Posts Tagged ‘2012 presidential campaign’

The presidential prospects of Senator Thune

September 30, 2010

Stephen F. Hayes’ (Weekly Standard)  profile of South Dakota Senator John Thune (R) created a lot of buzz about the prospects of Mr. Thune running for president earlier this week.

In a follow-up to the article, Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza called John Thune “the Republican Obama”, while Slate’s Dave Weigel responded with a short post titled No, no, no. John Thune is not the Republican Obama.

I’ve extracted some pro’s and con’s for a Thune for President campaign from Hayes’ profile:


  • “exceptionally skilled retail politician who can communicate a kind of midwestern, common sense conservatism that is ascendant in reaction to liberal profligacy”
  • “he’s cultivated the nationwide donor base that gave him $14.5 million to defeat Tom Daschle in 2004.”
  • “South Dakota borders Iowa.”
  • “he’s good on television.”
  • “Last year, National Journal ranked him as the 6th most conservative member of the Senate.”
  • “He is better than most at articulating the case for a return to limited government. And Thune makes that case in a common-sense way that draws people in rather than sending them running.”


  • “he’s a devout Christian who can quote Scripture without seeming to proselytize.“

“Thune attended Biola University, a small Baptist College [correction: a private Christian University] in Los Angeles, following his older siblings. In a testimonial on the school’s website, Thune says: “I valued the biblical foundation I got at Biola. I was able to take classes that strengthened my faith and helped me to better understand what I believe and how to, in a practical way, apply my faith in real-world situations. I think God is looking for people who can apply their faith in a very relevant way to their profession. My faith is integral to the decisions I make and the way I conduct myself in public life.” 


  • “He has virtually no national profile.”
  • “He worked briefly as a lobbyist.”
  • “He voted for TARP.”
  • “He is a defender of earmarks.”
  • “He would be running against Washington from Washington.”

With that said, what did Chris Cillizza take away from the profile? He focused on the following quote:

“In an age in which presidential campaigns are driven by image, Thune’s looks are highly relevant. He does look like a president.”

Thune, according to Cillizza, mirrors “Obama’s skill set: charismatic and handsome but with a fundamentally different approach to government’s role in peoples’ lives.”

Who knew Obama’s charisma and looks were such important parts of his “skill set”?

Thune, like Romney, is “stylistically similar to Obama” according to Cillizza. “Someone with the bearing and look (don’t underestimate how important it is to look “presidential”) to credibly stand with Obama on a debate stage. The alternative, of course, is to nominate the anti-Obama — someone who in resume, approach and look draws a purposeful contrast with the President. Leading that group would be the likes of Govs. Mitch Daniels (Ind.) and Haley Barbour (Miss.) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also probably would be included in that group. (Daniels is also short and balding — providing a visual contrast with Obama.)”

Dave Weigel’s reaction:

“Is it important to ‘look presidential’? …  It is far, far, far more important to be able to prove to the base that you were on their side on the issue they care about most.”

Hayes’ profile of  Thune is an interesting read, while Cillizza’s comment is a superficial and unconvincing piece (as Weigel pointed out).

It’ll be interesting to follow Thune in the aftermath of the 2010 midterm elections.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) signs a book deal

May 1, 2010

If you’re planning to run for president: publish a book!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is on the list of potential contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and it’s finally official: He’ll be publishing a memoir in 2011:

Tyndale House Publishers of Carol Stream, Ill., will publish the volume. The company says in a press release it will include Pawlenty’s reflections on his life, career and vision for America.

Interested in the politics of a book release? Read THIS.

The Politics of a Book Release: 2012 Edition

March 9, 2010

(updated May 1, 2010)

The fact that most American presidential hopefuls write a book before they announce their candidacy seems to be a truism of American politics. Thus, most Republicans with their aims on the 2012 Republican presidential nomination will release a book upon announcing their candidacy.

It’s not exactly rocket science. Just take a look at this list, containing the names of former presidential candidates who released books upon running for the presidency:

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan.

And that’s just as far back as I’ve checked. Feel free to list older examples in the comment section below.

By releasing a book upon running for the presidency, the candidate can introduce his life story, the travails of his past, and his vision of America’s future. Furthermore, having a book with your face on the cover increases your name recognition, and it’s a nice way for potential voters to get to know you and your ideas.

Former Massachusetts Governor, and failed 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney just released his book, entitled No Apology. The Case for American Greatness.

The Economist (February 27th-March 5th, 2010: pg. 44) describes it as “a 323-page paean to American greatness and a thinly disguised presidential manifesto ending with a 64-point ‘Agenda for a Free and Strong America’.”

Along with Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Lamar Alexander and Jim DeMint are all potential (though more or less likely) 2012 Republican presidential candidates that have written or authored books, and Tim Pawlenty will be publishing a memoir in 2011.

According to the apparent release-a-book-before-you-run-for-president-logic, the following need to write a book pretty soon if they’re going to be among the top contenders in the 2012 Republican primaries (add other names below if you can’t find them here):

Indiana Representative Mike Pence, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Texas Governor Rick Perry (not a likely contender if he loses his re-election campaign for Governor of Texas).

Former actor, Tennessee Senator and failed 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson is set to release a book in May entitled Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances. The title doesn’t really sound like a political manifesto, but who knows, maybe Fred Thompson, the self-proclaimed “consistent conservative” is gearing up for another run for the presidency?

On an end note, take a look at what could’ve been the 1990s first-couple:

POST SCRIPT: According to several reports, newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has signed a book deal with Harper Collins for a book to be released next year. I didn’t mention him among the potential contenders for the 2012 nomination, but who knows? Barack Obama ran as a freshman Senator in 2008. BUT, while Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004 – four years prior to his historic win on November 4, 2008 – Brown was elected to the Senate this January – just two years prior to the 2012 Iowa caucuses…

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