Democrats Ready to Embrace Herseth Sandlin in 2018; GOP Spins Fearful Fables About Liberals

Pat Powers is talking out of the same tired and uninformed orifice again. He continues to assert that the South Dakota Democratic Party has “purged moderates” and been “taken over” by “the hard-left liberal wing.”

This assertion, of course, is wordplay, not accurate political observation and analysis. The GOP spin blog’s mission is to fabricate a narrative that marginalizes and excludes anyone associated with the Democratic Party. The GOP can’t have South Dakotans recognizing that Democrats are regular people just like them, who share an interest in South Dakota’s progress and offer better, more coherent, more fact-based plans therefor. Democrats must be fringe-riding outsiders, hard-left liberals, words used by Powers not to represent any reality but to smear without swearing.

In his latest repetition of this snide smear attempt (and as with the GOP cries that President Obama is a Muslim, we should remind ourselves that there’s nothing wrong with being a hard-left liberal), Powers offers no evidence of hard-left liberal policies that would lay bare the hard-left liberalism of the hordes of hard-left liberals who have allegedly seized the reins of the South Dakota Democratic Party. Instead, he pins his thesis entirely on personalities, specifically the wily Weilands, who apparently personify the otherwise unnamed Herseth-haters:

They moved hard against Herseth in 2010 with a Kevin Weiland as a protest candidate who almost jumped in (and it helped to set up Herseth Sandlin’s) fall from grace.

Most recently is the end run the Daschle/Weiland people made around Herseth Sandlin. They had a very competitive challenger who could have gotten into the US Senate race against Mike Rounds.  And they sunk her. They absolutely sabotaged her by getting into the race. And she walked away [Pat Powers, “Will the Modern SDDP Accept Stephanie Herseth Sandlin as a Candidate? Maybe. But I Doubt It,” Dakota War College, 2015.10.03].

That’s funny: Kevin Weiland didn’t actually run. Steve Hildebrand orchestrated Weiland’s one-week petition push, but Kevin Weiland called it off to preserve party unity. Three years later, Kevin’s brother Rick announced his Senate candidacy in May 2013, before we’d heard Herseth Sandlin’s announcement that she did not want to run, but Powers eagerly mistakes sequence for “absolute!” causality. He cites no evidence (and he won’t find any) that Stephanie Herseth Sandlin intended to step away from a pleasant and profitable private life to leap back into politics in 2014.

And if the Weilands and Hildebrand are hard-left liberals, Powers ignores the fact that none of them have run for party chair or executive committee seats. He shows no evidence that the Weilands and/or Hildebrand have grabbed party chair Ann Tornberg, vice-chair Joe Lowe, or new party exec Suzie Jones Pranger and said, “Erect a statue of Lenin or else!”

Powers is talking far outside his realm of personal knowledge. He hasn’t spoken with Democratic leaders. I have. I know we are not controlled by hard-left liberals. Frankly, I wish we had more hard-left liberals.

Kevin Woster has also spoken with Democratic leaders, and Powers is trying to smokescreen Woster’s better-informed conclusion: Democrats are willing to put aside past differences (which could be as much personal as political) and rally behind Stephanie Herseth Sandlin as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2018, if she wants that job (and that remains an if). I will attest to that: if SHS says she wants in in 2018, I will run to the door to help hold it open for her and flog any Dems who try to create a ruckus about her nomination (especially if those Dems say we’d be better off Mike Huether).

Even more disturbing to Powers (and thus further explaining his desperate, baseless smoke about “liberals!”) is Woster’s conclusion that Herseth Sandlin’s stock may be rising among her party while Kristi Noem’s 2018 futures could be falling:

They think SHS would beat Noem handily in that race, if it occurred. I’m not going to “handily,” or even predicting a win by Herseth Sandlin. But I think she would be formidable to the point of a toss-up prediction going in —   especially in this race, as opposed to another congressional run.

And guess who’d be the Washington “insider” in this race?

