Team Romney has let word out that South Dakota’s own John Thune is on the VP list. The deed was done via the National Review Online (but of course), and apparently an NBC reporter tagged along with Thune to the Custer fire hall Wednesday, too.
Having a national reporter drop in to small-town South Dakota means Thune is a big enough story to prompt said reporter to make the trip. Not insignificant.
From the NRO:
As Mitt Romney’s senior advisers consider their vice-presidential prospects, they’re keeping an eye on a dark horse: Senator John Thune, a lanky and telegenic South Dakota Republican.
“Even though he’s not from a battleground state, he’s seen as serious and credible,” says John Sununu, a Romney confidant. “There’s no question, in my mind, that he’s on the list for consideration.”
“Very smart,” says Ed Rollins, Ronald Reagan’s former campaign manager, when asked about a potential Romney-Thune ticket. “He looks presidential and passes all the tests.”
(Who else is starting to twitch whenever they read the word: telegenic?)
“I don’t think you ever rule out or say no to opportunities to public service if you are really interested in making a difference for your country, you want to put your gifts and abilities to the highest and best use,” Thune told reporters following a town hall in the local firehouse here. But, he added, “I don’t expect that to happen but I don’t think you never say never when it comes to serving your country.”
Thune seems to have shifted in the way he’s spoken about about his contact with the Romney campaign. Just two weeks ago, the senator told The Hill, he had yet to be contacted by the Romney campaign. But today, Thune said, “We talk to him all the time.”