Fox News’ Carl Cameron says Senator John Thune (R-SD) may end up passing on a presidential run in 2012.
But with a self-imposed deadline at the end of the month for Thune to decide whether he’ll seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination most indicators suggest he will not remain a presidential contender much longer.
Thune has been busy in the Senate as the Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and was just recently named to the powerful Senate Finance and Budget committees.
Meanwhile, he has done very little to lay the groundwork for a campaign.
Unlike most other 2012 contenders Thune has made virtually no effort to introduce himself in Iowa or New Hampshire where the first presidential caucuses and primary election take place a year from now.
As a result, Thune remains largely an unknown in the early voting states. GOP generals and rank and file alike in both states have complained about Thune’s absence for months, many have concluded he is leaning against a run. While Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin pretend it’s too early to decide, they lead the polls and dominate headlines. In a recent New Hampshire straw poll of GOP insiders Thune finished dead last.
Thune has “not officially turned down a 2012 run yet, but those who had joined his team for a White House bid to begin in the coming weeks have begun leaving, or making arrangements to move on.”