Noem has already lost and angered some hard-line Republicans for votes on things like the budget that most South Dakotans found reasonable. And some moderates in the GOP still haven’t fully embraced her.

Nonetheless, I’d expect Noem to be formidable, too, presuming she could get by what could be a string of Republicans candidates — some of them pretty salty — in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary. And that’s not a given [Kevin Woster, “Disaffected Democrats Ready to Return to Herseth Sandlin — in the Governor’s Race,” KELO-TV, 2015.10.03].

Powers is talking about what he wishes, not what is. The South Dakota Democratic Party is not dominated by hard-left liberals. South Dakota Democrats will rally around Stephanie Herseth Sandlin if she seeks the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018. And so will a whole lot of other people if given a choice again between stateswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and spokesmodel Kristi Noem. That’s why Powers is rocking in the corner, muttering to himself that his fantasy Democrats will spare his gal the competition he fears.

39 Responses to Democrats Ready to Embrace Herseth Sandlin in 2018; GOP Spins Fearful Fables About Liberals

  1. Donald Pay

    We all should get second chances.

    I liked SHS’s father, even though he was a bit too cozy for my taste with some of the business lobby, and on the wrong side of some issues dear to my heart. Though he was a conservative Democrat in a lot of ways, Lars had a big heart and principles, particularly where the poor were concerned. I can’t see him voting against the ACA, and certainly not because that vote would hurt him politically. He had the character to stand and fight for things that were unpopular, and he didn’t mind losing votes to stand for what was right.

    One thing that Lars was very strong on was women’s rights. I think it was because he had a daughter who he wanted to see go as far as her talents would take her. I think he might have been disappointed in her political triangulation on issues related to health care and the poor. I hope SHS reflects on her father’s principles before she decides to run.

  2. larry kurtz

    It’s impossible for me to imagine either Stephanie or Max Sandlin living in Pierre.

  3. owen reitzel

    Actually it’s the Republicans that are trying to “purge the moderates” out of their party. I’ve never heard conservative Democrats referred to as “DINOS” but how many times do you heard the far right call moderates RINOS?

    While I’ve disagreed with SHS on a few issues I’ve never called her a Republican. She’s a Democrat.

    But the right-wingers called their moderates Democrats. PP had better look at his own party first.

  4. happy camper

    Oh, there’s been much demonizing by the commenters on this site calling anyone toward the middle Republican Light like that’s a disease. Granted those commenters are probably the vocal far left for this state who would rather lose elections and never compromise. We need reasonable people to step forward and they are not from the fringe of either party.

  5. Roger Cornelius

    Why would Noem step down from what is a very comfortable and lucrative seat in the House to run for governor? I just can’t see that happening.

    If Stephanie wants to get back into the political arena, she needs to do it right now against John Thune’s Senate seat. At least to me that seems the most logical political move for Stephanie.

    I have to admit that I was one of those that didn’t check any box for the House race in 2010 because Stephanie did not support the President and Obamacare. So, my question would have to be, did she learn a lesson from that last campaign?

  6. larry kurtz

    If SHS has learned anything it’s that she’s over getting into any election where she could lose. Her campaign would have expose John Thune for the political opportunist he is and it would take a boatload of money to do that.

    If she plugs her nose to move to Pierre in 2019 she needs to overcome her loss to a novice like Kristi Noem. SHS would have to redeem herself by taking Kristi on again in the House race

  7. deb knecht

    For those democrats that left the Representative box unchecked in the Herseth/Noem race…….The alternative was not worth it.

  8. Larry, how about our next Governor go mobile? State government could be run from anywhere with Wi-Fi. Expand the Capital for a Day photo ops to genuine, daily mobile government, accessible to people everywhere.

  9. I thought about that, Owen. But on the GOP side, RINO-criers like Gordon Howie and Stace Nelson seem to have no pull in their party. The moderate/Chamber/crony-capitalist wing establishes just enough right-wing cred with its “What’s Wrong with Kansas” social-issue distractions but crushes any real revolt from hard-core conservatives who threaten the mainstream party’s grasp on power… and those outsider revolutionaries seem unable to mount any viable opposition movement.

