Thune gives Christie props on national TV

South Dakota’s own John Thune offered potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a few drops of the milk of human kindness on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today:

We all know that South Dakota’s junior senator, himself a potential 2016 national ticket candidate, is ever the gentlemen, polite to a fault. So it’s no surprise that he did not bash Christie over “Bridgegate.”

What’s more noteworthy, for those into nuance, is that he volunteered some rather positive remarks beyond a circumspect sentence or two, saying Christie is doing all the right things, that New Jerseyites appreciate the transparency. Thune even called Christie a true conservative.

Thune might be making a pass at Christie’s supporters, knowing they are likely to be looking for an alternative soon. He could be positioning himself as a non-Christie hater for the Garden State gov himself, should he still grasp the 2016 presidential nomination.

Perhaps he believes Christie is getting a bum rap – that would place him in a tiny minority.

Whatever it is – his unfailing good manners, angling ahead of 2016 or genuine sympathy – Sen. Thune planted a flag in some interesting ground.