Washington (CNN) - In the past few weeks, Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has become a buzzword for speculation about likely contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
And Thune himself is not ruling out the possibility of a presidential run.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Thune said "I think if I made a decision to do that, and I haven't, I would be ready," and that he is more likely make a decision "early next year."
Speaking about the decision-making process, Thune said, "I think you have to get down on a very practical level and say, can I raise the money? Is there support out there? Do I see a pathway to get there? "
No stranger to tough political campaigns, Thune was a three-term Congressman before defeating then Senate minority leader Tom Daschle in 2004, earning Thune the nickname 'giant-killer.' Since then, the freshmen senator has become a prominent voice in the Republican leadership.
When asked whether a decision by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin to seek the nomination would have an affect on his own, Thune indicated that such an announcement would be a game changer for any GOP candidate.
"I think that if she were to get into the race, it would clearly change the equation for a lot of people," Thune said.
"She is someone who has a tremendous following out there, particularly in some of the early states. This is not a campaign where you start out and you run nationally right away. It's all sequence and you have to get through certain states. She has a big following."
Tune into The Situation Room at 5 p.m. on Thursday to see the entire interview.
Yawn...oh I'm so excited to hear how the Good OLD Politics talk about Ronald Raygun again and how we need to start more wars or begin a new arms race again with Russia.
Waste of TIME and MONEY!!! Obama 2012!!!!!
This is T'SAH and I approve this message!!!
I say the Republicans put out a list of the GOP NOT running for President in 2012. It would be a lot shorter than the one for those running or thinking about running..............Talk about a party of want to be's.
Gee we have been trying to keep Church and State separated since Thomas Jefferson and the writers of the
Constitution put it in there. Now do we want one of those right wing nutso republican Evangelicans in the White House HADES NO. I bet he doesn't tell anybody that he is one of those religious nuts. He keeps that secret. OH NO another post CNN holds.
Thune scores 0% by the HRC on gay rights
She has a big following."
Yes. Of idiots.
In all honesty and fairness I do not know enough about Mr. Thune to weigh in one way or another. May suggest that if Sarah's running would in fact be a 'game changer' that you might perhaps add HER name to YOUR ticket (worked out great for McCain) or vice-versa?
Just what we need...a neo-con dirt eating hick as president...what's his claim to fame? Senator of a state that has less people than my own county of Suffolk, NY?
Thune will appeal to the right-wing, religious nutcases, but he has no base to win the presidency.
Let me guess another fed up Republican whose idea of governing is tax cuts for the rich and saying no to evereything else. Republicans are like Hitler...but worse.