Later Rather Than Thune
I guess I won’t be writing about John Thune regularly for the next year after all. You may have heard that the South Dakota senator announced yesterday that he will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012. From talking to Republican political elites over the past month, I had already gotten the sense that betting money was heavily on a no go for Thune, but now it is official. I first wrote about the possibility of a Thune candidacy back in January 2010, when I made the argument that he quite possibly fit the suit as a conservative evangelical version of President Obama.
In a post on Monday, I floated several possible explanations for why various Republican presidential hopefuls might opt out of a presidential bid this time around, and Thune seems to have touched on at least two of them in his announcement. First, as a relatively young senator (he just turned 50), there really is no rush for him to run, thus his I’m best utilized in the Senate right now rationale. The possibility of a completely open race in 2016 probably looks pretty good to him. Second, Thune essentially acknowledged that running against an upwardly-trending sitting president is a tall order, especially in terms of fundraising where we could be looking at the first billion dollar presidential race in history. So, while we can now remove one legitimate contender from the big list of Republican possibilities, I would bet we’ll be back talking about Senator Thune sometime in the next four to eight years.
Back posting on Monday.
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