Even though he keeps popping up on those lists, South Dakota’s US Senator is focusing on work in an article this morning from Politico:
It’s often said each senator wakes up, looks in the mirror and sees a future president staring back. But John Thune admits his “window” for a White House run might have closed in 2012.
So instead, the South Dakota Republican is ready to dive deep into the policy weeds as chairman of the influential Commerce Committee, while using his role as leader of the Senate GOP Conference to pursue party unity. And all the while, he’s watching three very different Republican senators mull a run for president.
Sure, Thune still lands with regularity on lists of potential dark-horse White House hopefuls, but ask what excites him and you’re likely to hear about airbag recalls and reining in the Federal Communications Commission, not tackling the Iowa caucuses. He was also a leading advocate for the joint retreat that House and Senate Republicans are holding Thursday and Friday in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Thune’s legislative hopes include updating a 1990s-era telecommunications law, testing whether Republicans can coalesce around a plan to fight the administration’s net neutrality policies and writing new aviation and highway bills. He will try to invigorate the committee’s investigative muscles on Obamacare and find out “who knew what, when” regarding the recall of millions of cars with defective airbags.
“There’s a lot of stuff you can do,” Thune said. “Sometimes you’re driven by the urgent need of the moment. And we’re trying to be kind of strategic about it and set up things that we want to do.”