South Dakota Senator John Thune Declines a Run for President in 2012

Bookmark and Share The evolving Republican presidential field today takes another turn which takes one contender out of the running but leaves the door wider open for others to enter through.

Statement posted on Friends of John Thune Website

Today in a statement released by John Thune, the second term senator from South Dakota ruled out a run for President in 2012. According to the senator;

“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,” he said in a statement released by his senate campaign organization.

“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,” he said.

According to Thune his decision making process

“involved lots of prayer,” and throughout it he and his family were “reminded of the importance of being in the arena, of being in the fight.”

The Senator explained why he chose to focus on his senate responsibilities rather than take on new ones by stating;

“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,” he said, explaining why he was choosing to focus on his current job, rather than seeking a new one.

Within the last month, John Thune has become the second major possible contender for President to decide against challenging President Obama in next years election. Just a few weeks ago, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence was the first recent top tier name to decline a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Pence is said to have decided to run for Governor of Indiana instead. Incumbent Governor Mitch Daniels is termed limited and at the moment he has said he will make his own decision about a potential run for President in April, when his states legislative session is over.

Thune’s decision not to run for the Republican presidential nomination, continues to leave lots of room for a favorite of social conservatives to occupy in the still developing field. Pence was seen a favorite among the socially conservative G.O.P. base and Thune was viewed as a possible acceptable alternative. Thune’s absence from the race leaves hope for others like Michele Bachmann and boosts the fortunes of people like Herman Cain, Mike Huckabee and even Sarah Palin, if they were to run.

Bookmark and Share

America’s President Committee Launches A Draft Mike Pence Campaign

Bookmark and Share Back in September, White House 2012 posted a piece on Mike Pence which mentioned that Mike Pence has a Jack Kemp-like following. Well today, that following declared that Mike Pence extraordinarily exemplifies the optimistic, pro-growth, pro-job creation Reagan-Kemp wing of the GOP and subsequently launched the America’s President Committee, an entity designed to mount a draft effort to encourage Pence to run for President.

Ralph Benko

Leading the charge is self described populist conservative, Ralph Benko, a former deputy counsel to President Ronald Reagan. Benko is also a columnist for Townhall.com and a senior advisor to the American Principles Project and a principal of the public affairs firm, Capital City Partners, LLC. He is also a member of the TEA Party Patriots

In a Monday morning statement, Benko declares;

Grass-roots conservatives, Republicans, the tea party and populists are looking for a man or woman of principle who can champion and unite the newly energized and engaged citizenry,

He adds;

Mike Pence is the best choice to lead us into a new era of peace and prosperity.”

One of the first most notable names to join the draft Pence effort is former Kansas Congressman Jim Ryan. He plans on helping the campaign to collect signatures.

Pence is planning a run for something other than reelection to the House of Representatives in 2012. After the GOP took control of the House in the 2010 midterms, he gave up his leadership role in the important House Republican policy committee. Pence stated that other endeavors would preclude him from being able to devote the amount of time that such a leadership position demands. Many suspect that those other endeavors are either a run for Governor of Indiana or for President.

If Pence were to give up his safe House seat for one or the other, giving it up for the Governors mansion would be a much

Mike Pence

safer bet than a run for President. Pence lacks some of the name ID of other potential candidates and would have a tough time gaining traction. At least at first. He would also have a tough time if Indianas outgoing Governor, Mitch Daniels, decided to run.

But with the Republican field currently wide open, Pence cant be written off if he did decide to run for the Republican presidential nomination. He does have an active support system within the GOPs conservative base and an ability to articulate a positive conservative message that will resonate. At the moment, Pence is benefiting from what is a late start of the campaign for the Republican nomination. Many big names are putting off an official decision until April. Potential candidates like Mitt Romney feel that his January 3rd, campaign kickoff in 2007, was too early for the 2008 elections and caused him to peak too early. Others like Mitch Daniels are waiting for the end of their state legislative sessions before they make a decision. And still others are waiting to hear what other names like Sarah Palin are doing.

For my part, I have been waiting for the draft movements to begin. There has already been a large number of such groups for candidates like Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and many others. But to date, the America’s President Committee effort for Mike Pence is one of the highest profile draft efforts to date.

But believe me, there will be more to come for many other names.

Bookmark and Share

Speculation Over Pence’s Potential Presidetial Campaign Picks Up

Bookmark and Share With Republicans emboldened by some of their largest gains ever in state legislative races and the House of Representatives, the field of those considering and planning a run for the Republican presidential nomination is growing everyday. Even greater than the growing field of actual Republican contenders is the field of pundits predicting and speculating about some who are not really giving the 2012 presidential election serious consideration. Somewhere in between these two categories lies Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.

