Sen. John Thune
(R-S.D.), whom many observers thought would seek the GOP nomination
for the president in 2012, announced Tuesday that he will not run.
Citing "this period of fiscal crisis and economic uncertainty," Thune wrote on his website
that "at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America's future here in the trenches of the United States Senate."
Thune's decision did not come easily. He noted that he, wife Kimberley and their two daughters "have given a great deal of thought to how we might best serve South Dakota and our nation. That process has involved lots of prayer."
Thune's decision may boost the chances of other potential candidates from the Midwest, such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.