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November 11th, 2009
07:29 AM ET

'Regular guy' Thune is hot commodity in GOP circles

By Dana Bash, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent

Washington (CNN) - He walks through Washington's Reagan National Airport, arriving as he does nearly every Monday from a weekend home in South Dakota. He makes his way unnoticed.

But John Thune's anonymity may not last forever.

He is a Republican on the rise: a freshman senator who is already a member of the GOP leadership.

As head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, Thune runs the weekly strategy session where all Senate Republicans try to find consensus on the best way to challenge President Obama and the Democratic majority.

"It's probably the most candid assessment that we have in a given week," Thune said, riding the subway to the Tuesday lunch.

With just 40 Republicans in the Senate now, Thune insists that there is still a diversity of GOP views - but one that he argues must be expanded.

"We want to see more people joining our party," Thune said.

"We've got to be able to accept the fact that a senator from the Northeast, for example, from the New England states, isn't going to be the same as a senator from the South."

In a leadership made up mostly of veteran senators from the South, 47-year-old Thune brings youth and what he calls the prairie sensibilities he learned growing up in small town South Dakota.

Read the full story

Filed under: GOP: The Next Chapter
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Bernadette Loesch

    The Republicans can try as they might to get back into the majority. It
    'ain't gonna happen' in the very near and far future. We as Americans are sick and tired of Conservatives, smaller government and lies, lies and more lies. Eric Cantor too is fighting an uphill battle. He is another one who speaks out of both sides of his mouth. It's going to be a cold day in hell before we let them ruin the government again.

    November 12, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  2. Mike

    The party of no is one of the reasons this country is broke and we need to stop fighting each other and fix this country. United we stand divide we fall.The Conservatives/Republicans want President Obama to fail and they want the American people to continue suffering and fail to.

    November 11, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  3. Billie Holdridge

    I didn't really think you would post my comment, but
    I don't think John Thune is a great Senator, but if
    CNN wants to promote him, there is nothing I can do
    about it, except switch channels

    November 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
    • Mitt

      That's the only thing that we can do, switch channel. lol.

      November 12, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  4. vernis robertson

    These Republicans are so busy trying to fight the President on every issue and his policies. We have seen the GOP policies and issues over the last 8yrs , not we need someone to take the country in a different direction. So funny the GOP said the same thing about Bobby Jindal . The GOP want's to keep one side of americans happy and that is the rich. They want to keep this country at war , with the world and continue to rob this country blind . They have no policies or political views . They agenda they have is to stop the President from trying to clean up this mess were are in. This guy looks like a clone of John Banner.We should call him minnie Banner.

    November 11, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  5. Bernadette Loesch

    Interesting story. Sen. John Thune wants to be fiscally responsible, who are we kidding? The Republicans had given carte blanche to Bush/Cheney when it comes to the unjust wars they got us into. Is Thune going to be blindsided when it comes to how our giantic debt came about? Those of us who remember what was done during the eight years of the Bush/Cheney Regime will NEVER forget where the debt started. The Republicans would rather throw money at unjust wars thus getting many soldiers and innocents killed, while refusing to support and vote for a Universal Health Care Plan. Now, does that make any sense. Seems as if they would rather kill than heal.

    November 11, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  6. hongli


    November 11, 2009 at 8:22 am |