Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thune Endorses McCain

Our neighbor to the Northwest, Senator John Thune, from South Dakota has formally endorsed McCain's Presidential bid. Being familiar with Northwest Iowa, STIS has had it's eyes on this relationship for a while. Months ago we speculated that Thune might be on McCain's short list of Veep choices.

And while it is unlikely that two sitting Senators would be on the ticket, McCain refused to distance himself from that line of speculation. In fact, McCain mentioned Thune as a possible running mate. (While this is premature speculation, STIS thinks it is good bet that McCain will pick someone from the Midwest or Northeast, Pawlenty or Guiliani, etc...).

Thune's support for McCain is a huge "get." Thune, long considered a shining star in the GOP, became a dragon slayer after beating Tom Daschle in 2004. The only other Republican to beat a sitting United States Senate Minority Leader was Barry Goldwater. Thune, who as a Congressman, was quick to endorse George W. Bush for the Presidency in 1999. If memory serves us right Thune was the very first or one of the first five to endorse Bush. Thune's strategy of quickly endorsing Presidential nominees seems to have paid off during his career.

This endorsement is particularly important for several reasons:

First, according to WAPO, Thune, "extracted a promise from the Arizonan on judicial nominations. Thune said McCain told him he would appoint "guys like Roberts and Alito". That's a reference to Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, both of whom were nominated by President Bush and were popular selections among Christian conservatives.

Thune's endorsement is important not only for Social Conservatives, but for the Republican base as a whole. President Bush's largest applause line during the 2000 election was when he promised to appoint judges to the federal bench that would interpret the Constitution and not re-write it. Moreover, the American people tend to support the Conservative movement's viewpoint regarding judges.

Secondly, Thune's South Dakota media market overlaps into Sioux, Lyon, Osceola and O'Brien counties. These four counties are the "Conservative Quadrant" of Northwest Iowa. Hardly every electing Democrats to office, these four counties are ripe with Straw Poll and Caucus votes.

Iowa TV watchers in these four counties, including some in Dickinson and Clay, are used to seeing John Thune on their TV sets and hearing him on their radios. Thune's endorsement will help in these key counties in the run up to the Straw Poll and the Caucus.

Third, Thune's endorsement is key to Social Conservatives in general. Thune, who is not a Social Conservative in the sense of Brownback or Huckabee, is respected by Social Conservatives around the country for taking out Daschle and standing firm on social issues in the Senate.

We are going to venture out and make the prediction that having Thune on board is just as good as having Steve King on board when addressing the issues that matter to Northwest Iowans. Thune is well know to farmers and conservatives in Northwest Iowa and STIS believes that Thune will play a direct role in the run up to the Straw Poll and Caucus.

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At 3:09 PM PST, Blogger NJ McCain said...

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