Is Thune the Republican Obama? One pundit thinks so.

In South Dakota as well as in Washington, it's easy to see that South Dakota Senator John Thune is looked at as a Rock Star. Now one pundit is saying he's much more than that - he's saying that Senator Thune is presidential timber:
After serving as an advisor to the Nixon White House and working on four other Presidential Campaigns, the university professor from Rapid City has another hunch these days. This time, about a young Senator from the upper midwest. A man Quinn believes holds all the star power, conviction and appeal to make a similar run for the G.O.P.-- South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune.

"He is young. He is articulate. He is tall, slender and well spoken," Quinn says, laying out a description of Thune that is intentionally and eerily familiar to that of another player on the political scene.

"Thune could very well be the Republican counterpoint to Barack Obama," Quinn says.


While the star quality may ring the same, their campaign war chests are another matter. Last week, Barack Obama reported a campaign fundraising milestone, gathering $25 million dollars in the first quarter of 2007, just one million less than Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Quinn concedes that Thune would have a lot of catching up to do in a very short time to make a legitimate showing in the race, but he insists the obstacle is not insurmountable, given what he calls Thune's tremendous appeal.

"His own timeline may be different," Quinn says.

"Thune and his wife may be thinking more toward the 2012 race, but I know that people in the party are strongly considering his abilities when they look at the possibility of a vice-presidential nominee, so why can't we have a 'favorite son,' a 'dark horse' kind of candidate who could come out of nowhere and win?"
Read the entire story here at

I don't think many Republicans would argue with that assessment. As far as the South Dakota GOP is concerned, right now there isn't a South Dakota Democrat who could knock him off of his perch. And on a national stage his star is quickly rising. It's not outside of the realm of possibility that we might see his name on a ticket in the coming years.

(I'd better get an autograph while I can still get past security.)


OldGuy said…
Thune has been a very pleasant surprise for this old Dem...i'm impressed
Douglas said…
Saw him on SDSU's Ag Today tonight. Looked like he had had lip fat injections. He seemed to be saying the right things about bio-fuels and cellulosic ethanol however.

I think Quinn is an econ prof. His opinion is worth just about as much as mine or as that of my currently barking dog who must have heard another dog in the universe or a coyote up the road.
Anonymous said…
Basically the only difference between them is that Thune is a half-idiot and Obama went to Harvard Law School. But yes, other than that, same packaging. Oh, and of course, Obama's worldiness and experience as a result of his heritage and having to grow up a minority.

Even people who like Thune and watched him rise to power in Pierre will tell you that he is not smart enough to be President.

Listen people, we tried an idiot out from 2001 to 2009. Let's not make the same mistake again.
Anonymous said…
The only reason Obama is part of the equation is because he is African American. He is new and different, and may be an impressive person, but he hasn't distinguished himself from other freshman Senators as far as a Senate record. I think Thune has just as much cachet, but for different reasons. A dream GOP ticket would be Guiliani-Thune...I think it would be unbeatable because they represent different parts of the country and different philosophies. But that ain't gonna happen. Too bad.
Anonymous said…
It seems to me that Tim Johnson knocked him off his perch in South Dakota. Also, given South Dakota history, the more Thune rises in National Power, the more he becomes vulnerable back home. South Dakotan don't like it when Senators become to powerful. If you don't believe me, ask Tom Daschle, Larry Pressler or George McGovern.
oldguy said…
I find it funny that a anonymous posters calls people names like idiot. You can stated your opnion with out calling people names.
Big Shot Bob said…
John Thune continues to follow the failed policies of George W. Bush. Bush's mistakes in Iraq and Thune's support of that failed policy will live with him in the future. He has no future in politics in the nation only in South Dakota. Is this the Senator who voted against the drought bill recently passed in the Senate. Wake Up South Dakota!!
jack said…
Unfortunately, the DM&E fiasco pretty much ruined Thune's chances of national office in the next few cycles. It may have been good for South Dakota, but the national base will not look kindly on a multi-billion pork project snuck into the transportation bill in the dark of night. It doesn't help that the project been repeatedly rejected by Wall Street, and Thune saw the government as having better judgment than the market.

And when you factor in the political rammifcations of Thune being a paid lobbyist for DM&E while running for the Senate, it opens him up to a huge attack from the left. The media would have a field day with that one, and saying "it was good for South Dakota" isn't going to cut it on the national stage.

Thune appeals to the rabid segment of the base for beating Daschle, is good in front of a camera and a crowd, but DM&E will keep him off the ticket in 2008.
Anonymous said…
Jack's off. He claims that the DM&E will keep Thune from gaining any traction nationally. If that was true, it would mean that people are only single issue voters....and that the DM&E is their issue.

Jack, how did you feel about the special exception Senator Tom Daschle (STD) sneaked into a tree hugger bill that would have allowed for managing the fuel load in the Black Hills? Would that preclude the former STD from running for President?
Anonymous said…
Big Shxt Bob - There was no drought bill. There was a surrender bill with billions of dollars in amendments that had nothing to do with Iraq attached. Bush said he would veto any Iraq bill with a surrender date attached, so Thune did the only right thing and stuck up for our soldiers. Drought was doa, so no sense beating a dead horse there and waving a surrender flag to the terrorists.