With popular Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels entering his final year in office, Mike Pence is largely seen as his most likely Republican successors. After Republicans took back control of the House, Pence did indeed forego a leadership role in the new Congress because of other tasks which he stated would preclude him from devoting the amount of time that such leadership roles deserve. This has been taken to mean that he will be campaigning. But for what?

Among movement conservatives, Pence proves to be popular. In September of 2010, he won a straw poll of those in attendance at the annual Values Voters Summit, defeating even Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. And at home, Indiana polls show Pence to be just as popular. But the question becomes which area of popularity can the Congressman parlay into an election victory?

In a field of hard hitting presidential contenders with the likes of Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour and Sarah Palin, people who can draw crowds and big bucks, Pence is likely to have quite a difficult time being assured of the Republican presidential nomination and then the presidency. But at home in Indiana, he has an inside track for his Partys gubernatorial nomination and a great chance of defeating any of the weak Democrat challengers he is likely to face.

If Pence runs for either President or Governor, he will have to give up his seat in the House at the end of this term and so the question then becomes, which bet is worth giving up his safe congressional seat for?

Pence recently scheduled a slew of events for himself to headline at in Indiana. This sent pundits on to the gubernatorial storyline. But now Pence is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an invitation-only conservative Awakening Conference in the ever important early primary state of South Carolina, turning the storyline back to a possible presidential bid.

In the end, expect Mike Pence to allow the speculation about a run for President to increase. Pence will accept each and every invitation that will help build him up as a potential Commander-In-Chief. Why not?

The more stature he gains a possible president, the more palatable it will be for Indiana voters to find him fit to govern their state. Add to that the fact that incumbent Presidents are reelected much more often then not and what you have is a smart politician who is looking to the future by preparing to become the Governor of Indiana and waiting for the speculation about 2016 to begin after the next presidential election, when pundits start reminiscing about all the talk their was regarding incumbent Governor Pences aborted presidential race in 2012.

In the meantime, while most the talk about Pences intentions will be guesswork, there will be no need for guesswork when it comes to what he will be doing during the course of his next year and half in the House of Representatives. There Pence will be a strong and vocal deficit hawk who will willingly stand up to the House Republican leadership and oppose them whenever he can move to the right of them and prove his strong independent streak to the voters of Indiana.

Unless the declared field of Republican candidates proves to be devoid of any of the big name suspects and unless Mike Pence is under the misconception that he can out-fund and out-campaign them, it is unlikely for Pence to run for President. He may play the speculation out for all that its worth and go as far as announcing an exploratory committee and utilizing a 501-4C, but not so far as making a presidential candidacy official. As far as this writer for White House 2012 is concerned, the only question to come out of Indiana in regards to the 2012 presidential cycle, is if outgoing Governor Mitch Daniels is running for President, not Mike Pence.

Bookmark and Share

To Run or Not To Run? That is the Question

Bookmark and Share Now that the midterm elections have ended and the results indicate that Republican are back off the ropes, the jockeying for position between Republicans who want to run for President in 2012 has begun in earnest and a crowded field it will be.

While Tim Pawlenty, the soon to be former Governor of Minnesota will be releasing his own book in January of 2011 and using the excuse of book tour as reason to traverse the nation, he currently has paid staffers on the ground, organizing things for him in New Hampshire. So he’s running.

Even though no one is talking about it, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is crisscrossing America on a shoe string budget and he is running.

Despite the fact that the G.O.P. took the majority in the House, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence gave up an influential leadership post that is just to die for if you’re looking for power. Yet Mike Pence made it clear that he will be too busy to take on a leadership responsibility in the new House. What will he busy with? His campaign for President.

Mitt Romney stays away from the question and when he can’t avoid it, he answers “it’s too early to talk about the next presidential election”. But as his PAC, Free and Strong America, raises more money than any other candidate’s PAC, Romney most certainly is running. Further evidence of this is Romeny’s attempts to retool his image and give the impression that he understands middle class America.  Hence the shopping trips to Wal-Mart, that he often casually mentions in his speeches. And then there are all those excursions that takes while  flying everywhere in coach instead of first class. With his money, why else would anyone want to be sitting cramped with us folks, when they can be eating full course dinners and sipping champagne in first class?

As I said, he’s running.

The day after the midterm elections, former Senator Rick Santorum traveled to New Hampshire to attend their storied Politics and Eggs breakfast where he stated “We have some real choices to make, and of course, New Hampshire has a disproportionate say in that choice, that’s why I’m here.”

He’s running.

Santorum is not the only one to trek on up to the Granite State. To date between 9 potential candidates, there has been a total of 32 visits there.

