He’s not at the top of the list. We can’t all hail from Ohio, after all. But South Dakota’s own John Thune is in the mix as the quadrennial Veepstakes speculation enters the frenzied stage.
With Mitt Romney’s GOP nomination all but wrapped up, we have a few months ahead of us of media obsession over this potential game-changer.
I’ve seen Thune on various lists over the past weeks, heard his name escape the lips of TV pundits and even seen his photo in a montage while he got no mention in the accompanying article.
The latest to catch our attention here at the MDR is this piece from a Virginia paper that lists Thune as a fourth-tier(!) contender and labels him “a whitebread sandwich.” Well, I never.
He gets more prominent mention in this WaPo blog post.
My take – worth what you’re paying for it – is that he’s an attractive choice. Very unlikely to gaffe it via a live mic, knowledgeable on the requisite range of issues, comfortable with crowds of all income levels, not a bad bio and “impeccable conservative credentials,” according to another Washington Post assessment.
But my gut tells me he’d rather not. Not this time, anyway. It seems to me the upside is limited in an uphill race he wouldn’t control. The downside seems to have too much potential. Romney could gaffe it in a contagious way that would be difficult to recover from. A landslide defeat, not probable but possible, would hang over his head indefinitely. The rabbit hole has already proven a wild ride. Who knows what misadventures await?
Perhaps more interesting is that none of the pundits seems to think Thune will be Romney’s choice, but they all feel the need to include him in the mix. If that doesn’t say rising star, I don’t know what does. And there aren’t too many places left for a fella to rise to.