Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thune won't run for president

South Dakota Sen. John Thune announces that he'll pass on a presidential bid in 2012.

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.

This is the second straight month a credible conservative outsider has decided to opt out of a run. In January, Mike Pence turned down the opportunity to run.

In Thune's case, there's no open gubernatorial seat to run for -- it's simply more likely that he doesn't fit the political times and knows it.

The most prevailing knock on a bid was that he didn't seem to have the passion or fire to connect with tea party voters. But he's still young, and in 2016, the party might have moved more toward a focus on electability, and less on volume of voice.

The field is now shaken up, thanks to the fact it hasn't been shaken as anticipated the past few months. And it's a good day for Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty -- two 2012 candidates who had the most to lose with a Thune bid.