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Rejecting Republicanism: What Lavallee Should Say to Democrats and Everyone Else

Get on that horse and ride... Michelle Lavallee, FB profile photo, retrieved 2018.06.18.
Tell us more about why you’re riding that horse… Michelle Lavallee, FB profile photo, retrieved 2018.06.18.

In her speech to the Democratic convention Friday, Michelle Lavallee said she switched her lifelong Republican registration to Democratic this month because she realized how “unbalanced” Pierre is. She said state government is stuck in a “stale and complacent culture” (complacent—that’s Sutton messaging) with no healthy back and forth among people of all perspectives.

For a speech to a convention of Democrats, Lavallee’s address was remarkably light on direct attacks on the party she belonged to until Democratic gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton offered her a gig. I got the impression that Lavallee wasn’t really speaking to the Democrats in the hall; she was speaking to the general electorate, not building the brand of the Democratic Party but assuring voters that “I share all of your values” and “we’re all more alike than we are different.”

Emphasizing our common interests is one part of doing the sole job of the lieutenant governor nominee, specifically, to help the gubernatorial nominee get elected. But in a roomful of Democrats, many of whom are skeptical of the lieutenant governor nominee’s Democratic bona fides, another part of doing the LG nominee’s job is to make the case for Democrats, for the Democratic Party, and for the Democratic platform*.

Lavallee has a great opportunity to make that case. Changing one’s lifelong voter registration could be viewed as a big deal. Lavallee could talk about how the complacency and unhealthily one-sided Republican discourse has led to such bad outcomes that she could not in good conscience remain a Republican. She could talk about the dysfunction she sees in the Republican party—a party choosing the least qualified out of seventeen applicants for the job of President in 2016; a party choosing a do-nothing beauty-queen Congresswoman instead of an experienced prosecutor with statewide executive management experience to run for Governor in 2018; a party pushing Democrats, third parties, Independents, and the people of South Dakota off the ballot. She could talk about the real harm her old Republican Party is doing to the state and the nation—tearing apart vital American alliances, flattering dictators, threatening South Dakota farmers with tariffs and trade wars, denying South Dakota workers and health care providers the proven benefits of Medicaid expansion, supporting anti-immigrant hate rallies that foment destructive racist attitudes and undermine our economic development.

Lavallee could then explain that the Democratic Party actively counters that dysfunction. The Democratic Party nominates the best and brightest, people who can actually do the job of governing rather than running government and civil institutions down. The Democratic Party defends the basic American interest in supporting our allies and calling out our enemies for their violations of human rights and global norms. The Democratic Party puts farmers and workers first, making trade policies based on careful study and negotiation rather than the impulse to grab headlines and prove how long our neckties are. The Democratic Party passes beneficial and humane policies like Medicaid expansion. And the Democratic Party stands against racism and prejudice, stands for the Constitutional principles that say all people in our nation are to be treated equally under the law, and recognizes the practical reality that immigrants have made our country great all along.

Republicans are harming America and South Dakota; Democrats will undo that harm and make our nation and our state better.

That story would certainly resonate with the Democratic base. It would also resonate with the independents and recovering Republicans at whom Lavallee directed her convention speech:

She seems like a great pick from every angle I can think of. No doubt a lot our state’s Dems are muttering a bit about the fact that Lavallee has up until recently been a registered Republican, but having ditched my GOP registration last fall to register as an Independent because I couldn’t identify with the party of Trump anymore, I find common cause with any former Republican who in recent months did the same thing. I hope the brilliant and highly accomplished Lavallee ends up sending the same message to our erstwhile party-mates as I did: You Pubs have gone off the deep end [John Tsitrian, “South Dakota’s Democratic Gubernatorial Ticket Just Got Interesting,” The Constant Commoner, 2018.06.14].

See, Michelle? It’s o.k. to swing the bat. Criticizing Republicans, calling them out for their clear errors, is not deadly to the Sutton–Lavallee ticket’s election chances. It’s actually what many people outside the party, like Tsitrian, are thinking.

You Pubs have gone off the deep end. That’s why John Tsitrian could no longer be a Republican. That’s why Michelle Lavallee could no longer be a Republican. That’s why Michelle Lavallee has joined the Democratic Party and will campaign passionately for Democrats up and down the ticket to fix the Republican mess… right, Michelle?

