Election 2012

The Republicans' Rising Star

Move over, Sarah Palin: The Republican party may have a new great white hope. The Fix writer Chris Cillizza pegs Senator John Thune of South Dakota as "2012's Dark Horse." Cillizza cites David Brooks' most recent New York Times column describing Thune as a "gracious and ecumenical legislator, not a combative one," continuing that "Republican pros are attracted to Thune because he could rally the hard-core conservatives without scaring away the suburbanites." Thune has been making the rounds of cable-news shows to talk about the economy, calling the health-care bill a "monstrosity." He seems to be quietly gearing up for 2012 while focusing on his 2010 reelection campaign first-he's a fundraising whiz on his own, and has now hired an all-star campaign manager and consulting team.