“This is personal but John Thune is somebody that I have nightmares about,” says DNC executive director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. O’Malley Dillon has worked for Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle; both men were defeated by John Thune. Thune ousted Tim Johnson in ’96 for a seat in the House of Representatives and in 2004 Thune unseated then Senate Minority Leader and Leader of the Senate Democrats, Tom Daschle. The DNC director also noted of Thune: “He has his head down and is doing some policy stuff. [You] just got to start looking at him.” Thune is also running for re-election this year but has no Democrat or Republican challengers.
Perhaps there is no better endorsement for a Republican than to know he gives “nightmares” to a member of the DNC. Several articles have been written touting John Thune as the possible dark horse candidate for the GOP in 2012. Groups have also been surfacing all over the web expressing their support for a possible Thune 2012 ticket.
When researching the 49-year-old Senator from South Dakota he appears to be the total package. He’s a pro-life, pro-gun family man who speaks on the Senate floor with ease and has the mind of a common sense, fiscal conservative. Though virtually unknown to the general public John Thune has the makings of what could be a very successful 2012 presidential bid. He has built up quite the war chest and boasts a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union. It’s been made clear that what conservatives are looking for in a candidate, now more than ever, is a principled person who is willing to take a stand and get things done in Washington. John Thune could very well be that person.
Republicans seem to be growing weary of the usual candidates that are being tossed around. It seems the chances for Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and even a Newt Gingrich 2012 ticket fail to excite a majority of conservatives. Of course, when speaking of 2012 the Palin Factor rears its head. Sarah Palin does have the status needed to run for president but Palin has the potential to split the Republican Party. She is wildly loved by the Tea Party crowd and conservative grassroots movements; but establishments GOPers have a hard time getting behind her. There’s also a divide among Palin supporters of whether she should continue to just be a voice for conservatism or actually make a run for the presidency.
Before we know we will be entering the 2012 election cycle and John Thune is one to keep an eye on. But for now, Senator Thune is focused on the 2010 midterms.