  10. larry kurtz

    South Dakota needs an executive who would go to Pierre, treat the sewage and flush the culture of corruption into Lake Sharp.

  11. larry kurtz

    Dana Ferguson just tweeted that the entire state system has been down: no doubt purging dox pertinent to the Westerhuis murders.

  12. larry kurtz

    Honestly? I believe there isn’t a single Democrat in South Dakota with the gonads to do that.

  13. Quick reminder of how many votes SHS got from 2004 to 2010:

                 |    2004	|   2006  |  2008   |   2010 
    SHS %	     |    53.4%	|   69.1% |  67.6%  |   45.9%
    SHS votes    |	207,837	| 230,468 | 256,041 | 146,589

    Over 109,000 people who checked SHS’s name in 2008 sat out in 2010. Those 109,000 certainly weren’t all hard-left liberals, and they certainly didn’t take over the SDDP.

  14. By the way, the most votes Kristi Noem has ever gotten was 207,640 in 2012. I would suggest that’s another sign of Noem’s comparative weakness: she has not parlayed her incumbency into broad-based support; she’s just been good enough to win against a demoralized and ineffective Democratic opposition. That’s what Pat doesn’t want to talk about and why he has to spin these fables.

  15. larry kurtz

    If Democrats want to make a difference in Pierre we should be twitter-bombing the White House to put a radical into the US Attorney’s office because Randy Seiler is sandbagging as acting USA for the District of South Dakota.

  16. Roger C –
    No need to wonder what Noem’s motivation might be for coveting the Gov’s office, the point is that she apparently isn’t satisfied in her current position. That has been an open secret for months and is repeated in Woster’s latest post. Our job should be to see that she is relieved of the inconvenience of traveling to DC as our representative so she is free to devote her time and attention to campaigning for her next job.

  17. How much does the US attorney get from the republicans in gifting?

  18. larry kurtz

    Seiler lives in Fort Pierre so he’s been doused in SDGOP kool-aid.

  19. More like GOP dog shit, Lar.

    Well, time to go watch my boys play the Broncos.

  20. Eddie Bridgewater is a sadder excuse for an NFL quarterback than Mr. Seiler is for a US Attorney.
    Eddie Bridgewater was a big-time college Republican, and back then he was good.

  21. That comment about Dems who think we’d be better off with Mike Huether. Is that for me, Cory? I’m probably the only one on here defending my friend, the great mayor of Sioux Falls. I also happen to be someone who never abandoned Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. She would be the strongest governor candidate the Democratic Party could get. I hope she will run in 2018, and I will be there for her if she does, as I was in 2010. She was there for me when I needed her help, just as Mike Huether was.

  22. Evidently, Rohr, that comment isn’t for you, since you agree that SHS would be a better 2018 gubernatorial nominee than Mayor Mike. I shall save my flogging for other troublemakers. :-)

  23. Deb Geelsdottir

    PP should probably write for the Washington Times because they like to make stuff up too.

  24. Roger Cornelius said, “I have to admit that I was one of those that didn’t check any box for the House race in 2010 because Stephanie did not support the President and Obamacare.” So, my question to you, Roger, would have to be, did you learn your lesson?

  25. Douglas Wiken

    THe question is not did Democrats who could not force themselves to hold their noses and vote for Stephanie should have learned something, it is whether or not Stephanie learned anything. Her affiliation with the Blue Dog Democrats and abandonment of policies she endorsed to get first elected devastated her campaigns. College students who worked to get her elected decided they would not work for he again when she opposed student loan funding. Stephanie did not apparently understand that Democrats would support her if she supported them and Republicans would NEVER vote for her no matter how much she pandered to the retrogrades. Note: I did vote for her, but it was without much enthusiasm and I saw no need to work for her or contribute to her campaign. She abandoned her core supporters.

