Thune a Top Tier 2012 Presidential Candidate

He's known as a tough fighter after knocking off Daschle in 2004.

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The Republican presidential buzz is rising for South Dakota Sen. John Thune. GOP strategists say Thune, who plans to campaign for five Senate challengers this summer, is poised to catapult into the top tier of candidates early next year, thanks to his leadership job as Republican Policy Committee chairman and his recent hammering of Obama over taxes, debt, and healthcare. He's also known as a tough fighter after knocking off the last Democratic Senate leader, Tom Daschle, in 2004.

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