David Brooks is in love.
As you may or may not know, [John] Thune is the junior senator from South Dakota, the man who beat Tom Daschle in an epic campaign five years ago. The first thing everybody knows about him is that he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome (John McCain jokes that if he had Thune’s face he’d be president right now). If you wanted a Republican with the same general body type and athletic grace as Barack Obama, you’d pick Thune.
Amanda Longington couldn’t write such a breathless bodice-ripper opening for one of her romance classics.
This is Mr. Brooks’ fan-boy way of positing Mr. Thune as the Great Savior of the Republicans. He’s got everything: charm, good looks, and he’s the right skin color — “tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way)” — and he’s not a raving loony tea-bagger.
Republican pros are attracted to Thune because he could rally the hard-core conservatives without scaring away the suburbanites. His weakness is that he’s never really worked outside of government, and he’s almost never shown a maverick side.
Darn, he’s not mavericky. But he’s from the “prairie,” so he’s got the “outsider” angle covered, except he’s never worked outside of government. But he is ruggedly handsome and he’s white, so it’s all good. Isn’t that all that matters?
(Remember, though, the last presidential candidate from South Dakota was George McGovern. Just sayin’….)