*We can excuse Lavallee and other nominees at last weekend’s convention for not addressing the platform, since we didn’t technically have a platform. We handled nominations Friday afternoon; we approved the 2018 platform Saturday afternoon.


  1. jerry 2018-06-18 09:58

    Here, here Cory, most excellent description yet of what we are seeing in our state’s one party dysfunction. When we do not welcome all into the open arms of the Democratic Party, then we constrict what we stand for.

    One thing we had better stand for is not being pushed around any more by the loud and fake blather of the bullies. Prominent one time republicans are leaving, that will give message to others who have just been thinking about it. They may not leave, but they may not give their vote either to the party just because they are expected to. There is now a solid choice for change.

    Once again, Welcome to you Michelle Lavallee! Welcome to the SUTTON/LAVALLEE for governor and lieutenant governor for South Dakota band wagon! Let’s push and pull this wagon across to the winner’s circle full speed ahead!

  2. dave 2018-06-18 12:17

    what is with the horses? really? is SD going back to the days of the WW west? If i had to guess i would say less than 1% of the population have ever been on a horse….

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 12:41

    I’ve gotten that sense, too, Dave, from the Lavallee roll-out. Are we somehow lesser South Dakotans if we don’t ride horse? Maybe we would have had a better chance of getting the TenHaken vote if we’d picked an avid bicyclist. I would wager that more South Dakotans will ride a bicycle today than will ride a horse.

  4. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 13:22

    She actively supported Ten Haken (a.k.a. “The next John Thune”) just weeks ago as his co-chair and now she wants to reject Republicanism just after she set in motion a politician (Ten Haken) who is nothing but an attractive and articulate spoken for the 1 %?

    Oh, and watch this presentation, is this what it means to be a Democrat?

    Everyone, Ms. Lavallee might be a find person, but she is a Republican because she talks, walks, and acts like one and we are not going to change this state until the SDDP changes and starts talking, walking, and acting like a Democratic Party as well.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 13:43

    Gordon Wollman, from Huron, in that video—he must be related to Harvey! Is there a connection?

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 13:48

    The video JKC submits seems to epitomize vague MBA-speak—we don’t learn anything specific about Wollman’s business, specific “growing pains”, specific actions taken to address those growing pains, specific ways that the “rebranding” changed how the company was portrayed before and what the new brand does differently, other than emphasizing the firms focus on all five areas of investment… which, um, wow, they needed to hire a consultant and marketer to help them figure that out? Lavallee self-promotingly makes sure to get the new branding line in.

    What do executives learn from watching videos like that?

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 13:49

    That said, given Lavallee’s touted marketing skills, she ought to be able to take a narrative like the one laid out above about why she left the Republican Party and really sell it. When will she do that?

  8. Adam 2018-06-18 14:04

    Having the guts to run is different than having the balls and brains to win.

    Billie needs a viable TV ad ASAP. Of course, he can never appear tough enough to fight his way out of a paper bag lest he can find some way of talking tough.

    I’m sick of horse riding having anything to do with running for Governor. Take off your cow-people garb, put on a damn dress shirt and a suit and talk some real business.

    I can ride horses, pretty well, but seriously – what kind of idiot thinks it would make me a better elected official? A rural idiot, that’s who.

  9. jerry 2018-06-18 14:29

    I was born and raised a rural idiot, so I have that going for me, which is a good thing. The video that Mr. Claussen linked to is fantastic! This shows to me that we may finally be bringing in some thinking that goes along with the hard work it will take to bring economic development to our entire state. Anyone, except the guy who submitted it, who thinks that this well articulated, brilliant, hard working lady is not gonna make things happen in a positive way, is missing the mark. She plays the second in command in this video, to a T and shows that she is the complete team player. I can’t wait for the new change in Pierre to come with Billie Sutton and Michelle Lavallee! Good things are gonna happen!

  10. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 14:31

    Cory, these types of videos appear to be nothing but some type of A/V business card to the 1%.

    Does anyone know if her work has involved dynasty trusts? I have noticed that the Lavellee Group website is no longer accessible.

