John Thune for President?
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is not on a lot of people’s lists of presidential contenders. His name doesn’t show up in many straw polls of the GOP faithful. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be the guy who takes down Obama (or Hillary) in 2012.
Back in our November 13, 2009 podcast I made the bold prediction that John Thune would be the next president of the United States. You can hear it, along with Clyde Middleton’s and my discussion in the podcast starting at about the 28:38 minute mark.
While most of the 2012 GOP presidential buzz is focused on a group of former and soon-to-be former governors, Sen. John Thune is increasingly being viewed as the Capitol’s most likely White House contender.
The telegenic first-term senator’s national profile is no doubt on the rise — as evidenced by the South Carolina Republican’s increased leadership role this Congress and extensive fundraising for his non-competitive re-election race next year. . . .
When asked about any presidential aspirations, Thune said he was only focused on his re-election campaign — even though he has not attracted a single Democratic opponent so far. But he has undoubtedly been more vocal and visible in recent weeks, appearing with some regularity on cable news shows and playing a key role in presenting the GOP response to Democrats’ health care legislation through his role as Republican Policy Committee chairman.
Indeed, Sen. Thune has been very visible. We interviewed him yesterday in a blogger conference call (and yes, he was asked if he is running for president) to talk about the health care bill in the Senate. Audio of the call is here. It runs just under 29 minutes.
We also interviewed him back on October 21, 2009 (audio at the link) when he laid out what he thought would be Reid’s strategy to get the ObamaCare bill through the Senate. He predicted that the public option would not survive, and as we learned last night, he was proven correct.
Now it can’t hurt any presidential aspirations he may be harboring to keep conservative bloggers in the loop, but as you listen to him speak, he’s also very different from the 2008 GOP aspirants like Huckabee, Romney, and even Palin. He is a new face to most of the public and his common sense conservatism and disarming congeniality may very well make him a good bet to win the White House.