Free Republic
Browse · Search
GOP Club
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Thune is ready for run against Daschle in 2004
The Hill ^ | 4/8/03 | Peter Savodnik

Posted on 04/08/2003 12:31:57 PM PDT by LdSentinal

After months weighing another Senate bid after his narrow loss to Democrat Tim Johnson of South Dakota last year, former Rep. John Thune apparently has decided to take on Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.

As some key South Dakota GOP figures see it, Daschle's comments last month blaming President Bush for mishandling the war in Iraq, hours before America launched a military strike against Iraq, may have created an opening for Thune.

In light of Daschle critical remarks, next year's South Dakota Senate race could emerge as closely watched referendum on Bush's foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.

The Sioux Falls Republican, who lost to Johnson by only 524 votes, recently took a lobbying job in Washington with the high-powered law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn. And he has started an issue-advocacy group, South Dakotans for Responsible Government, that gives him a platform to speak in his home state.

In a telephone interview Monday, Thune left open the door to a Senate run but did not commit himself.

"I can't tell you I have a timeline," Thune said. "I'm busy doing other stuff right now and obviously still have an interest in public life, but have not made any decisions. There's a lot of speculation, some here and quite a bit back home, and there's a lot of encouragement out there, but I'm just not ready."

Thune said Daschle's comments attacking the president's pre-war diplomacy were a "very serious miscalculation."

"There's probably nothing that I've seen at a grass-roots level that's got people as worked up as that has," he added. "Whether that's a short-term thing or has staying power remains to be seen."

But some key GOP operatives in Washington are convinced Thune is ready to take the plunge.

Other Republicans said the issue-advocacy group is a clear sign of Thune's intention to challenge Daschle, who is one of the Jackrabbit State's most popular politicians.

"The primary reason is to have an organization in place, to test the waters, and if they look good, to launch a candidacy," said former state Sen. Kermit Staggers, a Republican.

Vance Goldammer, a board member of South Dakotans for Responsible Government, said the Democrats' main argument -- that voting for Thune means voting against a Democratic Senate and a majority leader from South Dakotan -- is no long valid.

"They had all their eggs in that basket," Goldammer said. "Fifteen, twenty thousand Republicans crossed over." The Republicans" one-vote edge has changed all that, he added.

Goldammer further maintained that since Democrats are unlikely to recapture the Senate in 2004 -- 19 Democratic seats are up for grabs, many in Bush-friendly states, versus only 15 Republican ones -- the majority-leadership won't be much of an issue.

South Dakota GOP Chairman Randy Frederick said that Daschle's March 17 remarks, in which he said he was "saddened that this president failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war," has prompted a large field of Republicans to consider challenging the three-term senator, who was elected in 1986 after eight years in the House.

But GOP officials in Washington made it clear they're behind Thune, who was personally urged to run against Johnson by Bush and Vice President Cheney.

"Thune gets first choice," a National Republican Senatorial Committee official said. "Everybody's waiting to see what Thune's position is before they look to another candidate."

Another former Thune campaign official remarked that the South Dakotan and the president, who strongly backed Thune in 2002, have "had some conversations" since his November defeat.

Freshman Rep. Bill Janklow, a former governor and another possible GOP candidate frequently cited by Republicans, is saying little about the race. "He's so focused on his congressional job that he is not contemplating anything else at this time," said Janklow's press secretary, Lee Cohen.

Republican state Sen. Kenneth Albers, who represents the southeastern corner of the state, including Sioux Falls, cast further doubt on a Janklow candidacy, noting that Janklow and Daschle are longtime friends.

Former state Sen. Staggers said friendship is unlikely to get in the way of Janklow's running for the U.S. Senate, but he did say health problems could hinder the 63-year-old congressman. "I was surprised that he ran for the U.S. Congress," Staggers said.

Janklow underwent pancreatic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in June 1999; doctors removed his spleen and an inflamed section of his pancreas. As a result of the surgery, Janklow developed diabetes.

Some Democrats question the president's unwavering support of Thune.

"Tom Daschle has always polled ahead of Tim Johnson by 4 to 8 percentage points," Daschle's campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, said. "So if John Thune as an incredibly popular young congressman didn't beat Tim Johnson, why do they think that John Thune . . . [can] defeat Tom Daschle?

"I'm not saying this is going to be an easier race for Tom Daschle, but it's going to be a lot [harder] for Thune."

Hildebrand added that Republicans tend to blur political reality.