    I thought the same about the last name Wollman, which is rather ironic when you consider that Billie’s grandfather was Roger McKellips’ LG pick back in ’78 after McKellips beat Harvey Wollman in a close gubernatorial primary. Perhaps, it is a sign of bringing the Party back together once again, Democrats and Democrats, and a Republican too.

  11. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 14:57


    First of all, I like your name, Jerry. That was my late brother’s name, Jerry Robert, but with that said, I believe it is the duty of the Democratic Party to sit across the table from the business community and the 1%, and not sit next to them, and rub elbows..

    The establishment which you appear to have great faith in are the same ones who are responsible for the low wage reality here in South Dakota. And what you consider to be cooperation is actually co-opting, so be careful…

  12. DR 2018-06-18 15:01

    What does Congresswomen Noem being a beauty queen have to do with her qualifications to being governor? If want to go after he record to disqualify her as governor…fine but I don’t see the relevance of the beauty queen comment.

    Its like me saying the democrats put an atheist substitute teacher for district 3 senate.

  13. jerry 2018-06-18 15:08

    How can we expect to see business conducted by the governors office if you have a lawyer, Janklow, an insurance guy, Rounds and a banker, Daugaard running the show? The only thing you get out of that mixture is corruption along with the vehicle to get you out of the jam you caused. Missing EB5 millions, the lawyer. Gear up millions the lawyer. Economic development..What’s that?

    Bring on an actual ag producer and an actual successful business person to make the change needed for economic development. While one guy went to the mall to look for talent, the new guy will have talent looking to come here.

  14. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 15:17


    You don’t think that Pierre is tied to Sioux Falls? Do you think that somehow there are two separate, but major, economic development communities in this state?…. My friend, they are one and the same….

  15. Robert McTaggart 2018-06-18 15:43

    Something to keep in mind regarding tariffs…

    The current trade climate with China may be jeopardizing a big natural gas investment (storage, uses of nat gas, etc.) that China wants to make in West Virginia, which has lately been a Trump electoral stronghold. If that falls through, that is a big deal ($80+ billion over 20 years).

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 17:02

    DR: I’m making the point that being a beauty queen is a notable portion of her personal history and an apt summary of the job that Republicans hired her to do for the last eight years.

  17. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 17:04

    Cory, that sounds like something that N. Koreans or Russians would do, not Democrats…. ;-)

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 17:04

    But funny, DR: that’s pretty much what Al’s supporters said about their opponent during the last campaign.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 17:06

    Jerry, are you sure you can quantify Lavallee’s level of business success and say it’s better than Daugaard’s or Rounds’s prior to their elections?

    And do you really think that video of Lavallee engaging in empty corporate speak is “fantastic”? Maybe my blinders are on. Please tell me what I’m missing that should impress me about that video.

  20. jerry 2018-06-18 17:17

    Mr. Claussen, I consider us all tied together now that Billie Sutton and Michelle Lavallee are on the way to making economic development a real priority.

    Thanks for liking my name, it is something that I picked out of a hat or something. Democrats need to rub elbows with anyone who will rub elbows with (not the Russians, RUSSIA IS OUR ENEMY). We need to make business inroads here on the roads that we do not have that are passable in the bad weather. The low wage reality here is not so much the fault of the employers, a lot of it rests on the shoulders of the employees for not asking for raises by not thinking they are worth raises. You cannot expect employers to arbitrarily give you a raise without being prompted. This is not the military where you get your raise by time in service, you demand it or look for something else.

    The idea of economic development is bring jobs in and expand existing. How do you do that? You have a team of influence at the top that brings in interested parties. Bille Sutton and Michelle Lavallee will have the clout to do exactly that. Come on dude, don’t be that guy. Step up and help pull this damn wagon.

    Regarding Sioux Falls, that town has the Sky Force. Some other city in South Dakota, like Pierre, may be getting trump’s Space Force, so there ya go. May the Force be with you.

  21. jerry 2018-06-18 17:33

    Cory, of course I can. Take a look at these two you mention and tell me what kind of excitement they have generated with their interviews. I have actually caught carp with more personality than those two combined. The only way Rounds was elected is because everyone was so tired of the other two guys beating hell out of one another, voters took the guy who just stood there and waved. Daugaard went along for the ride and was a good choice because he knew to keep his mouth shut. It worked out well for him as the lt governor who knew where the skeletons were and as governor who made sure those skeletons stayed put.