Haley Barbour – 3 trips, 3 days
Newt Gingrich – 2 trips, 2 days
Gary Johnson -3 trips, 8 days
George Pataki – 3 trips, 3 days
Tim Pawlenty – 5 trips, 5 days
Mike Pence – 1 trip, 1 day
David Petraeus – 1 trip, 1 day
Mitt Romney – 8 trips, 9 days
Rick Santorum – 6 trips, 6 days

What I find most interesting so far, is who hasn’t been to New Hampshire.

Sarah Palin has been allover the map, but she has not made any grand entrance into the home of the Live Free or Die residents. But the fact that Sarah hasn’t been there, does nott tell us anything. It could either mean that she has no plans to run or that she is in fact considering it but does’nt want to let on by making the hints that such a trip would make.

Other notably absent, often mentioned names include Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Daniels and Huckabee could be playing the same game that Palin may be playing and Huckabee may truly be undecided. After a hardened criminal that Huckabee had given clemency, went and slaughtered several Washington State police officers, his momentum may have come to a standstill.

No matter what, at this point in time, although people like Mitt Romney have dedicated the last two years of their life to running in 2012, no one has given up to do so then Mike Pence. He could have had maintained a truly powerful leadership position as Republican Chairman, especially being in the majority come 2011 but as he stated when he declined to run again for the job. Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future. That future is a run for President, something that will be all the more difficult if the popular Governor from his state, Mitch Daniels, also decides to run. But perhaps Mike Pence knows something that we do not, which is that although Mitch Daniels has never said never to the presidency, he might just not being doing it in 2012.

One thing is for sure though, and that is that the race is on, the positioning has begun and in no time at all the first punches in the Republican presidential primary will soon be thrown.

In the mean time, as relayed by TalkingPointMemo.com, a collection of polls by the Democrat polling service Public Policy Polling released the following breakdown of the shaping potential field of Republican contenders in several states.

Early 2012 Presidential Polls, State by State

No matter how scientific PPP may claim these polls to be, the only thing they do right now is give a good indication of who has more name recognition. But they are still poor examples of national sentiment. Besides PPP did not even mention mention people like Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum in their survey. Still, some of these polls do show the construction of base of support for some that is directly related to the foundation that their previous 2012 campaigns built and which has made some voters loyal to one candidate or another, not merely because of name ID, but for what they stand for. Such is the case in Nevada, Florida, New Hampshire and Connecticut with Mitt Romney and with Huckabee in the Southern states. Nevertheless, these results do give us a cloudy glimpse of the picture and the tough task ahead of some more than others.

In the meantime, everyone is watching closely, how the Republicans lead in the House of Representatives and how the larger size Republican minority in the Senate works with them. Potential Republican presidential contenders are hoping that they lead as they promised and offer America less spending, less government and more freedom. If not they may have to work much harder than they want on polishing up their outsider image and run more like a TEA Party candidate than a Republican candidate. For now it looks like we are on track to pushing the agenda we ran on.  If that is the case, expect a crowded field of candidates who will be trying to lay claim to the conservative revival that put House Republicans back into power.

Bookmark and Share

John Thune Makes The Case For Republicans in 2010

In the closing weeks of the 2010 Midterm elections, Republicans have turned to South Dakota Senator and potential 2012 Republican candidate for President, John Thune to delivery the response to the President’s weekly national address.

In it, Thune discusses how he has cometo see that most Americans would prefer that the President tried to do something to create jobs for Americans rather than campaigning for Democrats in Congress to keep theirs. He further drives the case for Republicans home as he adds“the Obama Experiment has failed,” and citesthealmost 10 percent unemployment rate and rising health care premiums, all while “the president and his Democrat allies in Congress pushed through their $814 billion stimulus bill,” and a healthcare reform bill that was suppose to solve all these problems.

Chris Christie In Iowa Now, But How About In the White House Later?

Bookmark and ShareAuthor: Art Gallagher  Originally posted for More Monmouth Musings,

“To be president of the United States, you have to want it more than anything else in the world, and I don’t.”

~ Governor Chris Christie in Iowa yesterday

Is that true? 

Did Ronald Reagan want to be president more than anything else in the world?   Did Eisenhower or Truman?  Did Lincoln want it more than anything?

Clinton did. Nixon did. The Roosevelts sure seemed to want it badly.

Did George W. Bush want it more than Al Gore did? 

Is burning ambition the determining factor of who becomes president?    In good times it probably is.  In times of crisis, the presidency is not an ambition.  It becomes a duty.  A sacrifice for a transformative leader.

I believe Governor Christie when he says he will not be a candidate for president in 2012.   I don’t think he would leave his work in New Jersey half done.  I think he really believes in the work that he his doing now, especially in regard to education, is a higher calling.   By transforming state government and education, and setting an example for other states to follow,  he can make a more powerful impact on the quality life in our nation than many presidents have.

