Republicans take note. In a blog post here I boasted that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was done. But as the primary campaign has proceeded, we are discovering that Chris Nelson, a career bureaucrat and politician, doesn't really present all that well.
Don't get me wrong. I think Nelson is a good guy and would make a good representative for South Dakota.
But if Republicans are paying attention, they will begin to recognize only one in the race can beat Stephanie in the fall. Chris Nelson ain't the guy.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Kristi Noem. She was not expecting a press-like interview in the context of our meeting, so in fairness, I did not try to conduct one. But I came away from the meeting very impressed. She's a very smart person.
So, let's get this out of the way right out of the chute: Yes. She's also very attractive.
Even if she looked like Shrek's bride, she'd be smarter than, and faster on her feet than Stephanie. And, regardless of her looks, she is the Republican candidate most likely to be able to overcome Stephanie's incumbent status and take the seat back for Republicans.
Every candidate who has run against Stephanie in the past has "backed off" for fear of being seen as picking on the cute little Democrat. A Kristi Noem candidacy removes the fear. And judging from my very limited experience with both Stephanie and Kristi, I'll bet on Noem in a head-to-head match for representing the Republicans in this state who have supported Stephanie in the past.
And, if Republicans in the state are as smart as they claim to be, they won't miss the opportunity to nominate Noem. I don't agree with everything Noem has to say about the issues facing South Dakota. But I now agree that she is the best choice (and has the best chance) for beating Stephanie in the fall.