Senate Democratic leaders had only good things to say about arch-conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) in the wake of news that he's resigning Congress to become president of the Heritage Foundation.
"I've always liked the guy," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters during a Capitol briefing. "And even though I disagree with so much of what he's done, I personally believe he does this out of a sense of real belief. It's not political posturing for him as it is for a lot of people. So I like Jim DeMint, I wish him well."
"I've read his book, he's read my book," Reid said. "We're friends."
In a huddle with reporters shortly after, No. 3 Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) said nearly the same thing -- and virtually thanked DeMint.
"I always liked him personally," he said. "I always thought he was a straight shooter and he had his views, but he was a person of integrity. But certainly his effect on the political system may have been more beneficial to Democrats than Republicans."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declined to comment when asked about DeMint's departure, instead lamenting the chamber's vote to block ratification of a U.N. disabilities treaty, and strongly denouncing those who voted it down. DeMint was among them.