If Thune fails to launch, it’ll be for the opposite reason: Because along with being a handome, skilled local boy done good, he’s the obvious favorite of an embattled Republican Congressional leadership and of a Washington Republican Establishment of which he’s been a member in good standing for quite some time. The dissonant note in the Standard piece was the quote that followed the Murdo introduction:

“I think he’s the complete package and is the kind of person who could conceivably go the distance in a race for the presidency,” says Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. “I think he’s an extraordinary talent, and I hope that he will run and win.”…

Thune’s staff responded that the South Dakota senator generically opposes earmarks, but didn’t respond to a follow-up question from me on whether he supports DeMint’s plan, whose support — despite its obvious public appeal — has been circumscribed by, among other things, the ill will between McConnell and DeMint.