Is Alvin Greene the kryptonite the Democrats needed for Jim DeMint all along? Has DeMint become allergic to the bombastic press conferences he used to conduct once or twice a week because this latest political Dilbert has become his opponent for the fall elections?
In a Google search of Jim DeMint, the first two to three pages normally display articles that are mostly dated within the last three to five days. When I tried to search his name this afternoon to check his whereabouts, it was as if DeMint had gone on summer vacation.
One of the interesting things I did turn up was the notion of DeMint as a political kingmaker of sorts who was going around the country lending his support to conservative candidates who have wrapped themselves in Tea Party banners.
A Public Policy poll in May indicated that only 43 percent of South Carolinians approved of the job DeMint was doing in the Senate. Thirty-nine percent said that DeMint was not spending enough time focusing on his state's interests while in Washington, whereas only 38 percent said his level of commitment to advocating for South Carolina was "about right." Public Policy’s Tom Jensen wrote on his blog that these amounted to "pretty underwhelming approval ratings" for DeMint.
But with Greene as the Democratic candidate, DeMint's safety is utterly assured. A Rasmussen poll released on Tuesday showed him ahead of his peculiar challenger by a 58 to 21 percent margin. So DeMint is seemingly free to continue his march toward the center of the national stage without fear of embarrassment in his backyard.
DeMint may not be popular with voters, better known as "the people" in the preamble to the United States Constitution the senator holds so near and dear to his heart, but he is just dandy to the deep pocketed donors who have given DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund PAC $2.4 million put over $3 million in his re-election campaign. He is backing Marco Rubio in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Mike Lee in Utah to join him in the Senate.
I have no idea when Senator DeMint is going to surface in the national news again, unless Alvin Greene somehow convinces DeMint to actually debate him in September. Putting all of his eggs in the Tea Party basket seems to be a pretty gutsy move to members of the mainstream press, but with the Tea Party movement beginning to show how extreme and out of touch with reality its leaders can be with the candidacies of Rand Paul and Sharron Angle in Nevada, this is much more likely to be a choice DeMint will live to regret in November.