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Thune Climbs GOP Leadership Ladder

By Ben Pershing
Sen. John Thune's (S.D.) colleagues today elected him chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, one week after Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) vacated the post in the wake of an adultery scandal.

The move makes Thune the No. 4 GOP leader in the chamber, with a staff of more than 20 aides and the task of helping the party develop policy ideas as it does battle with Democrats. Thune had served as Republican Conference Vice Chairman, a position that will now be filled by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Until his career hit the skids last week, Ensign was seen as a possible presidential contender, and was able to use his leadership position to enhance his national profile and draw media attention. Now Thune has the same opportunity, as he is also thought to have national ambitions. The South Dakotan was seen as a potential vice presidential pick in 2008.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 25, 2009; 4:43 PM ET
Categories:  GOP Leaders , Senate  
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The party that preaches family values is a joke. But I think most people figured the Republicans out years ago. All mouth, no morals and 3rd rate.

Posted by: wasaUFO | June 25, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Um, not to jinx the guy already or anything, but what do we think will be the scandal that brings him down?

Hitting on 12-year-old page boys? Nope, been done. Getting caught pandering for gay sex in an airport bathroom? Nope, been done. Leaving his state leaderless to chase after tail in South America? Nope, been done.

Given the ridiculous level of hypocrisy in his party, I'm sure he'll think of something. (Vegas has the 'over/under' at six months.)

Posted by: transorbital | June 25, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Repubs get laid and the Dems get money. Hey, there is something wrong here!

Posted by: PalmSpringsGirl | June 25, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Would somebody please tell me when the left becomes the right & the right becomes the left? I think the Republicans have been running around with their shoes on the wrong feet for way too long. They really need to just stop & fix this little detail. And while they're at it, they really need to tie their shoe laces. This country is marching in a different direction & they're running around stumbling all over themselves trying to stop it.

Posted by: JoeNTx | June 25, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ask him if he really wants the job?

Seems the limelight is really, really bad karma for republicans lately.

Funny comment about the 'Vegas over/under at 6 months......I'm optimistic he'll make it to a year, but he'll find a way to shoot himself in the foot before he's been in the job 2 years.

Posted by: skiloypet | June 26, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

So are we to think that only two people out of the 400-some in power on Capitol Hill are/were unfaithful? Naw, I don't think so.
What I do think is that some recognize their error, their "sin" if you will and make full confession which is the start to moving on from their downfall.
Others will continue to deny they're doing anything wrong and continue their error.
While I cannot condone the adultery of Sen Ensign or Gov Sanford, I applaud their courage to take a painful road, a rebuilding road, one of humility and shame. They've chose to face, and to admit what they've done wrong.
I am reminded of a guy who was asked to pronounce the death penalty on a woman who was publicly outed. He declined, merely drawing in the dust until her attackers left the scene. He suggested before they left that anyone who is without fault go ahead and punish her. No one could.
If He didn't attack someone in that position, how can I?

Posted by: mykuhls | June 26, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sexual failures list 23 Democrats from Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards etc. Neither party is pure on this subject.

Posted by: mascmen7 | June 26, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Get your mistress/boytoy now...

Who thinks this repub will have a girlfriend or a boyfriend?? That his wife disapproves of...

Posted by: 1-20-09 | June 26, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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