It might all be a little complicated for you to comprehend.
scimitar said…
Here's what Thune has to say about the Alberto Gonzales/US Attorney Firing/White House disappearing e-mail saga:


The "truthfulness issue" will be the overriding concern if the Senate has to act on information gathered by the Senate's investigation of the attorney general and the White House, South Dakota Senator John Thune said Friday.

"People seem to be willing to overlook some other things down there - not that we ought to in any way minimize those - but I think the whole issue is going to be the matter of trust..." he said in a conference call with reporters.

Thune said the White House appears to be doing what it can to distract attention from the investigation and boost President Bush's approval ratings.

"Sometimes the original transgression isn't the thing that gets people in trouble, it's what they do afterward, and that strikes at the character issue and if there was willful misleading, a lack of honesty and deceit there, that's a criteria that I think will call for some sort of action."

So Thune's finally standing up for truth and holding his own Republicans accountable? Sadly, no. This is what he had to say about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky mtter in the 2/15/98 Argus - only with the names changed to match present circumstances.

So does Thune's general position on the Senate's need to take action when there's willful untruthfulness no longer hold sway?

What's clear is that AG Gonzales has changed his story several times, and his story[ies] have been refuted by his chief of staff and the e-mails that didn't mysteriously disappear.

Where's Thune's concern for truthfulness and accountability and Congress's need to take action against high ranking officials who transgressed then lied about it? His silence is deafening.

Thune's just another hypocrite applying a double standard to people in his own party. He's like a professional wrestling referee who pretends he doesn't see what's going on right in front of his nose. He's a party hack, a typical politician - not a statesman. It's too easy to cast stones at Democrats, defend Republicans, follow the leader. The hard part is solving problems, controlling spending, balancing the budget, paying down the national debt. Thune hasn't even tried. He's an empty suit, all talk-no action, a wasted senate seat.
jack said…
12:46, I don't think whatever it is you're talking about in the Black Hills will prevent Tom Daschle from becoming President in 2008. But I also think there is zero chance that Daschle will become President.

What Thune did with DM&E will likely score him points at home. But look at the 2006 election results - nationally, conservatives were demoralized by the lack of fiscal restraint shown by the Republicans who had gotten quite comforatble running Washington. And they were demoralized by the connection to lobbyists by many who came to Washington vowing to change the system. Thune's DM&E project played into both of those narratives, and it caused his star to shine a lot less brightly in those circles. It's not that people will vote on DM&E as an issue, but that it becomes part of a larger narrative about a Senator without a national profile.

A better question to ask about Daschle winning the nomination would be 1) his vote on the war and the implications that would have in a primary, and 2) the fact that he lost his last race for office and he'd have to prove his electability.

Whatever weird BH issue you're talking about is irrelevant in a national race.
Anonymous said…
You don't know, Jack? You don't know jack.

Looks like Jack's off again.
Anonymous said…
If Thune is the Republican Obama, he's going to need a nickname a la Barack Hussein Osama Obama. (Thanks Ted Kennedy. Any chance Teddy was drunk when he couldn't recall Osama Obama's name?) Of course, Thune will also have to become a Muslim. How about John "Mahmud Abdul Rauf" Thune or John Kareem Abdul Ja-Thune?

Osama Obama could only dream of being in the same class as John Thune. Thune would own Obama.
Anonymous said…
"Jack's Off"

I guess we know who get's the gold star for being clever today...
Big Shot Bob said…
If you believe Thune voted against the bill to set the deadlines on the war in Iraq was to support the soldiers, than you are greatly mistaken. The war in Iraq is for the oil people and the wealthy, and he is supporting those people. It looks like he really does not care for the US soldier and only the wealthy friends of the Republican party.
Anonymous said…
Have another Big Shot, Bob, and keep preaching your stupidity and class warfare.

The war in Iraq is just. Talk with your hometown troops when they come home. They HAVE found WMDs. They have brought hope to a land of hopelessness. They know the truth. Those of us who care enough to listen have heard the truth right from those who have been there. All you who say you oppose the war, but you support the troops, listen to what the troops have to say. They deserve it.
scimitar said…
2:26 there is no hope among the Iraqi people - there is only fear. Daily fear that they or their families may be randomly murdered if they so much as go out on the street. That is why hundreds of thousands are fleeing the country to become refugees somewhere else.

It's not the fault of our troops. They are doing what they can. It's the fault of Bush who refuses to hold Iraq's puppet government responsible for actually making progress and taking over its own security.

It appears at this point, Bush has given up on getting anything accomplished in Iraq, and he just wants to keep everything going the way it has been so he can dump it on the next president so the next one can get blamed for "losing" the war. The risk in that strategy (or lack of strategy) is that the insurgents may plan their own version of the Tet Offensive.

When is Bush going to get his arse in gear and say, "Iraqi government we expect you to be handling your own security by April 15, 2007 - 1 year from now. Start with these cities now: (insert city names here)". He may want to start with the cities that the British have just decreed are safe and their presence is no longer needed there. If it's safe for the Brits to vacate areas and send troops home, why doesn't Bush announce that the Iraqi government is now securing those areas?

No accountability. No responsibility. Just demagoguery and political posturing.

Popular posts from this blog

Why should we be surprised?

That didn't take long