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Thune Not, Not, Not Running for President in 2016

In February,Senator John Thune told Mark Twain Elementary second-graders he wasn't running for President.

In April, Senator Thune said nope, not running for President.

This week, Senator Thune tells The Hill pretty much the same thing—never say never, but right now, no:

The things I need to be doing right now I’m not doing and a lot of other people are.... But you never close the door on anything, you never know what’s going to happen. But as of right now, no.

...I am not actively pursuing [the presidency] at the moment; I’ve got my work cut out for me in the Senate.... I think being in the majority, and if all things work out here, the committee chairmanship, is going to keep me extremely busy [John Thune, quoted in Jonathan Easley, "Sen. Thune: Not Closing Door on 2016 Run," The Hill, 2014.12.15].

In November he weaved faintly left on climate change. Saturday he weaved right in backing Senator Ted Cruz's futile parliamentary gambit to derail the spending bill on Tea Partyism. We could read these moves as Presidentially exploratory pokes and prods. But I maintain as I did last summer that Thune won't do it.

So do the British oddsmakers. Thune doesn't even make their lists, which include Michele Bachman, David Brat, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thune has just crossed PredictWise threshold: they compile a bunch of online prediction markets and give our senior Senator a 0.1% chance of winning the Republican nomination, behind 25 other possibilities.

South Dakota Dems, assume Thune is running for re-election to the Senate. Find your best candidate and plan to run against him here in South Dakota.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.12.15

    Thune can't run for President: he's a crook.

  2. jerry 2014.12.15

    Thune needs to follow the steps of Larry Pressler and make a run for the big ring. It will also be fun to see him fall on his arse trying to reach it.

  3. Jeff Barth 2014.12.15

    I have told the senator that should he run I have $100 for him towards that effort. His comment, "Who'd want that job?"

  4. Bill Fleming 2014.12.15

    Jeff, no kidding. I disagree with Thune on a lot of things, but not that.

    Who WOULD want that job?

    All the tea leaves right now seem to be saying it's gonna be another Bush/Clinton race. (Jeb and Hillary) I guess that could be fun, right?

    ...anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

    Personally, I'd love to see Bernie Sanders v. Ted Cruz, Or Elizabeth Warren v. Rand Paul, but what are the chances of that happening?

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.15

    Well, Bill, if we cross multiply, the chances of Warren vs. Paul are 11.3% × 10.6% ≈ 1.2%. PredictWise doesn't give Sanders a percentage.

    I will find a Bush/Clinton rematch depressing.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.15

    Hey, wait a minute—Jeff! What's that hundred bucks for Thune for? Are you just trying to pry him out of the Senate seat to make way for your candidacy in 2016? Or are you just supporting the hometown kid in the national contest?

  7. TJ 2014.12.15

    Thune has to many skeletons lurking in closets.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.15

    This morning I saw a CNN report that shows Jeb Bush making all the right moves for a presidential candidacy.

    And of course there is Romney still lurking about.

  9. leslie 2014.12.15

    "Who'd want the job?" Speaks volumes about Thune's participation with all the nasty elements of the GOP's obstruction strategy these last six years. Thanks, John.

    Their last president was essentially a non-president. Can't wait to see what they'll do these next 2 years, 4 years, 6 years.

  10. Loren 2014.12.15

    When you are President, you stand out front, not in the background bobbing your head up and down. Right now his job is to be on standby for Republican photo ops. It's a job he can handle and not embarrass SD too often...., well, unless he starts standing behind Ted Cruz!

  11. jerry 2014.12.15

    John Thune should do his job and tell Tom Coburn to stop being such an arse by holding up 22 million bucks for suicide prevention for United States Veterans. 22 million out of a trillion bucks, this asshat is willing to eliminate. Thune claims that he wants to keep Hot Springs open and here is what is cohort wants to do.

    “This is why people hate Washington. Senator Coburn is the only person stopping this bill from becoming law,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “If Senator Coburn blocks the Clay Hunt SAV Act, an enduring part of his legacy will be killing an overwhelmingly supported bipartisan suicide prevention bill for our veterans. That has real implications. If it takes 90 days to revisit this issue in the next Congress, the statistics tell us that 1,980 additional veterans will die by suicide. Senator Coburn needs to think carefully about that number in addition to his concerns about the minimal financial costs of this bill.”

    Republicans loves them some torture but hates them some veterans.

  12. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.15

    2016, Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren were all over the Washington Post today. Though Clinton is not officially in the race, and Elizabeth Warren continues to be clear that she Is Not running, they lead a list of opponents for John (Jump Shot Jesus) Thune, should he jump in. Click away to see what those ever-so-wise political insider types have to say about it.

