South Dakota’s ‘Odd Couple’

South Dakota Sens. Tim Johnson and John Thune are the second oddest couple in the Senate, according a story in The National Journal.

The Journal piece is titled “The Oddest Pairings of Senators by State.” It ranked Johnson, a moderate Democrat, and Thune, a moderate to conservative Republican, as the runners-up to Wisconsin’s unlikely duo of Democrat Herb Kohl, an unabashed liberal, and Ron Johnson, a proud conservative.

The story doesn’t even mention the fact that Johnson edged Thune for the Senate seat in 2002. That was a tough, at times bitter campaign, and some Republicans still feel Thune was robbed by the Democrats when late returns from precincts on Indian reservations gave Johnson a second term.

But Thune landed in the Senate two years later when he knocked Tom Daschle off his high perch as Democratic leader. Since that time, Thune and Johnson have apparently worked well on issues that impact the state, and when I have seen them together, they were more than cordial.

The National Journal also offers a ranking on how liberal each senator is. Johnson is ranked 22nd, while Thune is ranked 79th.

So, “The Odd Couple,” eh? I wonder which one’s Oscar, and which one’s Felix?

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