Skip to main content

John Thune

No John Thune in 2012:

For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States...[but] at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.

Translation: Thune didn't think he would win. He's spent his entire career in politics, either as an aide, an appointed official, state party chairman, or candidate for office. He ran for Congress at age 35 and has probably imagined himself as President since he was a toddler. In short: I can guarantee you that if John Thune thought he would win this campaign, he would have run.

The only question is whether Thune thinks the problem would have been winning the nomination or beating President Obama. Given how how much insider enthusiasm there was for him to run, I'm betting on the latter. Each of the top three candidates -- Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee -- have serious flaws. Romney's is that he's an unprincipled hack, Palin's is that she's Palin, and Huckabee's is that he doesn't seem to be running.

Thune could have run circles around Tim Pawlenty, and he had an army of operatives just dying for him to make the bid. In fact, as of September, he'd all but announced he would be running:

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the "Daschle slayer" who beat the Senate Democratic leader in 2004, is ramping up plans for a presidential run in 2012, associates say.

Thune, 49, spoke candidly about his plans for a cover story in The Weekly Standard — priceless exposure for an ambitious conservative. Senior Editor Stephen F. Hayes writes that Thune "is likely to run for president in 2012."

"Thune allows that he's thinking about it seriously enough that he's gamed out his 'pathway to get there,' calculated the amount of money it would take to be competitive in early primaries, and even thought about the timing of an announcement," Hayes writes in "Dakota Dreaming: The Presidential Ambitions of John Thune."

Since that time, it's not like the GOP field has gotten any stronger. Romney hasn't gone anywhere except down, Huckabee is showing less interest than Mario Cuomo, and every time Sarah Palin opens her mouth, she turns off yet another swath of America. So if Thune wanted the nomination, it's there for the taking.

But while the GOP field has gotten weaker, President Obama has gotten stronger. In December and January he proved his political mettle, and despite the midterm results he's bounce backed in a big way. I'm not saying President Obama is a lock for reelection. If Republican spending cuts lead to a double dip recession, he might pay the political price. But at least based on his decision today, it seems clear John Thune wasn't willing to take a bet on that happening.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site