Thune continues to warrant VP consideration

A recent editorial in The Washington Examiner discusses and debunks the concept that VP’s are chosen from large states to deliver states rich in electoral college votes.

Forget Ohio?s Rob Portman or Florida?s Marco Rubio, two Republican senators most pundits believe Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate. Think instead Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., or New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, or Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

The reason: Political pundits are wrong when they predict that Romney will pick Portman or Rubio because they will give the ticket a huge Electoral Vote win in their key swing states. In fact, in modern presidential history no nominee has picked a running mate just because he thought the No. 2 could deliver his big home state.

Thune’s name is being discussed more and more as a possible vice presidential candidate.

Goldstein finds that only seven of 27 VP nominees have even come from big states since 1960, and equal number from small states. And, yes, John F. Kennedy did chose Texas Sen. Lyndon Johnson in 1960, but he was picked to help JFK in the South, not Texas.

Turning to the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, which most pundits say Romney needs in his column to beat Obama, Goldstein, a St. Louis University School of Law professor, said that their past importance in veepstakes is irrelevant. Ohio, for example, hasn?t produced a veep nominee since 1944 and Florida has never had a vice presidential candidate.

Senator Thune would be a great choice for VP. He has a high upside without providing much of a risk. He is very likable and does not resort to bomb throwing like many others on both sides of the political aisle. Nominating someone who is solution-oriented like Thune rather than someone interested in partisan bickering would be a tremendous boost to the GOP nominee.

Looking at a list of potential VP choices from Chris Christie to Bob McDonnell or Marco Rubio and John Thune, it is clear they would all make great selections who would excite the base.

44 Replies to “Thune continues to warrant VP consideration”

  1. Anonymous

    Thune does such a great job for SD right now that I would not want him to be VP. It would be awesome for him if he were chosen but it would also be very sad for South Dakota to lose our one and only voice in the US Senate.

    Thune is a tremendous leader.

  2. insomniac

    I had no idea Florida has never had a VP nominee. I haven’t figured out why W picked Cheney from Wyoming (but Cheney might have been more DC) or Biden picked by Obama? From Deleware? Both of those choices were made based on experience and honestly that is a smarter way to go than youth and enthusiasm.

    Thune would be a solid blend of both.

    The dems rip the GOP and Palin all the time but Kerry picked Edwards. Imagine if Palin was on trial for breaking the laws by covering up the birth of a child like Edwards? The media is so disgraceful.

  3. delegate

    Thune would immediately become a national rockstar if he became a vp nominee.

    rubio is still most likely.

  4. Charlie Hoffman

    Insomniac; ditto on your Cheney Q. Who is Edwards? 🙂

    Senator Thune and Representative Noem infuriate the Dems; both speak well, represent Midwest ideology, and look and sound terrific on film. Few in politics have all that working for them.

    John Thune has more in common with the common American than anyone else running for President.

  5. caheidelberger

    “Thune’s name is being discussed more and more”… by whom, outside of this blog? Discussed significantly more than other potential nominees? Your statement sounds like the same sort of paid Thune-boosting blog flogging that Lauck did in 2004. Please quantify your wishful thinking beyond your hyperselective reading.

    1. Anonymous


      Here are a few for you to start reading from this week.

  6. toga

    Imagine Thune is chosen and elected as VP that would set up an interesting scenario where Daugaard must choose who to appoint to replace him.

      1. Anonymous

        I’ve read his books. They are not exciting or great. They are examples of his view on history. Also that last 50 pages are footnotes and references like Cory says.

        1. Anonymous

          Best thing Lauck ever did for John Thune was right the book Daschle v Thune. It made it the perfect gift for any elected official, DC insider, or activist to have on their shelves. A signed book about how incredible the Thune victory over Daschle was. If Thune becomes a VP nominee that book will sell like hot cakes and what better way to remind people how important that victory was than to give them a signed book.

  7. Troy Jones

    The merit of Thune as VP is simple. He will be well excepted as a campaigner in swing states like Wisconsin, Missouri, and Ohio as well as putting Minnesota in play. Plus, people will be able to imagine him as President (something that hurt McCain in selecting Palin). Finally, it will put Romney’s religion to bed for those for whom it is a question.

  8. Job Creator

    I have prayed every day for the last sixteen months that Thune would either be the President or Vice-President candidate. If it does happen – and it is very unlikely that it will – you’ll see the South Dakota political machine kick into gear and Mike will be the new junior senator from South Dakota.

