I wonder who Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are calling first tonight - Chris Coons for becoming the next Senator from Delaware or Jim DeMint for helping to make it happen.
Another GOP leadership aide griped to Hotline On Call that "DeMint is not interested in a majority, he'd rather establish himself as the leader on the fringe."
DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund directed money to O'Donnell's campaign and numerous other conservative Senate hopefuls who knocked off establishment-backed candidates in GOP primaries this cycle.
A spokesman for the group, Matt Hoskins, responded to the criticism - on the record.
"Based on the number of Republicans DeMint has helped get elected this year, I would say he's done quite a bit to elect a majority," Hoskins told CNN. "Perhaps the real reason some unnamed leadership aides are upset is that these Republicans actually have principles."