In an interview with David Brody, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a favorite of movement conservatives and Tea Partiers, doesn't rule out a 2012 presidential run. DeMint says the presidency is "not something I desire," adding that not really desiring the presidency is an essential requirement for the next president.
David Brody: “There are folks in the Tea Party movement that seriously want you to run for President. Would you consider something like that?”
Senator Jim DeMint: “You know, I’ve always thought of myself as an average guy and when I think of the President of the United States I’m hoping that there is some knight on a white horse that’s going to ride that I can look at and say you know this is Ronald Reagan character or the level that we could have. Frankly, the people that I’ve seen here in politics I realize that I can hold my ground with any of them. There are a lot of changes I’d like to make in this country and I think Americans are going to be ready for someone to tell them the truth next election. Not someone who will give them a good speech but someone who reminds them that the federal government has to do less not more. I’m hoping we can find that candidate out who has shown himself to be a great Governor or somewhere. It’s not something I desire. Anyone who really desires it does not know how much trouble we’re in as a country because we’ve got some tough times ahead of us and we need a President, who says we can get through it, we can come out better on the other side but we’re going to have to sacrifice.”
David Brody: “All right, so not ruling it out necessarily?”
Senator Jim DeMint: “Well I guess I’ve learned not to rule out anything in life but right now it’s the last thing I want to do.”
Meanwhile, Dave Weigel reports that Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, another favorite of movement conservatives and Tea Partiers, joked about running for president last night:
At last night's Washington Press Club Foundation dinner, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) used his lighthearted, deadpan speaking slot to indulge the speculation that he's looking at a 2012 presidential bid.
"I'm trying to get over that all-important 3 percent mark in the straw polls," said Pence. He recounted a phony conversation with President Obama in which the president questioned whether the country was ready for a "politician from the Midwest ... with so much experience."
"Maybe I'm overqualified," said Pence with a smirk.
I know, I know: it's only 2010. But keep in mind Republicans will begin to declare their candidacies or the creation of "exploratory committees" in a little over six months from now.