    In that interview, I see and hear a team player, plain and simple. I would do business with that team in a heartbeat because I would have the sense that they were knowledgeable about the direction that needed to be taken and had the plan to carry it through. If you cannot sell the idea of the state to potential corporate investors, then we stay in the Rounds/Daugaard mode of just hoping like hell corruption shows up to sell out to. Our state can do much better and I see that this is the team that can get’r done.

  22. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 18:01


    The wagon isn’t going where you think it is….

  23. jerry 2018-06-18 18:05

    Oh yeah it is friend, with or without you.

  24. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 18:21


    Is that what they told you or told you to say?

  25. jerry 2018-06-18 18:47

    John, I was always told that when folks don’t have anything to say, they troll. You John, fit exactly what they told me.

  26. Adam 2018-06-18 18:49

    It’s already getting confusing as to who we are excited about. Is it Sutton or Lavallee? Average voters haven’t yet learned enough about Billie and naming his higher profile running mate so early makes building Billie’s image a bit tougher to do over the next couple months.

    There is nothing charismatic or even substantial, in the most basic way, within the video. Please do not get excited about such fluff. I think we are better than that.

    We REALLY NEED to keep focusing on Billie, not Michelle as he is the one who will either live up to our expectations, or become yet another big fat let down. It all rides on him, and we all need to understand that.

    Michelle means nothing to me.

  27. jerry 2018-06-18 19:00

    Billie Sutton’s image is just fine. He has the good fortune to have made a command decision. Voters like that, and he did it early so as to make sure the voters understand where he stands on the direction he wishes to take South Dakota.

    Regarding the video John submitted. Fluff as it may be, it shows very clearly to me anyway, that Michelle Lavallee is up to the task of working to make Billie Sutton’s vision work. What more can you ask from your lieutenant?

    It all rides on us, the voters in how we support and get out and vote.

  28. Adam 2018-06-18 19:48

    From start to finish, running for office is all about image building. Kristi Noem surely isn’t done image tweaking/building for the general election, and the only indicator that Billie’s image might be ‘just fine’ (sufficient enough to coast on) is if there is a poll that shows he’s within 10 points of Noem in 2018.

    I have not yet seen much detail in Billie’s vision. In fact, he’s so lacking on details that I cannot consider him a visionary in any regard.

    I’m sick of blaming voter turnout, particularly on the Rez, for SD Dems failures of the last 15 years. Either we start making better sense to more ‘moderate’ white people in SD or we will forever be lost.

    Look, I very much like and support Billie, and I really hate Kristi Noem, but I just want to keep it real – that’s all. Billie has a TON of work to do – on his image.

  29. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 20:13

    “I’m sick of blaming voter turnout, particularly on the Rez, for SD Dems failures of the last 15 years. Either we start making better sense to more ‘moderate’ white people in SD or we will forever be lost.”

    Boy isn’t that the truth? I sat in on the EBoard meeting of the SDDP recently and everyone wants to develop the voter potential for Democrats on the Reservations, but what about some of the underperforming legislative districts in this state too?

    Did you know that in Legislative District 15 – a Democratic district where Dems win – that it takes roughly half the signatures to get on the ballot than in enjoining districts in Minnehaha County where Dems have a far far less chance of winning, and why is that? Because we don’t bother to get the Dems out to vote in 15 and we also fail to get Dems registered in 15, so fewer Dems vote; which means a politician needs less signatures in the next election to get on the ballot. And as a Party, if our Party leaders cannot acknowledge this, then it just proves that the Party is merely going through the motions when it comes to expanding the base. And if you think a Democrat is going to win statewide in this state in 2018 without carrying Minnehaha you are greatly mistaken; and the State Party is gravely mistaken if they think that they can carry Minnehaha with an underdeveloped 15 and a “Hail May” hope with a Republican LG candidate….

  30. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 20:17


    Trolls are anonymous, but I am neither. And didn’t you admit that you “picked out of a hat” your name?

  31. jerry 2018-06-18 20:18

    No one’s image is sufficient to coast on, not even NOem’s. I am of the opinion that Billie Sutton’s image is what it is. Given that, he managed to show that he can manage to make change by having to vision to go a direction that befuddles some, but not me, I see potential and new possibilities.

