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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stephanie May Not Be So Easy To Beat

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.


Box Car Joe said...

Stephanie is highly resourceful and knows how to finesse a fight so that she stays on top and doesn't break a sweat. Noem would be her toughest challenger but in a match-up before liberals, conservatives and all flavors in between, Steph wins. Other than to primary-voting die-hard Dems, Stephanie has not screwed up. Noem is unknown outside Castlewood and Watertown while Stephanie's name and positive ID are ubiquitous.

What's fascinating is how flat and lifeless the Chris Nelson campaign (I use that term too generously) has been since Day 1. Chris allowed Curd and Noem the strategic advantage of outhustling him at all levels. And Chris' introductory TV ad is by the numbers and tedious. It looks like he's repeated each short phrase 15 times while his wife yells at him to smile and say it this time with real feeling.

Face it. All three Republicans are not A string or B string candidates. They were culled up from the back bench and are learning the fundamentals of campaigning for the first time, each having come from nothing but uncompetitive elections.

I wonder if some of the A and B stringers who sat this House race out are now kicking themselves.

repete said...

Bet Stephanie resurrects grandpa.
Kristi needs to know we're not really looking for a stronger republican. The same old political rhetoric is the same old political rhetoric. Right Grandpa?