Today Sen. Thune released a statement indicating that he has decided against a 2012 run. Thune said he reached his decision through much prayer and discussion with his family, a process that I believe reflects the high caliber of John Thune and his family.
While this might be disappointing for those of us who were hoping he would seek the Republican nomination, there is a silver lining. In the statement, Thune renewed his vow to fight the Conservative cause in the Senate - one of the places that we need to reclaim control of in 2012. He will no doubt continue to be a great defender of American principles in the upper chamber.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
"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. We have appreciated hearing their concerns about where the country is headed and their hopes for a new direction.
During this time, Kimberley and I and our two daughters have given a great deal of thought to how we might best serve South Dakota and our nation. That process has involved lots of prayer.
Along the way, we have been reminded of the importance of being in the arena, of being in the fight. And make no mistake that during this period of fiscal crisis and economic uncertainty there is a fight for the future direction of America. There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So 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.
I want to thank those who have encouraged us and prayed for us during the past several months. We are forever grateful for all the support."
-John and Kimberley Thune
Thursday, February 17, 2011
"...There are important issues that impact the basic glue, the foundation that holds our country together, and that comes down to the family unit. And we can't ignore those." -John Thune
Recently in an interview with CBN, Sen. Thune spoke in defense of social conservatism amid a notion circulated by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels that America needs to call a "truce" on social issues in order to face fiscal threats.
While I commend the Governor Daniels for the common-sense Conservative solutions he has brought to Indiana, (and personally I think his "truce" comments need to be contextualized), John Thune is right in his defense of social conservatism.
Much has been made about the boost "values voters" can give a candidate at the ballot box. But I think Thune knows there are more advantages to defending social conservatism than merely gaining votes. For instance, it is only common sense that any good government would protect an infant's right to life. When faced with the truth, protecting life clearly supersedes the Democratic notion of the right to choice, and social conservatives of all creeds - Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, etc. - should join together on this common ground.
By speaking out in defense of social values among fiscal and national security issues of the day, Sen. Thune can position himself to unify conservatives and be a formidable opponent to President Obama in 2012.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
“The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win. If you could convince me that Barry Goldwater could win, I’d vote for him.” -William F. Buckley (1925-2008)
Conservatives should nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable - The Buckley Rule
The speeches from CPAC this week have been great, but perhaps the most prescient words spoken came from James Higgins, the conservative activist who introduced John Thune. In his eloquent introduction, he reminded us of what has become "The Buckley Rule" -- the principle that conservatives nominate candidates who can win.
There is perhaps no better race to apply the Buckley rule than to the Republican 2012 nomination. As a young Conservative student, I am greatly inspired by (and indebted to) Conservative leaders from all across the nation. However, I realize in 2012 we need an electable candidate who encompasses everything we stand for.
Most are not familiar with John Thune. I wasn't either until a good friend told me about him. After some research, I've concluded that there would be no better candidate to beat President Obama in 2012 than the Senator from South Dakota.
"Can he win?" you are asking. He is no doubt a formidable political force as he beat the incumbent Democratic Senate Leader Tom Daschle in 2004. He has become so strong in his home state the other Party didn't even field a candidate against him in 2010. Because of this, he's now sitting on campaign funds of over $7 million - a war chest that could really jumpstart a presidential campaign.
"How are his conservative principles?" you might say. When it comes to social, fiscal, and foreign policy issues there is no better candidate than John Thune. With a 100 American Conservative Union rating and a solid voting record, I would trust a President Thune to hold fast to his values and get this country back on track.
In short, Thune's the complete package. If we follow the advice of William Buckley, we won't be disappointed in electing John Thune in 2012.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thune's CPAC speech sounded very presidential today.
A few observations...
- His inspirational speech highlighted his Midwestern values - "living in your means even if it means going without".
- He rebuked legislators who talk about values and become D.C. sellouts - "Our actions must match our words".
- He touched on a possible campaign message that he has been on the frontline fighting the Obama agenda while the other candidates have been on book tours and reality TV.
The day has arrived!
Senator Thune will be giving his much anticipated CPAC address today at 1:30 ET. If you would like to watch live, register here for streaming.
I'll post the video of his speech as soon as it becomes available.
UPDATE: Awesome speech! At the beginning the crowd kept chanting "Run, John, Run" ... will post the video ASAP.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A friend brought to my attention this morning that Dick Wadhams is not going to seek reelection as Colorado GOP chairman. This is positive news for anyone betting on John Thune running (and winning) in 2012.
Wadhams was instrumental in John Thune's historic 2004 defeat of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He has previously worked on campaigns in South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, and Virginia.
This news is so unexpected the Colorado Democratic Speaker of the House tweeted that he was "speechless".
Maybe Mr. Wadhams is resigning to work on one more campaign: John Thune for President.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Public Policy Polling is out with some new numbers showing Sen. Thune doing well in his home state of South Dakota. He leads the rest of the prospective 2012 pack by a 25% margin.
At face value, this seems expected coming from his "stomping grounds". However, when you look at the other contender's home state numbers, you see that Thune stands out.
For example, Sarah Palin only received 15% in Alaska, and Tim Pawlenty checked in at 24% in Minnesota.
The overall trend among the Republican candidates is that their home state electorates are unimpressed with them. Only Thune and Mitt Romney managed to break the 30% mark (37% and 47% respectively).
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
We all know how big a factor money plays in Presidential elections - one of the biggest reasons Obama won in '08 was his ability to shatter fundraising records. So, it's no surprise that one of Candidate Thune's strengths is the deep pockets he already has.
The Politico Morning Score is predicting (as the FEC numbers roll in) that Thune will hold his title as the 2012 contender with the most money in the bank. They are betting that he will have around $7 million when his reports are disclosed. For comparison, the nearest candidate to him is Michelle Bachmann with $2 million.
In order to face Obama in 2012, the Republican nominee will need to have the leadership, funds, and personality to beat him - things that Thune certainly brings to the table.