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Thune Still Playing Hard to Get; Petitions Due in 85 Days

Back in December, Tom Lawrence set the political class a-chatter when he reported that Senator John Thune was considering retirement. South Dakota’s third-term Senator told Lawrence he was still undecided about running to break the curse of Mundt but would “make that decision by the end of the month.”

Thune must like all the nice things his coyness has coaxed the GOP elites to say about about him. We’ve ended that month, and Thune still hasn’t decided:

…as South Dakota’s campaign season officially opened this month with candidates allowed to circulate nominating petitions, Thune has made no indication he’s any closer to a decision on seeking a fourth term.

His hesitancy provided further evidence of how serious he is about retiring — a potential development that would upend national GOP politics and create a scramble among South Dakota Republicans to fill the void. With the Senate in session this week — and a campaign announcement not expected until he can travel back to his home state — the waiting will likely last at least several more days [Stephen Groves, “As South Dakota Campaigns Launch, Thune Mulls Retirement,” AP, 2022.01.03].

We should razz Big John about breaking his own decision deadline. But in the big picture, don’t forget: Thune didn’t announce his toughest campaign, his 2004 bid to unseat Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle, until January of that election year. With his vast GOP support and cash (as of September 30, $14.8 million), Thune could wait until March 22 to announce and still have triple the necessary 1,730 petition signatures in to the Secretary of State by the March 29 primary deadline.

Senator Thune has no rush; surely he has more important things to work on this month, like protecting the filibuster to protect his minority’s vote while taking away other minorities’ access to the ballot, than launching his reëlection campaign. Besides, every day John waits to throw his hat back in the ring is another day he might get another really nice boxes of chocolates from Mitch….


  1. larry kurtz 2022-01-04 07:01

    9 May, 2016: former Facebook workers allegedly told Gizmodo they routinely suppressed news from conservative sources.

    10 May, 2016: Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) or somebody hoisted upon his staff wrote a letter to Facebook then he, other earth haters and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus teamed up to threaten Facebook. “Senator Thune (R) once opposed the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine now wants Q&A with Facebook about its trending topics.”

    11 May, 2016: John Thune accused Facebook of bias. Jim Comey admitted to combing Hillary Clinton’s correspondence.

    13 May, 2016: Thune asked Facebook to make space for all viewpoints.

    18 May, 2016: Thune met with Mark Zuckerberg and a bank of lawyers. “Just about nobody, Sen. Thune included, wants the feds to police how Facebook displays news.”

    19 May, 2016: “The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. If I am reading their letter to Thune right, Facebook’s response is to gut a perfectly defensible part of the process. Why? PR concerns atm (at the moment).”

    23 May, 2016, in the name of “net neutrality” Thune and the Senate GOP said they won’t regulate Facebook.

    24 May, 2016: Facebook’s 12 page response to Thune.

    26 May, 2016: Trump cinches GOP primary.

    31 May, 2016: Thune backs Trump.

    3 June, 2016: Trump twitter bots began urging then-Senator Jeff Sessions to investigate censorship.

    9 June, 2016: Trump, Jr. and Russian intermediaries met at Trump Tower to trade for dirt on Sec. Clinton.

    5 July, 2016: Jim Comey recommended no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

    27 July, 2016: dezinformatsiya, “Russian internet trolls were being hired to pose as pro-Trump Americans.”

    August and September: Clinton’s correspondence on a private server became a Trump bot meme and somebody goaded the husband of Clinton’s closest advisor to share inappropriate correspondence with an alleged minor.

    8 October, 2016: Thune condemns Trump.

    12 October, 2016: Thune flips again and backs Trump.

    25 October, 2016: Rudy Giuliani on Fox News said that the campaign had an upcoming “surprise.”

    28 October, 2016: Jim Comey said he’s going to reopen the FBI investigation into Sec. Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. In an interview Clinton blamed Guiliani “and others” of leaning on Comey.

    7 November, 2016: despite accusing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing Comey said hours before the election there actually was none.