    Regarding details, let’s see now. It has only been a couple of days now since making the announcement, so I think we should give the team a little time to get those important details right.

    You will never ever hear me or have ever heard me ever say anything negative about voters on the reservations. So stop that Adam. Let’s face it, we have not had much of a draw to bring to the table for any voter. We now have, so let us stay positive.

    Billie is not the only one who has work to do. We all have seen plenty of times when republicans simply out game plan us with numbers actively knocking on doors and spreading paper. The last time I saw a real campaign was when Stephanie Herseth ran. That was something man. I had a campaign worker from back east staying at my house and he and the rest of those workers, did a get out the vote on the reservations as well as the entire area. For the record, it was a hard fought campaign but she triumphed! That is what this will take as well. We may get national exposure and get some outside help, but for the most part, it will be us.

    If anyone thinks that Billie Sutton’s image is tarnished, then do what you can do to polish it up in your own mind. You cannot convince a stranger to vote for your candidate if you don’t believe in them. If having Michelle Lavallee is so detrimental to your vision, then you are not seeing the distance and are wearing bifocals.

  32. grudznick 2018-06-18 20:26

    Republicanism is where it is at, and the SDDP seems to be coming over to that realization with moderate candidates with less libbie screetching and reasonable discourse. Look at Messrs. Seiler, Bjorkman, and even Sutton for examples.

    grudznick theorizes it is the mirror image of the ousting of so many Howites and Nelsonians from the GOP this past cycle. But it is only a theory.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-18 21:24

    Hold on, JKC: I’m pretty sure no one is telling Jerry what to say, just as I am confident no one is telling you what to say. No need to ascribe contentions to folks behind curtains.

  34. Adam 2018-06-18 21:28

    I truly believe, from all I can see, that no one has ever said a bad word about Billie in probably his whole life as, I imagine, he just never gave anyone a reason.

    However, if he comes anywhere near Kristi in the polling, you can count on all our TVs saturated with words like, “Sutton has a soft heart – and his policies could allow thousands of immigrants to pour into South Dakota… changing our way of life.” Unfortunately, the only candidates who tend to be tough enough to handle that kind of crap are people who some people don’t take all that kindly too.

    I only say these things in hopes that we avoid holding Billie up to some unreasonable, G Rated, enevitably losing expectations. If he’s gonna win, it ain’t gonna be pretty. She ain’t gonna just lay down and die – she’s gotta be slain, and Billie has to do the heavy lifting on that all-important facet of OUR greater effort.

    He needs to get out and start punching yesterday. Be careful and all, just be sure to start punching – here and now.

  35. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2018-06-18 21:52

    Cory, I am just defending myself, when an other accuses me of something that I am not; because there is a difference between “pretty sure” and “confident.”

  36. jerry 2018-06-18 22:12

    I think Billie Sutton is a lot tougher than you think. Anyone who can get into a chute with a bronc has got some salt. Tom Berry was that sort of cowboy governor they say. What is good about the Sutton/Lavallee team is that it is a team right from the start, there has been no hesitation about who the team is and I look forward to them going forward, as you say “start punching yesterday”.

    That seems to have been Billie Sutton’s way since he has been in politics and he does know how to win, unlike others who may differ from his approach.

  37. Debbo 2018-06-19 15:05

    “We keep running these races as if we are running Republican lite on the belief that if we are just good enough, just nice enough, just acceptable enough, if we don’t say loud enough what it is that we believe in, that maybe they’ll like us, and when they go into the ballot box they’ll choose us,” Gillum said, referring to the difficulty Democrats have had in winning back the Florida governor’s mansion over about the past 20 years. “What Republican voters have shown us is that when they have the choice between the real thing and the fake one, they go with the real one every time. … And then our voters, the very ones that we need in order to win, we’re not providing them a motivation or a stimulation to get out there and vote for us. Why? Because they’re not sure that we’re for them.”

    The speaker is Andrew Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee and candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, quoted in WaPo interview.

    What he said is exactly what I think. I’ll be happy to be wrong about SD and Sutton/Lavalee.

  38. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-19 16:02

    Jerry, we must just have different glasses on. I am fundamentally suspicious of every salesman. The video you link, Lavallee with Wollman, sounds like two salespeople trying to get me to buy their product. Sure they sound enthusiastic—they’re building a brand and angling for cash. All I think when I watch that video is that I should watch my wallet.

    That’s no reflection on the political positions the Sutton campaign will be fighting for. That’s just my assessment of corporate marketing videos.

  39. jerry 2018-06-19 17:17

    Cory, that is what it takes to do business. Daugaard couldn’t pull the trigger on his sales pitch at the Mall of America or anyplace else. That was not his fault as he was taught by Rounds as the only way you can improve the state’s coffers is to go corruption style, like the EB5 and Gear Up.

    If you cannot sell your product, then fold your tent and move on. I look at the comfort zone Michelle Lavallee is in with her story and I look at Billie Sutton in the video’s you posted. Both of these candidates are selling and I am buying. I think your glasses are just fine, maybe just smudged.

    When you say watch your wallet, I say indeed, watch it grow. Something else, a good friend of mine and his wife were republicans, long time republicans. Both are now Independents thanks to what they have recently seen. They are both firmly in the Democratic camp right now along with some others that I know have jumped in to make a change. So Michelle Lavallee recently did the same. Billie Sutton is a Democrat that happens to believe in right to life, which is his business. Michelle Lavalle is a progressive in that regard. So there is a give and take as in every relationship and partnership.

    I like what they are selling and am buying it. If you all cannot, then what are you going to do? Are you going to stay home and pout or are you finally fed up with 40 years of bullpuckey? Don’t expect change to just happen because you wish it, it takes time, work for it.

  40. jerry 2018-06-19 18:08

    I guess you all have to ask yourselves a question, would you rather have change or would you prefer to have the same old racket that NOem is proposing, like this news today:

    “House Republicans released a proposal Tuesday that would balance the budget in nine years — but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security, that President Trump vowed not to touch.”

    So we are clear, NOem is a House republican that supports this. We have to have a balanced budget in South Dakota so NOem is all on board for one at a national level. What could go wrong? How about the loss of your Social Security in all its reaches? How about Medicare?

    I like what Sutton and Lavallee are bringing to the table. My vision sees nothing but terror if NOem and her crony win. The same old stuff multiplied with her new knowledge of corruption at the grand scale in Washington.

  41. Adam 2018-06-19 18:26

    I heard a testimonial from a friend who listened to Billie on the radio today, and this quite intelligent friend of mine said Billie sounded like a ‘limp biscuit’ and ‘appeared to stammer over how to answer questions.’

    My heart sunk – as this friend of mine is no fool, and I can also, independently, see that Billie has toughness problems – as saying you’re “tough” with nothing to back it up very specifically means that you are not tough, and that’s all he’s done so far.

    I implore all of you to give me one reason (an issue position) to believe Billie is tough and knows how to push ideas – besides some irrelevant youthful rodeo experience that the guy has. AND when you struggle to find something, be sure to tell Billie’s camp that he needs to be a lot tougher, with A LOT more words than, “Billie is tough” or conservatives are going to, literally, laugh at him in just a few months.

    If there is something I am missing, please let me know! (by sharing Billie’s issue positions or something he once said). Somebody, please quote something ‘tough’ that he once said.

  42. mike from iowa 2018-06-19 18:50

    Not sure I would want to gin up any thoughts of whether a man or woman who needs a wheelchair to get around should be tasked with a typical ambulatory person’s aura of toughness.

    OTOH, Mr Sutton is free to define himself in his own way. If he says he is tough, who am I to gainsay he is not?

  43. Adam 2018-06-19 18:57

    Willingness to be harsh is the primary way to demonstrate toughness to conserva-voters, and if you’re not tough, then you are weak… and if you’re weak, you’re a looser.

    Toughness in running for office has nothing to do with physical capacity. It’s all about punchy personality in combination with raw intelligence about the issues which are most important to our time.

  44. Roger Cornelius 2018-06-19 19:25

    To date, Billie hasn’t had to be “tough”. He didn’t have a challenger attacking him or him attacking a challenger throughout the primary season.
    We’ll have to wait and see who comes out swinging after this weekend’s SDGOP convention.

  45. jerry 2018-06-19 19:34

    Anyone heard NOem on the radio or tee vee? She sounds like someone who is gonna take away your Medicare and Social Security like a gangster. I listened to Cory’s video, you may want to send that to your goodest buddy so he can see the guy and hear him.

  46. Porter Lansing 2018-06-19 20:04

    Adam, buddy. What are you? Fourteen? You sound like you get your model for manhood from TV Army recruitment commercials. Men don’t comment or even consider other men’s “toughness”. Men know tough when they’re around it, Adam. Just like women know beauty when they’re around it.
    Tough men are confident men, Adam. Tough men can neutralize toxic people. Tough men love change and they know that fear is the number one source of regret. Tough men are relentlessly positive. Tough men can say no. You and your buddy don’t think Mr. Sutton is tough? Go try to get a bank loan from him, Paco.

  47. Debbo 2018-06-19 20:37

    Imo, political toughness is demonstrated in a willingness to hold an unpopular position or oppose a popular bill. It’s a willingness to risk for the better of the people the politician represents. It might be making an unpleasant deal in the belief that the good for the politician’s constituents outweighs the negative. It not equivocating when equivocation would be easier and more comfortable.

    In my dictionary, that’s political toughness.

  48. Porter Lansing 2018-06-19 21:56

    Good one, Deb. Along your thinking, one must be apprehensive of Kristi Noem as Governor. She would no longer have a philosophical group to emulate. Being on her own might be too much decision making without a proper, personal background doing it. To hold an unpopular position takes courage of conviction and I don’t see it, in her time in D.C.

  49. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-20 06:56

    Correction, Adam: Lavallee does not have a higher profile than Sutton. Giving the running mate some extra attention the week of her nomination is not unusual or harmful; her novelty will wear off and the press will get back to focusing on the Sutton/Noem contest shortly.

  50. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-20 06:57

    …and maybe “moderate” white people are the ones who need to make better sense.

  51. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-06-20 07:00

    I second John KC’s call for a voter registration/GOTV drive in District 15 in addition to whatever reservation push takes place. Such a drive in District 15 will be far more efficient than any comparable drive in rural areas. No commute for the staffers leading the drive, houses and voters far closer together… and hey! Since the Democratic Legislative candidates in D15 have all won and face no general election challenge, they need something to do. :-D

  52. Adam 2018-06-21 01:12

    There are a lot of ways to describe toughness in politics. I think charisma, sharpness on and passion for the issues, a clear and specific vision for what you are proposing, why the heck you’re better than you’re opponent … with a pinch of Randy Macho Man Savage sums it up pretty well.

    Those are the people who get elected and re-elected (even when they are TERRIBLE at their jobs [like Kristi Noem]), and for the foreseeable future, no one can reinvent this wheel.

    I was more of a Hulk Hogan kid though. So, to each their own.

    One of Marty Jackley’s TV ads branded him as “some people think he’s boring, conservative“ in an attempt to display him as level headed and above all this latest nationwide political craziness. Too bad though – a pinch of 1980s style Hulk Hogan in his coffee every morning might have really helped him out there on that campaign trail. No?

    Honestly, could it hurt Billie to find his inner tough guy a little more? I just feel like ads on TV will capitalize on his kindness as if it is a weakness – making him out to have, for instance, “too big of heart for South Dakota’s pocketbook” sort of standard liberal Fox News is always warning even our moderate SD voters about.

    I’m not fourteen, I pay attention and I am concerned. I do see your point though, Porter.

  53. mike from iowa 2018-06-21 07:07

    Billie Sutton had to overcome a devastating, debilitating personal injury to become the man he is today.

    Noem has gotten a free pass, for the most part, on her lies about how tough it was to get a family farm paid for with insurance money and lie about it over and over again.

    Is this a beauty contest? Sutton is by far tougher than pansy-ass Noem. No contest.

  54. Adam 2018-06-21 13:03

    Please don’t hate me for saying this as I have the best intentions, but honestly, I feel (as FDR calculated) that it can easily be seen as slightly cheap to use one’s wheelchair as a prop in one’s election.

    FDR hid his wheelchair from the public in every way for only one reason: he wanted people to focus on the words and ideas coming out of his mouth, very specifically, INSTEAD of his wheel chair. Anyone feel like questioning FDR’s political wherewithal?

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