  26. Whoa, Kate and Roger! I’d step in at that point and say that’s exactly the question we don’t need. I don’t think we need to swat anyone on the nose while we tip our own noses up and say, “I hope you’ve learned your lesson.” Rather than expending energy in lesson-scolding, we all come to the table. We say to Stephanie, “You ready to win?” and she says yes. She asks us, “You ready to vote?” and we say yes. We ask each other, “You ready to go to war with the GOP and not each other?” and we all say “Yes!”

    We can’t keep camping as Herseth Dems and Weiland Dems, any more than we can keep blaming Dems for voting for Nader. Stephanie and Roger need to look each other in the eye and recognize that they both made decisions in good conscience, fully aware of the potential consequences, willing to own those consequences. Then we campaign for 2016.

    By the way, Stephanie should also consider making Roger her running mate.

  27. Roger Cornelius

    That House election was not about me learning a lesson, it was about Stephanie learning one, as Doug says she abandoned her core supporters when they most needed her to help her president and his landmark legislation. It more or less became a matter of can I trust her on other Democratic issues.

    Additionally, when I researched the make up of the 2010 congress it was evident that it didn’t make much of difference if South Dakota sent a republican or a Democrat to the House, the republicans controlled the House.

    And Cory is right, I’d be more than happy to listen to Stephanie and if she has to offer is genuine support for the Democratic Party, I’d be glad to support her and ring her tip jar.

    Sorry Cory, this old guy is fully retired and intends to stay that way, only campaigning for candidates, no running for office.

  28. bearcreekbat

    I agree with Douglas, Herseth-Sandlin’s “blue dog” persona appeared to be pandering to SD’s right wing and likely lost many of our state’s young folks enthusiasm.

  29. bearcreekbat

    Dang it Roger, I would even volunteer for your campaign! Retired folks have the knowledge and energy to make things much better than representatives like Noem.

  30. Roger Cornelius

    Come on Bear, you know as well as I do that anything or anybody is better than Noem.
    South Dakotans that continue to support Noem only show their ignorance.

  31. mike from iowa

    I was disgusted with H-S’s blue dogging and she wasn’t my rep. She spent too much time with wingnuts to suit any Lib.

  32. bearcreekbat

    Roger, I have to concede that I cannot agree that “anything or anybody is better than Noem.” Think Phil Jensen, Lynn Desanto, Chip Campbell, et al, or even Gordy!!!!

  33. Mr. Howie is not better than Ms. Noem in any way shape form. She’s smarter too.

  34. Deb Geelsdottir

    I agree with the problem of SHS becoming a blue dog. It really ruined my support for her. From being an enthusiastic supporter, I changed to deciding that -maybe- she was better than a Republican. Herseth is responsible for her election defeat.

  35. wow, cory, Stephanie lost 109,000 voters. SDDP just dedicated its 175,000 some voters to the Harney Peak Name change and all things Indian (80,000 residents). Go Black Elk Peak!! Thank you Democrats

    i like your idea larry, re: seiler if u are correct. am sure not happy with brendan’s EB5 non-performance.

    hear, hear, Curt!!

  36. I have to disagree with you who believe you “taught her a lesson” by not voting for Stephanie. You essentially elected Noem – who has done not one thing for our state and who couldn’t care less about what South Dakota democrats want. You helped hand the House to the repubs. You can shake your fingers at Stephanie all you want, but she landed on her feet with a very nice job. South Dakota, on the other hand, got screwed. Thanks so much.

  37. Dang it, Roger—how about West River campaign manager? (And then, after you win the election for her, chief of staff?)

  38. Kate’s comment is why I don’t want us to spend a lot of time teaching lessons and wagging fingers. It just leads to faction and feud that doesn’t make clear that we will elect SHS as Governor if she throws her hat in the ring. We can spend the next convention scowling and snarling at each other, or we can win.

  39. Deb Geelsdottir

    I can understand why Kate and others are frustrated and angry. I wonder if they understand why I am disappointed in Herseth’s votes and positions as SD’s representative? I think learning from one another is much more important than the “finger wagging” that Cory mentioned.

    SD Democrats are not a big enough party to divide into factions and still win elections.