"Republicans always want to talk about how Bush got 60 percent of the vote here and how Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson don't deserve to represent South Dakota because South Dakota is such a heavily Republican state. What they fail to point out is that Tom Daschle received a higher percentage in his last two elections than Bush did."

Most political observers agree that next year's race will be decided in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area, with a population of some 150,000 out of a state total of nearly 755,000 -- rather than in the sparsely populated western half of the state, with its ranches and old West feel, where voters traditionally support conservative, small-government candidates.


TOPICS: South Dakota; Campaign News; State and Local; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: 2004; janklow; senate; southdakota; thunedaschle; timjohnson

1 posted on 04/08/2003 12:31:58 PM PDT by LdSentinal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LdSentinal
All I can say are three words: "YA FREAKIN' HOO!!!"
2 posted on 04/08/2003 1:09:13 PM PDT by Gunder
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC

Is Someone Else Carrying Your Water?

Donate Here By Secure Server

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com

STOP BY AND BUMP THE FUNDRAISER THREAD


3 posted on 04/08/2003 1:10:05 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LdSentinal
Hope he'll run tougher than last time.
4 posted on 04/08/2003 3:47:48 PM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: governsleastgovernsbest
I don't like the idea of Thune running against Daschle one bit. I would like to see Janklow run against Daschle in 2004 and Thune re-take his House seat. That way Thune could wait to beat Johnson (again) in 2008 after another couple terms in the House. Janklow probably wouldn't be able to beat Daschle, but he would at least make it competitive and Daschle would have to worry about himself instead of helping other candidates. Thune WILL beat Johnson in 2008 if there is a rematch. You can put money on it.
5 posted on 04/09/2003 11:27:19 AM PDT by zebrahead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: LdSentinal
They pat themselves on the back that Daschle won by big margins. Big whoop. Daschle was considered untouchable until now. Now he's going to get a REAL challenge :)
6 posted on 04/09/2003 1:31:22 PM PDT by nospinzone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zebrahead
I'm certainly no expert on SD politics, but I'm assuming Thune would have a good chance of taking out Daschle in 2004. Assuming that's true, why not do it, rather than running someone who probably wouldn't win and waiting till 2008 to pick up a seat?
7 posted on 04/09/2003 1:36:43 PM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: governsleastgovernsbest
You are correct. Thune should move now to challenge Daschle, particulary with Bush at the top of the ticket next year. Thune is a very attractive candidate, Janklow is not.

Additionally, saving the Daschle seat will bankrupt other RAT campaigns nationwide.

Finally, Thune may actually scare Daschle out of running for re-election, because everybody knows he's a crybaby and a coward.
8 posted on 04/10/2003 6:43:48 AM PDT by mwl1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: mwl1
Just one problem--Bush unfortunately won't be atop the ticket next year. No high-profile--or even respectably sane--Republicans have declared their intention to seek the Presidency in 2004. This could be a problem. When do you think Bush, if he decides to run, will announce his intent to continue to lead?
9 posted on 04/11/2003 4:06:56 PM PDT by dufekin (Peace HAS COME AT LONG LAST to the tortured people of Iraq!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: LdSentinal
Hildebrand added that Republicans tend to blur political reality. "Republicans always want to talk about how Bush got 60 percent of the vote here and how Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson don't deserve to represent South Dakota because South Dakota is such a heavily Republican state. What they fail to point out is that Tom Daschle received a higher percentage in his last two elections than Bush did."

Oh I forgot..President Bush is from South Dakota..

10 posted on 04/16/2003 11:26:57 AM PDT by BerniesFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BOBTHENAILER; floriduh voter; DakotaGator; SoDak; South Dakota
PING!
11 posted on 04/22/2003 5:48:26 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance
"Tom Daschle has always polled ahead of Tim Johnson by 4 to 8 percentage points," Daschle's campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, said. "So if John Thune as an incredibly popular young congressman didn't beat Tim Johnson, why do they think that John Thune . . . [can] defeat Tom Daschle?

Maybe its because he led tommy by a couple points in a recent poll.

12 posted on 04/22/2003 6:17:24 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (Just like Black September. One by one, we're gonna get 'em.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance; BOBTHENAILER; DakotaGator; vikingchick; Wait4Truth; cake_crumb; MeeknMing; ...
Thanks for the ping. If Thune runs a smart campaign that welcomes all of his supporters with open arms, he has a real opportunity.