    8 November, 2016: the end of the world as we know it.

    18 November, 2016: Thune: “Russia is constantly looking for ways to undermine and disrupt our democratic systems.” Thune knows this because he plays basketball with James Comey. Comey and Obama didn’t play basketball together nor did Obama and Thune.

    Thune’s rejection of Trump was a ruse. He already knew Donald Trump was a sleaze from his basketball buddy Jim Comey.

    That’s right: the vast white-wing conspiracy was going to beat Hillary Clinton at any cost even if it meant colluding with a sworn enemy of the United States, destroying the presidency and taking down the republic.

  2. Richard Schriever 2022-01-04 09:27

    kurtz, you didn’t get to the part where Thune and some congressional cronies had a tete a tete with Putin on 7/4 in Moscow.

  3. Scott Ehrisman 2022-01-04 09:28

    Kind of makes the conspiracy theorist in me think his involvement with a certain banker in SF who is being investigated for naughty stuff on his phone, and he may not have the option to run . . . food for thought. You have to remember, everything that Ironic Johnny has is because of that man.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-01-04 09:47

    Mr. Schriever, the irony of John Thune, et al. going to Russia to warn Vlad the Impaler not to tamper with the 2018 midterms is legion.

    Had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would have been POTUS until at least 2020. Her campaign knew that if Hillary won the rabid Republican House would have impeached her, the Senate would have removed her before the 2018 midterms and Trump would be on the sidelines egging them on. Trey Gowdy, Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz already had Articles of Impeachment drafted for a President Clinton. There’s no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Kaine the time to choose a Veep. Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica promised Paul Ryan the presidency had Clinton been removed and Tim Kaine met an unfortunate end but that all crashed when Trump was installed.

  5. Loren 2022-01-04 10:29

    Caught a news cast that was talking about Johnnie taking the reins of leadership from McConnell. They were almost chuckling as they spoke of him trying to “lead” a senate that most probably will include more Boebertesque and Taylor-Greeneish characters. No one seemed to think he had the moxie/stomach/backbone… Even the Rapid paper had an article this morning about Johnnie’s capitulation to the Trump side. They guy has no core. He will be what ever you need him to be. Party over country all the way. Hard to believe he is the spawn of an actual WW II hero!

  6. mike from iowa 2022-01-04 17:05

    Marlboro Barbie was appalled drumpf’s minions attacked the capitol and he even said drumpf was behind it, until time to hold drumpf accountable and Marlboro Barbie’s demeanor switched 180 degrees and refused to hold drumpf responsible. Some leadership display by the Number 2 poo in the magat sinate.

  7. John Dale 2022-01-04 17:05

    “Thune knows this because he plays basketball with James Comey”

    I’m impressed with your standard/burden of proof.

  8. cibvet 2022-01-05 11:24

    Excellent post mfi.The Democrats should buy a few hours of airtime on fox and newsmax to play this over and over.

  9. mike from iowa 2022-01-05 12:14

    Good idea, cibvet. Dead Breitbart and O’ Keefe the hell out of them as payback.

  10. mike from iowa 2022-01-06 08:46

    Cory, should you be ashamed of yourself for support of Dems?

    some of the story how right wing blogs turned the election to Marlboro Barbie by reporting on all Daschle’s activities in DC, they claimed the Argus Leader wouldn’t print. Interesting read. Laura Ingraham was in Sioux Falls campaigning for Marlboro Barbie. I remember her bragging about it on Fake News.

  11. mike from iowa 2022-01-08 15:40

    Marlboro Barbie is running again to help finish off American democracy, according to Business Insider.

  12. Porter Lansing 2022-01-08 18:42

    mfi asks: Cory, should you be ashamed of yourself for support of Dems?
    No doubt, it’s tough being a Democrat in SD, but it’s really a matter of perspective.
    Don’t be caught up in the over competitiveness that’s been holding your state mentally behind Minnesota, for two hundred years.
    Just think of yourselves as American Democrats.
    We’re ahead and we’ve just vanquished the worst President in American history.
    Be proud, SD Dems.
    You’re as much a part of the team as CA, NY, MN, or CO.

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