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Thune Not Planning Presidential Run; Who’ll Challenge Him for Senate in 2016?

Senator John Thune tells national talk radio that he's not running for President in 2016. Thune is smart: if he ran for President, he'd have to figure out how to get all those non-white folks to vote for him. Why would Thune give up the safe Whitopia of the South Dakota electorate to be cruising-for-unemployment standard bearer of a nationally doomed party?

(By the way: minority enrollment in the Sioux Falls School District is 30%.)

Senator Thune's non-declaration (not 100% ironclad, says Thune, but sure enough for our planning purposes) means South Dakota Democrats had better be working on a plan to unseat Thune in 2016. We don't get the somewhat easier fight of contesting an open seat or the slightly greater challenge of fighting a promotion-seeking Kristi Noem. We should plan on taking on the big dog, the third-most powerful Republican in the Senate (and hey, maybe he'll be up to second by 2016!).

So Dems, since Corinna Robinson will be seeking re-election to the House, and since Joe Lowe will be busy Governoring, and since I don't think you'll ever get Bernie Hunhoff to leave Yankton, who's our pick to take out Thune and join Rick Weiland in the Senate in 2016? Will it finally be Brendan Johnson's moment? Will Stephanie Herseth Sandlin send Zachary Lars to school and rekindle her fire? Will Stace Nelson realize he's in the wrong party and join us Dems to fight for balanced budgets and property rights?


  1. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.25

    Thune is term limited out by SD Constitution.

  2. MJL 2014.04.25

    My students came back from a Close-up trip in Washington where Thune told him he was not planning to run for office. It is not really news. He also tole them that he does not expect to get a phone call to run as VP in 2016.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.04.25

    pink slime.

  4. David Newquist 2014.04.25

    If voters actually examined his legislative record, both in the House and Senate, and brought at least a high school knowledge of what comprises legitimate rhetoric to his campaigns, any fence post not occupied with holding up wire could be a contender.

  5. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.04.25

    "So Dems, since Corinna Robinson will be seeking re-election to the House, and since Joe Lowe will be busy Governoring, and since I don't think you'll ever get Bernie Hunhoff to leave Yankton, who's our pick to take out Thune and join Rick Weiland in the Senate in 2016? "

    Cory, This is South Dakota, what are you smoking?

  6. larry kurtz 2014.04.25

    brandon johnson?

  7. WestRiver 2014.04.25

    Most definitely Annette Bosworth; don't you think?

  8. Michael B 2014.04.25

    Cory, if the Democratic Party cannot come close to filling every legislative race with a candidate, what makes you think that the party base is strong enough to propel a Democrat to Washington?

  9. mike from iowa 2014.04.25

    Thune must be a passionate,accomplished ass-kisser since his legislative record leaves much to be desired. What,if anything,is he known for?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.25

    Brendan. Brendan Brendan Brendan. Correction made! Thanks, Larry!

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.25

    WestRiver, she can't run for Senate from her beach in Haiti.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.25

    Michael, the party must find candidates, but the right candidates must also find the party and arouse that base.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.25

    There you go again, DD, trying to nullify the federal constitution with bad state legislation. The courts have rejected our illegal term limits; we all should follow suit. I prefer we simply term limit Thune by electing a good Democrat.

  14. Nick Nemec 2014.04.25

    Does the US have an extradition treaty with Haiti?

  15. David Newquist 2014.04.25

    Mlike from Iowa, his singular accomplishment was floating legislation that prohibited the federal government from taxing cow farts. Something they never considered doing.

  16. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.25

    On this, like so many things (slavery, abortion, etc) SCOTUS is wrong.

    It remains SD Constitution even after Larry Rhoden for a bill to have federal term limits repealed from SD's Constitution, despite claiming to be for term limits.

  17. mike from iowa 2014.04.25

    Thanks David. @ Nick-US does indeed have an extradition treaty with Haiti.

  18. Douglas Wiken 2014.04.25

    Term limits are an undesirable substitute for voter responsibility and sense. That is true even if a twit like Thune gets dumped.

  19. Tara Volesky 2014.04.25

    In your dreams Cory. Yes Lanny, he's got to be smoking something. I predict in the next 10 years, there will be more registered Independents than Democrats. In Arizona there are more Indies than there are R's. Don't get me wrong, I love Democrats and a lot of things they stand for but I voted for Lora and Stace because they are fighting to take down the Machine!!! Rounds and Daugaard loves the Democrats because the Democrat party will get them elected again.

  20. Tara Volesky 2014.04.25

    Something happened and I can't explain, but the press conference will be online today. You can call me if anyone wants the details. 605-292-0888.

  21. lesliengland 2014.04.25

    michael b and cory, I believe this issue of democrats filling slots requires a sophisticated strategic and tactical discussion which others much more capable than me can carry.

  22. Michael B 2014.04.25

    Cory, you can complain about the Republican Party machine but if the Democrats can't bring a strong and full slate of candidates to the table, then what?

    I always suggest voting for the best person for the job and the party affiliation doesn't always matter.

  23. larry kurtz 2014.04.25

    MB: when the Governors Club owns retail politics Dems should boycott the process and sue the bastards into bankruptcy.

  24. Randy Amundson 2014.04.25

    You're kidding, right? Democrats concerned about balanced budgets? What planet do you live on? Do you have any idea how much money you would have to take from the rich guys you so despise? Just south of a trillion at last count, and that wouldn't even dent the deficit. Unless your friends in the liberal party get their heads out of their behinds and get some decent jobs back in this country, we will never experience a balanced budget. Not in this life time at least.