    Sorry Kristi – you’re out in the cold on this one if it comes down to appointment. However, it is very unlikely that this will go to that, so Kristi, you still have a great chance. Rounds was around enough to make everybody mad or at least disappointed. And in the Republican party you are still a darling – especially when they are still on the TEA party sugar high. The timing is perfect. Get in that game before the hangover sets in…

    1. Anonymous

      Yeah, as a life-time, very conservative Republican, Mike Rounds is the LAST person I would want in any national office. There isn’t much difference between Rounds and McGovern and we don’t need either one!
      Noem and Thune are mostly conservative., but Rounds is not and never has been a conservative.

      1. Arrowhead

        Give me a break. Rounds is a conservative unless you are Gordon Howie.

        Daugaard would appoint Rounds to Thune’s seat for two simple reasons.

        1. If he appointed Noem we would have a special election/convention style scenario where the gop county chairs and committeemen and women would choose a nominee to replace Noem. That would create an oppurtunity for SHS or Brendan Johnson to take that seat.

        2. Noem is not nearly as safe of choice as Rounds. Rounds was a popular 2 term Governor. 8 years of public service on a statewide stage.

        3. There would be no Governor Daugaard if there wasn’t a Governor Rounds. I’ve often said that choosing Daugaard as LG was the best thing Rounds ever did.

        1. Anonymous

          Noem is looking really conservative on the debt ceiling and National Defense Autorization Act and she is in favor of cutting anything that isn’t in South Dakota. What a congresswoman…

          1. 73*

            One reason I would support Rounds is that he would not be a blind follower to John Thune like Noem. I’m sure they would vote 99% the same but Noem is not independent.

  9. Clay Bill

    Anonymous — Your “reading list” does more to back up Cory’s observations rather than refute them. Thune is simply “mentioned” in article after article. There is no heavy analysis by any political writer that I can find that even comes close to treating Thune as a serious VP contender.

    And Bill … since when has Thune NOT been interested in political bickering? That’s the major role he plays in the Senate right now.

    1. Anonymous


      I’ve said it a million times. Most people think Thune is moderate despite his conservative voting record. Most people thought Obama was moderate despite his voting record.

      Personality goes a long way in politics. It’s one reason Noem speaks Tea Party and votes Boehner’s line. She’s pandering to the right because she knows she’s cooked if the right abandons her.

      Thune on the other hand has always had the right and played to the middle.

  10. Anonymous

    Thune is too cautious to jump into the race this time. First, Romney will lose. Second, Thune just got a great job in the Senate. Third, the Senate may go to the GOP. Fourth, he won’t want to be tied to a liberal Romney administration if he by some fluke wins. John has pandered now to McCain and Romney. After Barack’s second term, John could make a bid for the presidency himself, without any attachment to the failed liberal Romney stigma. He will be a conservative who is owed by the losing moderate establishment wing of the party.

    1. This was Thune's time!

      2010 was John Thune’s time to run for president.

      If we think that Senator Thune will be running for president successfully any other time than 2010 we are mistaken. It is not that Senator Thune is not talented enough. It’s the fact that the GOP bench is amazing. And in everyway they equal or surpass his strengths. Thune is one of those people who has many strengths but his greatest strength is the fact that he appeals to people on many diferent levels than just one or two. Look at the future candidates. Rubio, Christie, Jindal, Haley, McDonnell, Ryan, Martinez, Portman, Paul etc. What does Thune have that they don’t? Nothing. They all offer different variations of what Senator Thune offers. If Thune was a minority or came from a large state and media market he might have the ability to win a presidential race.

      Thune’s advisors made a serious mistake when they chose to pass on 2010. I remember reading where Thune said he could raise the first $2 million but it was finding the other Billion he would need to win that would be hard. That didn’t stop Rick Santorum from running and he’s a major D-Bag if I ever saw one.

      Sometimes a politician has to let go and trust their gut. We can’t plan everything.

      If Thune is chosen for VP he will be the frontrunner in the future. If he is not then he will have a very hard time competing against the emerging juggernauts emerging along the GOP bench.

      Thune is low key but his look makes him a rockstar. Rubio, Christie, Paul, Haley are all rockstars because of their look but also because they are somewhat outspoken enough to fire up a base or tick off the dems. Thune will have a hard time getting the spotlight in that type of arena.

      If you imagine Thune on the stage with Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, Pawlenty, Bachmann and Perry it is clear that Thune would be the star and alternative to Romney and he would be knowledgable of the issues. But he would also have the cool attitude that aludes rick santorum and newt gingrich.