He's definitely the gentleman in the race and he's already proven himself in the House.

13 posted on 04/22/2003 6:51:24 PM PDT by floriduh voter (Seriesly. This is hugh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LdSentinal
I want Daschle out, the the judicial obstruction stopped. I thought that getting the Senate would do it. Pickering I thought would be a fight. But all this for ESTRADA? Daschle needs to be retired.

A DC press conference on 2/19/03, held by hispanic groups in support of Miguel, airing on C-Span:


"We urge every Senator to treat Miguel Estrada fairly and to vote to confirm." - Hispanic Bar Assn.

"We don't want to be treated as double standards." -Robert de Posada, Latino Coalition

"This is a very serious issue for our community and no politician should take this lightly. We urge the Senate to act responsibly and urge an up or down vote. " - Robert de Posada, Latino Coalition

"It's of grave concern to those of us with family in the military and overseas that Rome is burning while the Senate is fiddling." - Kay Daly, spokesperson for the "Coalition for a Fair Judiciary."

"We rarely have seen, if ever, a record of accomplishment (like) Miguel Estrada." - Juan Carlos Iturregui, Hispanic National Bar Assn.

"We urge Senate to vote on this confirmation NOW. Not next month..." -Juan Carlos Iturregui, Hispanic National Bar Assn.

"We also are concerned that some members of the Senate are trying to impose a higher standard of review that is unprecidented." - Juan Carlos Iturregui, Hispanic National Bar Assn.
14 posted on 04/22/2003 7:00:56 PM PDT by votelife (FREE MIGUEL ESTRADA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SoDak; All; BOBTHENAILER
Hey, SD, has anybody checked FR's membership numbers for SD lately? I know last year I thought there could be improvement. There's a way to be from Free Republic without scaring people or more importantly, a candidate. A combination of professionalism with sense of humor in tow works for me. The worst mistake is to be one dimensional, like guess who? Daschle democrats.
15 posted on 04/22/2003 7:03:54 PM PDT by floriduh voter (Seriesly. This is hugh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance; floriduh voter
Thanks for the ping, EV.

Most political observers agree that next year's race will be decided in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area...

The last race was decided by voter fraud from the reservations. What makes them think this will be any different?

If Thune is going to run, he'd better start now and play hardball. That's the only way this will be an honest election. So far, Thune, the SD Republican Party, and the NRC have not shown me they have the b*lls to do this.

16 posted on 04/22/2003 7:43:10 PM PDT by DakotaGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DakotaGator
Agreed. They might want to put someone other than 19-year old political science geniuses in charge of the ground game, too, eh? ;-)
17 posted on 04/22/2003 7:46:12 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DakotaGator; PhiKapMom
I know Thune's last race was frustrating and I agree that he has to simultaneously be sharp and a nice guy. He has to be true to himself but a little edge wouldn't hurt.

On a brighter note, Daschle's got plenty of time to make more pronouncements. I can hardly wait. IMO, I think Daschle's got a chronic illness - he doesn't look healthy to me.

18 posted on 04/22/2003 7:55:57 PM PDT by floriduh voter (Seriesly. This is hugh.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: EternalVigilance
Agreed. They might want to put someone other than 19-year old political science geniuses in charge of the ground game, too, eh? ;-)

LOL!

19 posted on 04/23/2003 5:19:08 AM PDT by DakotaGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: floriduh voter; EternalVigilance; BOBTHENAILER
We shouldn't forget that Johnson benefits by those questionable votes from the Indian reservations which caught everyone off guard. Same thing happened here in OK with the Largent campaign where 9,000 more Cherokee's voted than ever before and their votes were also suspect. Largent lost by 5,000 votes.

Believe that Thune will take out Daschle. Since Daschle lost the Majority Leader status he cannot deliver like he once did. I am not sure that Daschle will run for re-election BTW.

Certainly hope that Thune runs his positive campaign but at the same time gets stronger with his comments. Personally I think it will be easier to take on Daschle then Johnson who never says that much. Daschle has left a ton of soundbites to use.

My money is on Thune and with President Bush atop the ticket, I personally believe that Thune will thump Daschle and we will be done with him in the Senate!
20 posted on 04/23/2003 7:23:33 AM PDT by PhiKapMom (Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: PhiKapMom

What's the latest on Thune versus Daschle?


21 posted on 05/21/2004 4:36:00 AM PDT by HowardLSmith.τΏτ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
GOP Club
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson