Thune says his 2012 decision to come soon
U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) continues to toy with a possible 2012 run for the GOP presidential nomination, but says he’s in the “final stages” of making a decision.
“It’s fair to say that I don’t have the same national name recognition as some of my more famous Republican colleagues,” Thune told reporter Robert Costa of the National Review, while taking a few pokes at other possible GOP contenders. “I’ve never had a book signing. I’ve been to Iowa plenty of times, but it’s usually on the way to South Dakota. And the closest I’ve come to being on a reality TV show is C-SPAN’s live coverage of the Senate floor.”
Ultimately, however, Thune believes Republicans should support the candidate they feel will have the best chance of ousting President Barack Obama in the general election. And, of course, Thune also believes he’s the best match against the incumbent.
“It really comes down to match-ups,” he said. “Sometimes you have a very talented group of athletes. But at the end of the day, it comes down to who matches up best against your opponent. … When it comes to age and energy, all those sorts of things, I think [Thune versus Obama] could be a great match-up.”
If he does decide to get in the race, Thune says he’ll be in it to win it, and that his campaign won’t be a test flight for 2016. And, despite his lack of name recognition nationally, Thune would have a slight advantage in Iowa, and especially in western Iowa where South Dakota news is fairly accessible. The western half of the state is also considered a Republican stronghold, adding to Thune’s good geographic fortune. Less than 90 miles of highway separate Thune’s home city of Sioux Falls, S.D., from Sioux City, Iowa.
By even the most conservative estimates, there are roughly a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. While nearly all have Political Action Committees in place that have supported GOP candidates in early contest states, only two have taken the extra step of formally creating exploratory committees, which is often considered the final step before an official announcement. Those two are Fred Karger, the party’s first openly gay candidate, and Herman Cain, a Georgia-based radio talk show host and a tea party favorite.