    (Who is it who used to call Thune "Jump Shot Jesus"? I'm sure I heard that on a blog.)

  13. 96Tears 2014.12.15

    Thune’s campaign landlord, best friend and campaign manager Dan Nelson. Chris Tapken. Michelle Tapken. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. MetaBank’s Audit Committee member John Thune. More than 1,400 victims of swindles.

    It’s easy to see why Thune doesn’t want to get raked over the coals in the Iowa presidential straw poll. Here’s some reading material to review while watching your Yule log burn.

  14. jerry 2014.12.15

    Give John Thune a call and ask him why he supports Tom Coburn and the abandonment of veterans. Thune is in leadership so he has the pull, tell him to talk to Doctor Doom.


    Senator John Thune
    United States Senate SD-511
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-2321
    Fax: (202) 228-5429
    Toll-Free: 1-866-850-3855

  15. Jeff Barth 2014.12.15

    Our best chance of getting JT's Senate seat is if he is not in it. There is no reason for him to be asked to serve as VP as SD's 3 Electoral votes will not be in play. However if the Senator should choose to give up as DC princeling and try to become King he'd have a chance... and so would we.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.15

    Jeff, I assume that financial inducement would only be necessary until the petition filing deadline in laste March, 2016, correct? We would need Dems to pledge big to induce him to explore and announce, pour enough money into his campaigns to keep him alive through the primary season, then leave him hanging once the filing deadline is past, right?

    Oh, wait: If the Presidential bid goes bust, Thune could still petition as an Indy through April. But odds are the nomination will be locked up before that.

    But hang on, Jeff: do we South Dakota Democrats have enough cash to make a difference in Thune's thinking and Presidential prospects? Would your hundred bucks (plus your winning smile and handshake) make more of a difference in Thune's kitty or in the basket of some nice young Democratic newcomer who chooses to run for us?

  17. mike from iowa 2014.12.15

    I can see Marlboro Barbie Boy Thune wearing a codpiece(ala dumbass dubya) and sneaking up on an unsuspecting horse in his first campaign ad for Potus. Could it get any dumber?

  18. JeniW 2014.12.15

    Once upon a time Sen. Thune mentioned that he would term limit himself to three terms.

    Maybe that is part of his decision about not committing one way or the other about campaigning for the position of President?

    18 years of serving as a legislator should offer some pretty good financial security plus benefits.

  19. Moses 2014.12.15

    I also asked Thune at the fair if he was running he said who would want that job I said please run , so Hillary would kick his ass,This guy has voted against vets on health care that I couldnt count them.

  20. Winston 2014.12.16

    Thune is not constitutionally qualified to be President. His late mother was born in Canada, therefore, the presumption is that he is foreign born..... Oh, wait a minute only Republicans use that kind of argument.... never mind.... ;-)

  21. leslie 2014.12.16

    haha. that's the difference between dems and repubs right there. and repubs get away with it. we wouldn't even think about doing that.

  22. Winston 2014.12.16

    Republicans get away with way too much….. Whatever happen to those WMD any how? The trickle-down promise? Not to mention unfunded government programs under their watch (Medicare part D).

  23. CLCJM 2014.12.16

    Jerry, don't waste your time contacting Thune on issues. I signed a petition about gun violence and used my tax $ to send me the tired old recitation of what he sees as the problem wit no solutions, let alone anything new!

  24. Roger Elgersma 2014.12.16

    The Brits need to read our constitution before putting odds on our next pres. Schwatzenagger was not born an American citizen so is ineligible for president.

  25. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.17

    Mr. Quayle, how do you spell "potato?"

    "I'm not falling for that one again. People have blamed me for over twenty years for reading what was written on a card. Good grief, I'm a lawyer for crying out loud, you'd think I was smarter then that."

    Mr. Thune, how do you spell potato?

    Well, I have an MBA, so of course I cant just come right out and spell it. First I'll need to speak to my advisor Dan Nelson, because he is a man of great truth and wisdom. If Dan doesnt know, then I'll just substitute a question of my own for the photo opp. Of course the real answer to any question, anyone from anywhere would ask, would still be the same. So in answer to your question as to the spelling of the word "potato," the correct spelling would be K-O-C-H."

    Thune and Quayle, together again for the first time. Establishing a firmer business footing for cooperate America one law at a time.

    Ernest and Julio, Sam and Dave, Charles and Dave, and Dan and John. Thune Quayle would be the only logical choice for the Republican ticket in 2016. Just think of the cabinet possibilities.


    The Blindman

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