  11. veldy

    To each his own as to if this piece is timely or “it must be a slow day” in nature.
    A typical VP nominee should bring some sort of balance to a ticket to be effective. As to a nominee Romney, JT brings it in a number of ways:
    1-Senate experience to balance Romney’s as a governor
    2-Idealogical(Thune would pacify most of the conservative base)
    3-Geographical(Midwest/Great Plains vs Northeast)

    Given the first, you would have Thune w/8 years in the Senate to go along with House experience, where Rubio and Paul have what, 2 years in the Senate.
    Given the second, this may explain Thune’s endorsement of Romney, as it gives him automatic credibility/influence with Romney in the event he is elected.
    As to the third, it may tie in with the second, in that it could help “shore up” the base in more conservative areas of the country.

    These are obviously not hard and fast “rules” though we can see through recent election history some variation has generally been employed with various levels of success.
    Ronald Reagan chose the more moderate George Bush, Bush selected the more conservative Dan Quayle.
    Governor Bill Clinton chose Al Gore Jr, a senator.
    Bob Dole elected to go with conservative darling Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s problem was not Kemp, but Bob Dole’s problem was that he was, well, Bob Dole.
    I don’t know that Gore(Or Kerry for that matter) did themselves any favors by sticking with Senators who were close in ideology, while W Bush did go with the more conservative Dick Cheney, who also had Washington experience.
    An exception may be 2008,when Current Occupant did go with a sitting Senator(though with a lot more experience in that body).

  12. sdpride

    It would be better for Ryan and Rubio to sit out. It’s going to be tough for Romney to win, so why not wait 4 years and run at the top of the ticket? In the meantime they can actually get things accomplished instead of sitting around. They are too valuable to waste in the VP spot.

    Thune would be a decent choice. I don’t really buy into the geographic argument, but it Romney does then it makes more sense to pick someone other than Thune. He does have some DC experience and is charismatic enough.

    Personally I would like Jindal. He is extremely intelligent and accomplished in a Democratic state and is young enough to run in the future if Romney were to win.

  13. Bill Fleming

    Romney needs a “game changer.” Is JT a game changer? People are fed up with the US Congress, especially the Republicans in the US Congress. So, there’s your answer. Thune’s better off working for South Dakota and SD is better off having him do it. He can’t help Romney one bit as far as I can tell.

    1. veldy

      Since we all seem to have nothing better to do today, I’ll throw out a wild card for you

      Mike Johanns

  14. Troy Jones


    It is premature to predict if Romney needs a game changer.

    Today the race is basically a toss-up with the fight being over independents in certain swing states. The cessation of the GOP primary could effectively be a “game changer” in the near-term turning the tables. This happened in 2008 when it became clear Obama was the nominee.

    In three months, new issues could be the game changer driving the decision. In the end, I think Thune has a great deal of merit in general and specific merit depending on what is happening in August.

    As much as we want to speculate on who Romney will pick, I still think there is potential for a shake-up in team Obama and we could see Biden become Secretary of State (while serving as VP) while Hilary resigns to be on the ticket.

  15. Troy Jones


    I don’t think challengers have to pick game changersrunning against an incumbent who has been above 47% twice (18 polls) among likely voters since November and is averaging under 43% during this time (same as Romney).

    It is incumbents who have to pick game changers to change the dynamics.

    Romney has to find a challenge/opportunity that solidifies something or targets an Obama weakness. Nothing more. Just don’t know what that challenge/opportunity/weakness will be in August.

      1. Bill Fleming

        p.s. Romney will try to attack Obama by trying to turn all his own weaknesses into Obama’s. He’s already doing it. The Harvard thing, the religion thing, the health care thing, the ‘made the economy worse’ thing… He (Romney) does this by lying, plain and simple. That’s the problem with Mitt. He even lies about his lies. People have absolutely no idea who they would be voting for with Romney, because there’s no there there. It’s embarrassing, actually.

        1. Troy Jones

          SP maybe was a game changer but the dynamics were different (BO is now an incumbent). I think she was an attempt to address a weakness JM had with part of the party.

          Regarding your last comment, I am not going to even dignify that comment. What has MR said that were lies? BO was the least prepared to be President in at least 150 years (Lincoln) and he has shown he is no Lincoln. Calling BO incompetent isn’t a lie but an unfortunate truth.

          By the way, I moved all over the place between the candidates. I fell into MR’s camp in December and have only got more committed.

  16. Big Ern

    Romney might not have the same problem McCain had if he chose someone with less experience. I don’t see the media talking about him being old and dieing all of the time.

    Yes McCain had experience but he also was really old and looked really beaten up from torture which only made it easier to portray him as old. He also had cancer before.

    Romney is substantially younger so he could likely get away with choosing someone younger like HW Bush did with Quayle.

    But it is probably always wise to go with a known quantity. Look at Biden that guy lies all the time and he never gets called out on it.


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