(CNN) – He has been flirting with the possibility of running for president for months, but South Dakota Sen. John Thune appears to be leaning towards staying put in the Senate.
In an interview with Politico, Thune – the only senator thought to be considering a run for president – noted the difficulties of running for president while adequately maintaining a day job – a challenge many of the other likely candidates will not have to deal with this year
“It’s a different scenario maybe than some of the other candidates who don’t have a job,” said Thune. “This is a great place. This is a great job. We all complain about it. It’s frustrating at times ... but it is a place where ultimately you can be engaged in the big debates about the issues.”
A significant number of the likely GOP presidential candidates are indeed currently “out of work” – at least in terms of a job that requires reporting to an office for a substantial part of the week - including Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.
But it was a different scene of course four years ago, when the two leading Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – were both senators, as was the ultimate Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain.
Still, Thune suggested another factor leaning against a presidential campaign is the apprehension of his wife, who has read “Game Change” - the book by reporters Mark Halperin and John Heileman that at times illustrates the dark side of political campaigns in excruciating detail.
“It was not helpful,” he said of the book. “But in spite of having read ‘Game Change,’ she’s somebody who really believes in public service, and she’s been a real trooper in all the campaigns. So however this ends up for us, she will be ready to go to work,” he added.
Ultimately, Thune will likely make his decision after he appears before the Conservative Political Action Conference, where the crowd of social conservatives can sometimes act as a good barometer of how a potential candidate will be received in the first round of primaries.