Speaking to the staff of the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Sen. Jim DeMint said his new post as the conservative think tank’s president is “a homecoming.”

”This feels like I just walked in the front door my own house,” he told Heritage staff.

DeMint (R-S.C.), who will leave the Senate, will succeed Edwin Feulner, who first co-founded Heritage in 1973 and has served as president for the past 36 years. DeMint will join the think tank in January and become president in April.

“This organization is in a position to do more to save our country than any other organization I’m aware of,” DeMint said to the more than 200 Heritage staff members. ”I believe that we have put together here the power, the muscle, the ideas to turn things around.” 

DeMint said that he has every intention of ”protect[ing] the integrity of Heritage’s research and not politicize the policy component. Heritage is not just another grassroots political group.”