Thune Keeps 'Em Guessing
Those who wonder if South Dakota Sen. John Thune has the fire in the belly to run for president can keep wondering.
He delivered a perfectly competent but uninspiring speech at the Conservative Action Political Conference on Friday. He was like a good band that falls flat in a live concert, playing the hits the audience wants to hear, but without any improvisation or newfound passion.
Thune frequently drew polite applause but only one standing ovation after he said: "We need to use lawful interrogation techniques to acquire actionable intelligence. And when we're done interrogating terrorists, we should give them their day in court -- in a military tribunal, not an American courtroom.''
He made sure not to close the door on speculation about his potential campaign by slyly mocking his higher-profile competitors. Never held a book signing or been on a reality TV show other than C-SPAN, he said.
"I've been to Iowa plenty of times, but it's usually on the way to South Dakota,'' he said, drawing chuckles.
Later in the speech, recalling a conversation with his wife after losing an election, he said: "It's important to be in the race. It's important to be in the arena. It's important to be out there standing up and fighting for the things that we believe in.''