Chris Christie could probably win the 2012 Republican nomination for president.  He could probably win the office.  If his ambitions were personal, he would probably do it.

Bookmark and Share

   Photobucket

Submitted by Art Gallagher

Art will be joining White House 2012 as a regularly contributing author in November

 Art Gallagher of Monmouth Musings 

MoreMonmouthMusings

 

Art Gallagher is a New Jersey political writer, pundit and Republican leader who blogs at More Monmouth Musings, an online publication geared towards Monmouth County, New Jersey politics, but which often expands its scope to touch upon politics throughout the state. 

A graduate of Georgetown University with a BA in Economics, in 1988 Art founded his own business, Gallco Enterprises, a vehicle and equipment leasing company and a used vehicle dealership which he currently serves as the President of. 

Art has also served as President of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of the Atlantic Highlands Republican Committee in New Jersey and has served as an advisor to many Jersey political figures and their campaigns.  

Mr. Gallagher’s political expertise and intuition, combined with his dedicated service to the Republican cause makes him a most welcome addition to White House 2012 and we are honored and pleased to have him join us this November. 

Thune Admits He’s Looking To Run For President in 2012

Official photograph of John Thune, U.S. Senator.

South Dakota Senator John Thune

Senator Thune admits he is seriously considering a run.

Also admits that Palin will be a factor in his decision.

Bookmark and Share   While the 49 year old Senator from South Dakota is barnstorming the nation to help get a new generation of Republicans elected in 2010, and running in his own reelection campaign, he recently admitted to reporters that he has been discussing the matter of running for President in 2012 with his wife and is seriously considering it.

According to Thune;

“I’d be less than honest if I said I hadn’t thought about it, based upon the amount of encouragement that I’ve received from people across South Dakota and my colleagues here in the Senate and people across the country,” Thune said during a conference call with reporters.

The Senator added;

“It’s something obviously, if you’re interested in maximizing your opportunities to make a difference and to serve, you take a look at,”

Thune stated that he will make a final decision sometime in 2011.

In separate interview, he also made it clear that if Sarah Palin were to run, her entry into the nomination battle would definitely influence his decision.   Thune told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer;

“She is someone who has a tremendous following out there, particularly in some of the early states,”

Thune made it clear that either way,  he will  not be making his decision to run until sometime early next year, but he conceded that the possibility of a Palin run will be a major factor in that decision.  “I think that if she were to get into the race, it would clearly change the equation for a lot of people,” he said.

In the meantime though, Thune is certainly beginning to fulfill the prerequisites for a run.

While not focusing in on Iowa and New Hampshire, in his quest to help congressional candidates get elected this November, he has so far traveled to Ohio, California, Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kansas and in the closing weeks of the campaign cycle, will be visiting several more states.

Thune’s ability to busily campaign for others and step up his name ID outside of South Dakota, while he is up for reelection in South Dakota, is a but unusual but in his case, very understandable.

Due to his popularity back home, John Thune finds himself in the unique position of being only the third Republican to run unopposed for the body since the establishment of direct elections for Senators in 1913.  But the lack of any opposition has not prevented Thune from campaigning for himself in South Dakota, extensively and aggressively.

He has been making his rounds, speaking to voters and spreading his free market, limited government, fiscal responsibility and family values messages. And to help get his message out further, he has punctuated it by spending more than $4.4 million in his opponent less race.  And as of his last financial report, he still has more than $6.9 million in cash on hand to spend however he sees fit.

If Thune is truly considering a run in 2012, he will have to start making moves in that direction well before he announces his decision to do so. Among those moves will be the need to start looking and sounding more Presidential. That will require his getting in the forefront of some of the hot button issues of the day, like spending and the deficit. In August, Thune began to move in that direction when he publicized his own commonsense deficit reduction plan . (See the video below to hear that plan in Thune’s own words). But that will not be enough to make it in what will be a crowded early field of Republican contenders. To survive any early primaries and caucuses, the Senator must carve out his own unique theme and national message, one that presents fresh ideas to old problems and does so in a way that the electorate will see as more appealing than the solutions that frontrunners like Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour will be offering.

In some ways Thune could have a leg up on in the contest for the Republican nomination. His positions on issues like gay marriage and abortione have built him a solid base within the evangelical community, and he is appealing to TEA Party and Libertarians who appreciate his free market values, pro-gun rights, anti-tax message. Yet Thune hardly comes off as an extremist and with his friendly demeanor, small town-America, Mid-West charm and appeal, the right message could just make him a top tier candidate. But for that to be possible, John Thune will have to make the decision to run, sooner rather than later. He won’t have to make that decision public right away, but he has a lot of work to do in distinguishing himself and maneuvering for the race, long before he announces.

 

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: