I recently read in Washingtonian magazine that South Dakota Sen. John Thune quickly rose to the top of their list of leading contenders in the year to come. The Washingtonian said he would be a “formidable” opponent for President Obama.
They opined that other players for “Obama’s Basketball Dream Team” might include Attorney General Eric Holder, former Sen. Bill Bradley and Sen. Mark Warner. (Were you thinking of a different list?)
Thune played basketball in high school and at Biola University. In high school, he made 5 out of 6 free throw shots during a high school game. Rep. Jim Abdnor attended the game and said to the young Thune, “I noticed you missed one.” Sen. Thune told U.S. News & World Report that this conversation sparked his interest in politics.
He went on to work for Abdnor, both as a legislative aide and when he served in the Small Business Administration under President Reagan. After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Thune defeated then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.
At a recent conference, a long-time D.C. reporter told me that Sen. Thune’s speech was the bright spot in the line-up of top-level political speakers. You don’t want to miss his speech at the upcoming CPAC in February!
1. If there were a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
THUNE: From “Gladiator,” as said by Russell Crowe’s character Maximus—“Brothers, what we do in life echoes in eternity.”
3. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
THUNE: “Elf” with Will Ferrell
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
THUNE: My Brett Favre autographed Green Bay Packers helmet.
5. What’s your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
THUNE: “24” until it went off air—I need a replacement. Second place would probably be “The Office.”
6. Who else would you put on Mount Rushmore?
THUNE: Ronald Reagan
7. What was the first concert you ever attended and where did you sit, and who went with you?
THUNE: Amy Grant in Kadoka, S.D., with some of my high school friends.
8. Tell me about a public or private moment when you thought to yourself, “This is what Elvis felt like every day.”
THUNE: Election night 2004
9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2010 what would they be?
THUNE: Dems—”Slip Slidin’ Away” by Paul Simon;
Reps—”Takin’ Care of Business” by BTO
10. What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do because of your role in the political arena?
THUNE: Getting to know the men and women who serve our country with honor and courage
11. What question do you wish reporters would ask you? What’s your answer to that question?
THUNE: My staff tells me I already answer too many questions.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
THUNE: In 1995 when then-Rep. Tim Johnson announced he would be running for the U.S. Senate, leaving our lone U.S. House seat open
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