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Visuals: Noem Hides Face, Jackley Looks Right at Us

As a perpetually shave-lazy guy, I occasionally hear well-intentioned supporters mention that wearing a beard sends the message that a candidate has something to hide. Clean-shaven Richard Nixon, Mike Rounds, and Donald Trump should put the lie to that canard, as should a whiskery candidate who has written 15,350 blog posts over twelve and a half years.

But if you want to cling to that bare-faced criterion for first-glance judging candidates, then what do you say about a candidate who hides her face behind a cap?

Kristi Noem for Governor, ad, Dakota War College, retrieved 2018.04.13.
Kristi Noem for Governor, ad, Dakota War College, retrieved 2018.04.13.

Snow Queen 1990 Kristi Noem’s eyes are by far her best feature. Yet in this ad on the SDGOP press release blog, Noem hides those beguiling icy blues behind her ratty baseball cap. Most of her grim face is hidden in shadow. As happens so often in shots of female models, this deliberately chosen image downplays the human identity and focuses on the icons of fashion for sale: the dangly hoop earrings, the checked shirt, and a hint of blue denimed hip spread across her trusty steed.

Kristi for Governor, or Kristi for Cover Girl?

The image invites all sorts of critique: What are you hiding, Kristi? Look us in the eye, Kristi! Watch where you’re driving, Kristi! (Or do we trust the horse lead the way to economic development policy?)

Kristi’s opponent looks us in the eye in his spin blog ad:

Jackley for Governor, ad, Dakota War College, 2018.04.13.
Jackley for Governor, ad, Dakota War College, retrieved 2018.04.13.

I’m not asking Kristi to grow a beard or even a Chris Nelson mustache (though that would be impressive). But simple marketing says a good campaign ad shows the candidate looking right at us, or at voters in the photo, or at some distant glory on the horizon, or anything other than the ground.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-04-13 09:50

    As a print ad, Jackely’s works for the people he wants to reach. His ad stands there. “Stand put,” it seems to say, provides “strong, conservative leadership” with a smile. A throwback to Smilin’ Mike?

    Kristi’s ad, though, is far more interesting, even intriguing. You get the feeling of movement, maybe even of a determination to move forward from the past. That implies a different kind of leadership may be offered, and she hints at it: “watch.” I get the feeling from the ad that this isn’t a still shot but a video, and that implies movement forward. The next few seconds in this video, I imagine, she will lift her head, look at the viewer and flash those eyes. The question is whether she will deliver on the “watch and learn more.” Will she offer more han icy blue eyes?

  2. Russ Stedman 2018-04-13 10:17

    Rodeo Barbie is sexing her way into the Governor’s chair.

  3. jerry 2018-04-13 11:09

    Funny, I see Jackley as looking straight ahead as if to be saying, “I just let one go, and I ain’t gonna own it, in fact, I did it in church on Sunday just to amuse myself”

    With Ms. NOem, I see a puzzled look that comes just before the oh crap moment when you get bucked off in the cactus or on top of an ant hill. Either way you consider the drop zone, you just know it is coming.

  4. jerry 2018-04-13 11:18

    Maybe this is why NOem is hiding her face. The CBO just outed her and the rest of the cast of the knuckle heads like Rounds and Thune who voted for it as well. Crooks and liars all that work for foreign entities at taxpayer expense. We tried republicans for years now and look where we are in the new giveaway programs they have put in place for themselves and their wealthy friends.

    “President Donald Trump touted the economic growth triggered by his tax cuts in a speech Thursday afternoon, pointing out the projected growth of gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years had increased because of the plan.

    But 80 percent of the economic growth generated by the Republican tax cuts will eventually go abroad and benefit foreigners, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    The report found significant differences between projected GDP, which measures the level of production in the U.S., and gross national product, which measures the income earned by all Americans. If the economic impact from GDP is higher than GNP, the difference between the two is income generated in the United States but going to foreigners. According to the CBO, on average 34 percent of income from the economic activity driven by the tax cuts is flowing out of the country, and in 2028, when the full effects of the tax cuts are in place, that number will increase to 80 percent.”

    Crawl under that hat NOem and hide for what you have done to this country. Shame

  5. Jenny 2018-04-13 18:36

    A lady has got to protect her fair skin from the harshness of the sun! Skin cancer and premature aging is something nobody wants.

  6. grudgenutz 2018-04-13 20:47

    Kristi is lost in thought about the weight she wears around her shoulders, doing the people’s work and all.

    Marty? Well he’s wearing what could be the vapidest grin I have ever seen. “What? Me give a damn?”

    In a state full of sane people, Billie Sutton would roll over these two caricatures.

  7. T 2018-04-13 20:50

    Or you city slickers ….it simply means
    “Watch and learn”
    Only a confident experienced person “to get the job done right”
    Can say that on the farm…….
    It’s a figure of speech

  8. grudznick 2018-04-13 21:05

    Mr. grudgenutz is right. Righter than right, in fact. Ms. Noem is bogged forward by the weight of being an attractive woman with little upstairs, and Mr. Jackely is just a vapid grinner. If Mr. Sutton had a head of steam and a couple of decent fellow pushing from behind, he’d damn near coast over the top of the hill.

    Alas. The hill is steep. The pushers are weak. And even if Mr. Sutton has more substance sitting than others do prentending to run about, his race will end in sadness. My good friend Bob and I discussed this at breakfast not all that long ago, and I counseled Bob against entering the race at that point.

  9. grudgenutz 2018-04-13 21:17

    You have no friends, grudz.

  10. grudznick 2018-04-13 22:30

    They buy me breakfasts and they converse over food, Mr. grudgenutz. I really don’t care what they call themselves, but as long as I get to eat for free and pontificate I’m a couple steps ahead of you, eh?

  11. Adam 2018-04-14 05:00

    This is remarkably entertaining! It truly looks like Kristi is trying to be the Marlboro Woman.

    Awesome funny fact: no one ever really got to who the Marlboro Man ever was, he only looked so darn cool and comfortable that every man just simply wanted too BE him – on the inside – until he died of cancer.

    This is a colossal #KristiFail – I love it!

  12. grudgenutz 2018-04-14 07:49

    $300 to anyone who can provide proof of ANYONE EVER buying breakfast for the coward grudznick.

  13. T 2018-04-14 08:02

    Grudge that’s hilarious
    Adam spot on hey there is an antique tin in oshkosh Wisconsin of the Marlboro man on a horse only $60 really cool, he has kinda the same pose without the earrings of course,

  14. mike from iowa 2018-04-14 08:56

    South Dakota already has a Marlboro Barbir. His name is Thune.

  15. Debbie 2018-04-14 10:43

    Good grief I didn’t think anyone could sink lower than Fox News, but you did !
    You know that the writer is both lacking in solid policy for his tribe and has no understanding of political campaigning when you see a blog like this.

  16. Rorschach 2018-04-14 12:39

    The twist in Ms. Noem’s torso makes her appear to be riding side saddle, but that’s surely an optical illusion. The old clothes she’s wearing convey genuineness, unlike the brand spanking new Carhartt jacket that city slicker and Audi driver Dr. Blake Curd bought to wear in one of his 2010 congressional campaign ads and never wore again. Noem “sells it” like Rhonda Rousey “sells it” in the WWE. Politics and professional wrestling are all about creating perceptions and entertaining the masses, right? All as a distraction as the money men are picking the masses’ pockets. In this sport, Kristi is a heel.

  17. Chris 2018-04-14 12:50

    Ms. Noem’s blurry hat shows the classic “Miller High Life” logo. Can’t even tell if it’s just a clever throwback design either.

    It’s a great look for you, Governor! Remember to save some of that yummy yummy beer for your horses, Kristy!

  18. mike from iowa 2018-04-14 13:11

    Debbie, if we don’t wind you up, do you still gripe incessantly?????

    Did someone steal yer lunch money?

  19. Debbie 2018-04-14 13:34

    mike from iowa,
    Never we have 10 Universities studying South Dakota – I’m trying to prove mine wrong but so far no luck.

  20. mike from iowa 2018-04-14 13:53

    Bet Noem doesn’t have the man eating dogs Curd has/had.

  21. Adam 2018-04-14 14:17

    If South Dakota makes Kristi Noem Governor, the country will laugh so hard at her lazy, cross eyed concepts of leadership that we may as well prepare to be effectively laughed out of the union.

  22. Debbo 2018-04-14 20:47

    I have to agree with Don about the images. Noem’s is action, movement, life. Jackley’s is a vapid empty grin in a suit, though its not technicallya suit. The bill of the cap over her eyes and the seriousness of her face add interest for me.

    There is something going on in hers. His is just plastic.

  23. grudznick 2018-04-14 21:34

    Ms. Noem is very pretty. Her vapidness might be inside.

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