An early favorite bites the dust. “[A]t this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate,” reads a statement from John Thune (R-SD) who was once thought to be considering a run for the presidency in 2012.
You can read his entire statement below the fold.
This will come as particularly disappointing news to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had encouraged him to run, and to New York Times columnist David Brooks, who shortly after President Obama was elected gushed “he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome (John McCain jokes that if he had Thune’s face he’d be president right now). If you wanted a Republican with the same general body type and athletic grace as Barack Obama, you’d pick Thune.”
Thune was always going to have a tough time in the GOP primary field, particularly vis-a-vis his 2008 vote for TARP.
For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States. We have appreciated hearing their concerns about where the country is headed and their hopes for a new direction.
During this time, Kimberley and I and our two daughters have given a great deal of thought to how we might best serve South Dakota and our nation. That process has involved lots of prayer.
Along the way, we have been reminded of the importance of being in the arena, of being in the fight. And make no mistake that during this period of fiscal crisis and economic uncertainty there is a fight for the future direction of America. There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.
I want to thank those who have encouraged us and prayed for us during the past several months. We are forever grateful for all the support.
John and Kimberley
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.