  25. grudznick 2014.04.25

    Riksbank gawdess, larry. Gawdess.

  26. Bree S. 2014.04.25

    I wish I had noticed that was written by Krugman. I could've saved myself a click.

  27. chris 2014.04.25

    Thune is only saying that because he likes to tease David Brooks so.

  28. larry kurtz 2014.04.25

    Now you're a Nobel economist, Bree? Did thumb-sucking evolve to prevent SIDS?

  29. Bree S. 2014.04.25

    I responded to that question in a different thread. My daughter was very attached to her pacifier and still uses it. My son not so much, although he does use it casually. I have no idea what that has to do with SIDS. Are you suggesting that thumb sucking helps reinforce a rhythm that reminds them to breathe when sleeping?

  30. larry kurtz 2014.04.25

    Thumb sucking keeps the heads of sleeping infants and toddlers tilted to one side.

  31. Bree S. 2014.04.25

    Makes sense. So you're saying its better for them to suck their thumb than use a pacifier. Course if you just get one of the pacifiers with the stuffed animal attached that solves that problem.

  32. owen reitzel 2014.04.25

    Krugman is very good

  33. SDBlue 2014.04.25

    @Randy: Since you think it is liberals who won't bring our jobs back, maybe you would like to explain why John Thune voted against the Bring Jobs Home Act and the Veterans Job Corps Act, as well as why the GOP/TP controlled House won't even look at a jobs bill?

  34. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.25

    I'm pretty sure that the past 4-5 Republican presidents shot the deficit skyward, followed by Democrats bringing it back down.

    Therefore, Randy, you've got the budget deficit argument exactly backwards.

    Jobs? Republicans are definitely quickest to stop job creating legislation. They are completely focused on doing everything they can to stop Obama. So what if their tactics hurt hundreds of thousands of American citizens. Those folks are irrelevant collateral damage.

    Apparently Rhoden plans to keep his focus on Obama too, rather than SD. Won't that be great, all 3 legislators putting party far ahead of SD?

    *Caveat- Not ALL Republicans, but the leadership is that way.

  35. JeniW 2014.04.25

    Every time I see Mike Rounds' advertisement, I always laugh when he says "we have had a balanced budget every year..." but fails to mention that if it were not for the federal stimulus money the budget would not have been balanced. I also think it is amusing that he talks about the national deficit, but does not mention that his acceptance of the federal stimulus money contribute to the national deficit.

  36. Lynn G. 2014.04.25

    I'm amazed at short memories are when the political rhetoric turns to the federal debt. We ended up in at least one war that never should of happened. Who got us into that war and how did it happen? Do you realize just how expensive war is? The real cost of war?

    Besides the actual military operational costs think about what happened when the contractors and corporations were unleashed with all the various projects in Iraq. It was like an open all you can drink open bar and all you can eat buffet for corruption.

    Then comes the cost in lives and of taking care of our vets who served over there. Look at Iraq today. That country is a mess and we will still be spending money there.

    I didn't mention Afghanistan but we were fighting two wars and had tax cuts here at home. Isn't that insane? Mounting huge debt fighting two wars and we have tax cuts?

    We will be paying for these wars and other ongoing lower profile operations for a long time.

  37. Joan Brown 2014.04.25

    Whenever i see the Rounds ad on TV, when he brags about being married 30+ years I sit here laughing, and thinking wouldn't it be funny if his wife went out and filed for divorce. People do get divorced after many years of marriage.

  38. Lynn G. 2014.04.25

    Sorry the above was a reply to Randy unfortunately I pressed post your comment before I could fully edit it.

    Anyways with all of this talk about how bad the federal debt is we need to remember how we got here.

    Those wars just crippled us in regards to debt and I keep thinking about all the fat cats that profited from war some of which were contractors and corporate interests that were supposedly building projects that were substandard, not needed or charged insane prices to take advantage of the lack of oversight. There are numerous stories how actual cash and funds were lost there.

  39. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.25

    Mr. Tupper wrote an excellent article. Thanks for the link Lynn.

  40. mike from iowa 2014.04.26

    It’s too bad Senator Thune thinks this way. It would be nice to have someone of his caliber in the race:

    From SDWC on Thune not running for Potus. Seems to me the entire cast of characters running for the wingnut nomination are at least as bad as Thune's caliber,if not worse. PP must be a comedian.

  41. Douglas Wiken 2014.04.27

    Would you buy a used car from Mike Rounds?

  42. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.04.27

    Douglas, I wouldn't even buy the insurance for that new car from Mike Rounds.

  43. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.04.29

    That may be so Cory, but I think that we have learned over the years that they did it then with smoke and mirrors, by raiding social security.

    Additionally, we Americans tend to be mollified about our war machine as long as we are not getting our own troops killed, (but the world be damned if we give two cents for the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent souls that we kill in so doing). We started spending our peace dividend, from the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and when we weren't paying attention, the militarization of our country continued, in the form of depleted uranium weaponry and shells. The entire peace dividend went plus as I mentioned earlier raids on our social security went to building up our military armaments and developing a system where we paid contractors ten to 100 times what we had previously paid military people to do the same jobs, i.e. the privatization of war.

  44. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.29

    You are right about that Lanny. The USA had a beautiful opportunity to assume a top spot in terms of morality in the world. Then the Bush/Cheney Criminals took an election and immediately began trashing America's reputation.

    It still breaks my heart. No "City on a Hill." No "Points of Light." Instead, we became the most bloodthirsty and and greatest security threat this planet has ever known.

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