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Scyller Borglum: Just Another Trumpist

Dash any hopes you might have had that Republican rookie Representative Scyller Borglum would run for U.S. Senate as some sort of stealth progressive, rallying independents and women to her side to escape Mike Rounds’s servile capitulation to the reckless incompetence of Donald J. Trump. In her announcement speech this morning, Borglum revealed that her marketing line of “common-sense conservatism” really means Trumpism:

The same group of people who stand in line for their pictures with President Trump were some of his loudest critics not that long ago. And what were they afraid of? They were afraid that his common-sense conservative approach to the business of running America was not what they had in mind [Scyller Borglum, campaign announcement speech, Rapid City, SD, 2019.07.01].

I’d think a candidate with a Ph.D. would be smarter than that. But if she can look at Donald Trump’s mismanagement of domestic and foreign policy and call that “common sense,” it’s clear that Borglum is just another Trumpist committed to using words with no meaning.

Borglum signals that she will raise the spectre of Rounds’s gubernatorial scandals. I welcome any Republican to join me in pointing out Mike Rounds’s record of corruption and failure.

But Borglum criticizes the Democratic Party Presidential candidates for speaking Spanish. She says “Trump has done a fantastic job” of deregulating the economy and reining in government overreach. She calls the Affordable Care Act a “disaster” and promises to replace it with some “free market” plan that she will announce later in the campaign (yeah, yeah, more tease)… yet she laments that Medicare doesn’t pay hospitals enough to stay out of the red. She invokes meth from south of the border and MS-13 gangs and open borders (which no Democrat advocates) and building Trump’s wall.

I want Republicans to help me oust Mike Rounds. But that help won’t come from a Trumpist in a red dress who uses meaningless words just like her idol. Mike Rounds harms South Dakota most by facilitating the reckless policies that hurt South Dakota’s farmers and businesses. Scyller Borglum won’t solve that problem; she’ll only make it worse.

Borglum is this primary’s Shantel Krebs, pandering to Trump voters, despite all the ill Trump does to women and to South Dakota. And given the lack of anything else to distinguish herself in this morning’s announcement, she’ll end up like Krebs, in second place.


  1. Debbo 2019-07-01 15:35

    Too bad. Hate to give up hope for someone, but I guess it’s time . . . . . . . .

  2. jerry 2019-07-01 16:10

    trump in lipstick and heels.

  3. bearcreekbat 2019-07-01 16:55

    Oh well . . . .

  4. Donald Pay 2019-07-01 17:09

    Yuck. Teasing fascism has got to be a new low. Glad I left the state.

  5. east river 2019-07-01 17:57

    I am Republican and I will NEVER vote for mike rounds!

  6. mike from iowa 2019-07-01 18:16

    Please tell me there is no way she is as stoopid as Drumpf and the rest of the Clampett clan in the kremlin annex.

    Seriously, Drumpf’s idea of western liberalism is Dems in California.

  7. happy camper 2019-07-01 18:20

    The main shared goal should be to get rid of Trump with an electable candidate like Biden. You can’t go full Monty I’m very worried we’ll have a repeat of not getting behind a Hillary type candidate but instead a Sanders or Harris, who by the way had those stupid T-shirts ready to sell the next day she is not authentic. Seriously think about the importance of compromise and supporting a decent guy like Biden who can bring sufficient numbers of Republicans to oust Trump. The thing is, you libs like things your way very specifically as Cory should attest after veering from the narrative and getting kicked around a bit. Sometimes being pragmatic is the way to go for the betterment of the country and even the world I’m not sure we can handle four more years of this borderline lunatic. Biden is a little advanced in years but he has committed his life to equality and should not be undermined in his efforts to get Trump out of office.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01 18:55

    I share that goal, Hap… but I don’t think that goal coincides with the analysis of Borglum’s minuscule chances of beating Rounds. Krebs tried exactly this path last year, pandering to Trumpists while branding Dusty Johnson as an establishment crony. It didn’t work. Borglum may have an advantage on that tack if she doesn’t have a Neal Tapio junp in to make it a three-way and split the Trumpist vote, but she gives that advantage back in running against an incumbent who has all the money he needs to crush her and no reason not to crush her. Shantel Krebs at least had a base in the party. Borglum has no statewide reputation. She has no record of public service or winning a statewide election as Krebs did. Does Borglum have any connections that will help her?

  9. happy camper 2019-07-01 19:33

    I went off topic to make a point. She’s small potatoes. You just had a learning moment of how fast “supporters” can turn there are bigger fish to fry.

  10. Porter Lansing 2019-07-01 19:55

    Note to SD … If someone like Happy Camper, who uses the pejorative “you libs”, tries to convince you that Sleepy Joe Biden can win over The Donald, you can know darned well that he can’t beat Don the Con. Happy’s on the other team and can’t be believed about anything political. It’s just distraction. We have many candidates who will make a proper President but Joe Biden isn’t one of them.

  11. marvin kammerer 2019-07-01 21:12

    it seems that some people know a lot more than i do about ms.borglum. i do knew she did support native people of the along with former sen,.adelstien & i found that they had met with sd.public tv.before coming to the racing magpies. the dust hasn’t settled yet on ms. scyller . it may be interesting as this progress’s for both democrats & republicans.i would hope ms.scyller doesn’t for get the needed support of native people & certainly calling out trump & his disgraceful attitude of women.the man is insane & and an egotist.

  12. RJ 2019-07-01 21:21

    Hold up..Did she say Trump has common sense? When Trump said not the best and brightest, I think that mean the GOP party.

  13. grudznick 2019-07-01 21:44

    Let you all be clear, here. Neither young Dr. Borg nor President Trump are members of or affiliated with the Conservatives with Common Sense.

  14. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-07-01 21:50

    It’s questionable if she can beat Rounds, very questionable. But this is the fourth time in modern history – that I can remember – where an incumbent South Dakota Republican officeholder, who held statewide office, was challenged for renomination.

    Now, I am leaving Daugaard’s challenger in ’14 out of this, because Hubbel’s challenge I don’t think was ever very serious.

    However, whenever a Republican incumbent is challenged for renomination in this state in a serious manner, it does not bode well for them. Farrar was seriously challenged in ’70 and went on to lose to Kneip in the fall. Abdnor defeated Janklow’s challenge in ’86, but then went on to lose to Daschle in the fall; and then incumbent Governor Miller lost to Janklow in ’94 for the Republican nomination for governor. But, then again, with that said, who do the Democrats have to take advantage of this historic opportunity is the real question?

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01 22:10

    (Hap, you assume I learned anything. I resist the notion.)

    I wanted Borglum to be bigger potatoes, at least big enough to fry Mike Rounds. But now that she’s opened her campaign mouth, she’s shown she’s just another pablum-spewing Trumpportunist. She’s not really small fry; she’s spawn of the biggest fry.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01 22:17

    Marvin, nothing in her announcement today indicated she would be calling out Donald Trump’s misogyny or racism. The only mention she made of women’s issues today seemed to be the self-serving claim that people tell her they want to see more women in office (which translates as, vote for me!) One would think that, if Native issues were at the top of her agenda, she’d have mentioned them in her campaign kick-off to distinguish herself and set the tone for her campaign. She didn’t mention our Lakota brothers and sisters. She instead touted Trump, free-market health care solutions, and the border wall. She doesn’t sound like a crusader for anyone but herself and the Donald.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01 22:18

    RJ, yes, she did say Manhattan billion-heir golfer Donald has common sense.

    Hmm… Borglum has a Ph.D…. maybe she is our next Dr. Bosworth….

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01 22:29

    JKC, I challenge your suggestion that a primary challenge signals trouble for the Republican incumbent. Your historical examples do not apply here. The Republican challenger in two of your cases was Bill Janklow, and Bill Janklow is a historical singularity. I can’t speak to the horsepower of the Republican challenger in your third example (Frank Henderson), but the weakened Frank Farrar then had to face the Democrats’ best gubernatorial candidate since the Depression, Richard Kneip. The Democrats have placed no such person in the chute yet….

    Unless this is where Billie Sutton comes in.

    But while we wait for hope, Borglum is showing only marketing savvy, not the connections it will take to peel support away from Rounds in a Republican primary…. or maybe a secret dossier on GEAR UP… which she could have gotten from connections at Mines….

  19. Roger Cornelius 2019-07-01 23:03

    marvin kammerer,
    Ms. Borglum should not expect nor will she receive the support of the Lakota people in this state.
    Haven’t you heard, Marvin, Trump her hero hates brown skinned people.

  20. Roger Cornelius 2019-07-01 23:10

    Isn’t “Conservatives with Common” like a oxymoron or something?

  21. Debbo 2019-07-01 23:15

    HC said, “who by the way had those stupid T-shirts ready to sell the next day [Sen. Kamala Harris] is not authentic.”

    It’s called debate prep and planning. Sen. Harris did it better than the others that time. They all do it, Democrats and GOP, including prepping good lines to help them stand out, critical when one of 10 with only a few minutes to be noticed.

    Wilted Weenie doesn’t do it because it would require increasing his attention span beyond 15 seconds. He’s incapable.

  22. Debbo 2019-07-01 23:17

    It’s not unusual for a candidate to run for the same office more than once. Either Sutton ought to try again, or the SDDP should recruit one of those dynamic women in LEAD SD.

  23. Debbo 2019-07-01 23:20

    Or Paula Hawks? The SD Synod of the ELCA is one of the top 3 churches in size in SD and it’s elected 2 different women as synod bishops now. I think SD will elect a woman not an R.

  24. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-07-02 01:11

    Cory, you are right that Janklow is a historic singularity, but history proves that a primary challenge for any incumbent is not good a thing. I also think that Rounds was vulnerable before this challenge and Borglum’s candidacy only complicates things for him. The Rounds who likes to go on MSNBC now has to run against the Borglum, who will probably reach out to FOX whenever possible.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-02 05:47

    Rounds’s incumbency this time does make comparisons to recent races harder… but usually incumbency is seen as an advantage. Since 1982, U.S. Senate incumbents have almost always had around or better than 80% reëlection rates. Borglum has to tap an anti-incumbent sentiment that rarely manifests itself in actual voting and, when it does manifest itself, doesn’t go whole hog and elect someone from another party.

    By pandering to Trump, Borglum is taking the same tack used by Howie, Knuppe, Hubbel, Bosworth, Nelson, Ravnsborg, Krebs, and Tapio in recent GOP primaries.

    We thought Rounds was vulnerable in 2014 with Richard Benda’s suicide on everyone’s mind, Northern Beef Packers bankrupt, and Joop Bollen throwing bombs at the Legislature. Rounds won both primary and general with clean majorities. GEAR UP had no impact on the 2016 and 2018 elections. Nothing has happened to make me think Rounds’s corruption has ripened in voters’ minds. Is there any factor that has changed that undoes his incumbency advantage and puts him in a net worse position in 2020 than he was in 2014?

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-02 06:50

    Giving us the full Trump, Borglum included at two false statements in first campaign speech, as reported by Lee Strubinger:

    Borglum falsely stated the state GOP is losing registered voters to the independent party. She also incorrectly says Rounds has a campaign chest of 1.5 million dollars that came from lobbyists. According to latest cash on hand summaries from the FEC, Rounds has just over one million dollars [Lee Strubinger, “Borglum to Challenge Rounds in 2020 Primary,”, 2019.07.01].

    I hope SDPB will work that hard and fast to fact-check Mike Rounds and other incumbents during the 2020 campaign.

  27. Jenny 2019-07-02 10:34

    Borglum isn’t going anywhere and unless someone has name recognition and 20 million dollars 💵 to beat a popular Senator, Rounds is safe.

  28. Jenny 2019-07-02 10:41

    As much as I hate to admit it, I think happy camper is correct. Joe Biden is the only candidate right now That stands a chance of beating Trump. Voters aren’t ready for a woman president, and the establishment does not want Sanders.

  29. Donald Pay 2019-07-02 11:40

    Rounds is pretty much a cipher. It’s really not Magic Mike’s fault. The way the Senate is run now, the only person who matters is Mitch, and he gets most of his orders from Trump. So, you could put a rat on a leash or Jesus H. Christ in that seat, and it wouldn’t matter.

    What sex of rat do you want for your strip show? It doesn’t matter whether you choose “Magic Mike” Rounds or Scyller “The Tease” Borglum. The only thing that will change is the genitals.

  30. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-07-02 11:41

    The thing is though, that of the candidates you mentioned, Krebs and Tapio were the most credible and together their numbers were greater than Dusty’s. We can debate whether Borglum can tap into that, but if she can do it, the damage she could conceivably do is lessened, however, by the fact that the Democrats do not have a candidate to take advantage of this, which is the real issue here.

  31. mike from iowa 2019-07-02 11:48

    Voters were ready for a female Potus in 2016, overwhelmingly in favor, but you know how dirty tricks played out against HRC.

  32. Jenny 2019-07-02 12:22

    The Clinton campaign made a lot of dumb mistakes in 2016 like avoiding visiting Wisconsin in the last two months. Why can’t the Hillary Clinton supporters admit that Bernie would have been a better candidate? Sanders Would have easily won the rust belt states that HRC should have won ( PA, Michigan and Wisconsin ) Because the millennials Which were hugely supportive of Bernie would have come out to vote that day. Admit it, quit whining and MoveOn from it.

  33. Roger Cornelius 2019-07-02 13:17

    Bernie with an “I” did not win the primary, why can’t Bernie supporters accept that?
    Bernie with a “D” would have stood a better chance.

  34. 96Tears 2019-07-02 13:21

    Shantel who?

    I really didn’t know if this “announcement” was legit or a parody. I heard it yesterday on S.D. Public Radio and thought her inflections and word choices were … a bit off. Like, not all there.

    “I’m not sure how Mike Rounds squeaked into office with all of these problems surrounding him in his governor’s time.”

    “His governor’s time?” Cory, did you say she’s got a doctorate?

    Her phrasing reminded me of Michelle Bachmann, and she reminds me more of Annette Bosworth than Shantel. Bright. Seems to be all there at first glance. Attractive.

    (Note to self: Something’s phony here.)

    Then she opens her mouth and, whoops, there are parts missing inside. The kid babbling incessantly next to her made more sense. Common sense conservative, like Donald Trump????? It’s just loaded with … whackadoo!

    [Or as comic John Mulaney puts it, there is a horse in the hospital!]

    So, is the second Louboutin hitting the floor going to be Lynne DiSanto announcing she’s running against career politician and Potomac Fever partisan status climber John Thune?

  35. 96Tears 2019-07-02 14:01

    I enjoy J.K. Claussen, Sr.’s historic reflections, but I have come to the point of realizing that South Dakota’s politics much more resembles our post-statehood Republican era than anything in the last half century.

    South Dakota has just one viable political party. You’re either in it or not, which is born out in statewide races and is reflective in legislative races where the GOP has held super majorities in each chamber for a long time. Since the Second Coming of Bill Janklow as our Overlord and Governor, the two-party system in South Dakota has shifted to the RWNJs of the SDGOP and those who are not RWNJs. The RWNJs hated Janklow, Rounds and Daugaard, and the struggle against the Pierre-based SDGOP establishment managed to strengthen the RWNJs’ standing. They are becoming the establishment wing with Trump as president and Noem as governor.

    This emerging era of SDGOP identity is where young neophyte Scyller Borglum springs from. But before anyone thinks this schism is opportunity for Democrats, think. There is one thing all of the wings of the SDGOP still agree upon: Rub out every Democrat.

    Democrats, maybe we should all use lower case “d” when referring to the party in absentia, need to rethink their role and potential effectiveness in the state. There are pathways to government empowerment without having to re-register as Republicans. Before the majority party completely locks the doors to initiative and referendum in the state, Democrats had better come up with a strategy and a vision that changes Pierre and state politics forever. The Final Countdown. (Cue the music!)

    (Hint: It should never involve putting a D in front of it.)

    Hurry up. As with climate change, the door will shut and not reopen.

  36. Jenny 2019-07-02 15:16

    The Vikings have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the SDDP defeating anybody in the next 10 years. You have one shining star in Sutton and some potential in a handful of others and that’s it. All the other former S.D. Democrats moved out of state to get paid more and who can blame them?
    When a conservative pro-life Democrat cannot win the governorship over a self-absorbed right wing Christian extremist things are bad.

  37. jerry 2019-07-02 18:17

    Things are bad because a conservative pro-life Democrat didn’t show that he was pro-life in all regards, like healthcare. Sutton was clueless on what his neighbors are paying for republican failures with healthcare.

    What it will take to beat Rounds is beating him at his own game. That game is health insurance for one. Fischer Rounds made him a millionaire many times over, $16,000,000.00 in 2015

    Where did Mike Rounds get his money and how he is still getting it? Hammer around on that for a while.

    So, everyone pays their insurance premiums of over $1,100.00 a month for a person 50 years of age or $477.18 for a baby, now you know why Mikey is so well heeled. Gnaw around on that and then bring up why Rounds is against trump coming up with a health plan that would be much less. Tell the voters that you, Scyller Borglum are smart enough to find ways to easing the pain for South Dakota voters. Then start on the crappy economy that Rounds supports and hurts South Dakotan’s. There ya go. How to get’r done as the opposition.

  38. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-07-02 21:25

    If she out-Trumps Rounds, she could have a chance. I’ll, however, put my money on this prognostication: She’s just a dizzy attack-blond from whom we will hear nothing after June 2020.

  39. chris 2019-07-03 11:24

    Am betting she’s been approved by Jared and Ivanka already. Expecting their cordial visit to SD soon, where they will “discover” her.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-03 19:18

    Chris, if that happens, then Borglum is in business, and Rounds is in trouble.

  41. grudznick 2019-07-03 19:53

    If Dr. Borg can channel Dr. Boz, or even get her to sign on as a backer, she could trampoline into a whole new level of support from the people who wanted Dr. Boz to access those resources that would have trampolined her. Dr. Boz hates Mr. Rounds. Dr. Borg hates Mr. Rounds. What grudznick is suggesting, here, is that the Drs. could team up and really take this election to the next level.

  42. grudznick 2019-07-03 19:57

    What if Drs. Boz and Borg trampolined together, to the next level? That is what many think Mr. Rounds fears the most.

  43. leslie 2019-07-03 23:17

    …this primary’s shantal krebs”. Great analogy cah!

  44. marvin kammerer 2019-07-04 10:49

    personally, i think it is a good thing smilling mike has is good for the state & demos’i abhor ms.borglum’s adoration of mr.trump,but the best part is that rounds has opposition in the primaries.maybe we might learn something about benda,joop, and the missing records that loop ran off with & maybe the EB-5 missing money!

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