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Kristi Drops Kennedy Off at Pricey Private Business School in Nashville

Speaking of right-wingers adopting exactly the positions they’ve previously lambasted, Governor Kristi Noem took her daughter to college yesterday. Kennedy Noem is graduating from nepotism to grad school, seeking her MBA at Belmont University in Nashville.

Back in 2012, the South Dakota Republican Party ripped Noem’s general election opponent, Matt Varilek, for attending college outside of South Dakota. So either Kristi has abandoned her position against seeking higher education outside of South Dakota, or Kennedy has decided to disqualify herself from running for higher office in South Dakota.

The Noems certainly didn’t pick Belmont for value for the dollar. MBA tuition is $3,700 per course, over $60K for the total program. Kennedy could take graduate courses at USD for a third that—if she kept her state job, a sixth. U.S. News and World Report thinks there are at least 131 American business schools, including USD, where Kennedy could get a better education.

The Noems could try to justify choosing this out-of-state university by pointing out that Belmont only hires Christians, thus protecting Kennedy from the moral rot of the secular humanists who corrupt education everywhere else. But we’ve seen that Christians in the Trump era can’t be trusted for moral clarity.

Maybe the Noems are just planting Kennedy on campus so they can get front-row seats for the Presidential debate scheduled for the Belmont campus on October 22… assuming Belmont doesn’t bail due to coronavirus concerns as Notre Dame and U. Michigan have.

But ideology couldn’t be playing a major role in Kennedy’s grad school choice. If she and Mom were thinking ideologically, they’d never have picked a school that will require students to wear masks this fall:

Everyone on campus will be required to wear a mask while on campus, unless in a residence hall room, an enclosed office or other private space with no other individuals present. Masks must be properly worn, covering an individual’s nose, mouth and chin area.

…Hand sanitation stations are located throughout campus, and frequent handwashing will be encouraged [Belmont University, Return to Campus Plan: Our Health and Safety Expectations, retrieved 2020.08.17].

Requiring masks but only encouraging hand-washing? Dang—Belmont has Governor Noem’s coronavirus prevention recommendations exactly backwards.

Kennedy’s suffering under her oppressive mask will be exacerbated by her suffering under Nashville’s population density. Last November, Kennedy returned from her family’s holiday trip to New York City expressing immense relief at South Dakota’s “wide open spaces and low population.” I guess she’s doing us a favor by lowering South Dakota’s population even more… but Nashville has 64 times as many people as Vermillion.

Crowds, masks, and a school choice that precludes her from climbing South Dakota’s political ladder. Poor girl!


  1. grudznick 2020-08-18 07:45

    We can all hope Governor Noem will be less disapproving and more supportive of where Mr. H’s daughter chooses to matriculate.

  2. Donald Pay 2020-08-18 09:28

    Maybe it’s the only program that would take her.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-08-18 09:47

    I bring South dakota value of nepotism with me to share with my Tennessee buds. Party on, dudes.

  4. Donald Pay 2020-08-18 10:44

    This is tangential to your main point, but I have to ask whether Noem is a bit too helicoptery of a mom. It just seems odd to me that an adult child needs mommy along to go to graduate school. That wasn’t the case for me, or anyone else I knew back then.

    When my daughter was younger than Kennedy, she boarded a plane and moved to China for a job. She didn’t need mommy or daddy to tuck her in.

  5. grudznick 2020-08-18 10:53

    Governor Noem probably admires your parenting skills, Mr. Pay, whilst you pick away and criticize her for personal choices. Have you weighed in yet on your approval or disapproval of what young Ms. Noem, the younger, chose to wear on her first day of school?

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-18 11:48

    Grudz, my daughter’s college choice is far less likely to contradict principles enunciated by her father than Kristi’s daughter’s choice contradicts her mother’s stated principles.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-18 11:49

    If Noem respected our parenting skills, she’d join us in setting a good example and wearing a mask in public to prevent coronavirus.

  8. Buckobear 2020-08-18 11:56

    kristi probably had to remind the dean just who kennedy’s mom is. Better treat her right, eh?

  9. grudznick 2020-08-18 12:26

    Goats, although petty and personally attacking they may be, have been gotten.

    I imagine we’ll be picking at young Ms. Norm’s hair styles, shade of lip gloss, or choice of easy listening music next, all of which are very important for us to weigh in upon.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-18 12:28

    Grudz, you imagine a lot.

    Shall we start taking bets on when Kennedy will have to come home to finish Belmont classes online due to coronavirus?

  11. Donald Pay 2020-08-18 13:34

    Grudz, I’m just interested in the subject of extended adolescence. I’m not sure how good it is for the kid for parents to extend the helicoptering. Moving your own ass to school or a job that’s not a “gimmee job” from mommy gives young adults some grown up skills and self-confidence.

  12. Joe 2020-08-18 16:41

    Belmont. Called it when the TN move first broke.

    “Belmont University (Massey) is Unranked in Best Business Schools”,widely%20accepted%20indicators%20of%20excellence.

    Another reader says we shouldn’t judge people for their personal choices. I say this choice speaks to the critical thinking and judgment capacity of people with power, authority, and (theoretically) accountability.

  13. Jake 2020-08-18 17:06

    Noem apparently needed to get herself out of Dodge awhile, so to speak! Was travel by state plane? If she could ‘land’ a high-paying state go’vt job, she surely could go by herself to college.
    I’d think. But then, once a grifter most likely always a grifter..

  14. grudznick 2020-08-18 18:02

    That is a great question, Mr. Jake. Mr. H, did the Mses. Noem travel upon a state owned air plane? I suspect not or there would be a lot more howling than complaining about somebody’s choice of the Belmont. So no, Mr. Jake, grudznick is pretty sure that must not have happened. If it did the media would be all over it.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-18 18:47

    Score that! Good call, Chris!

    Grudz, your faith in South Dakota’s media is your undoing. Maybe Seth Tupper will dig up the tickets….

  16. Debbo 2020-08-18 19:22

    Maybe Kruel Kristi is a Snowplow Parent. They entirely clear the path for kiddo so that there’s not the slightest irregularity.

  17. Moses6 2020-08-18 23:13

    If your teacher get out of South dakota great faces low wages South Dakota.Risk your life in a state that pays you more.

  18. grudznick 2020-08-18 23:42

    Mr. Moses the number six is righter than right. We need to shed some of our population mass and reducing the number of union employees is as good a way as any. Of the SILT (seven indisputable levels of teacher), it will be the whiny, lower levels who leave to Minnesota or perhaps Florida.

  19. Moses6 2020-08-19 09:22

    Grud no problem with unions pensions and health care for employees.Some people think our motto should be we came to die not to buy In South Dakota.You would not think that would you.Whoops a former union guy here.

  20. Jenny 2020-08-19 09:38

    The Dems have every right to talk about princess Kennedy running off to an out of state university. Noem made that a huge issue with Varilek in 2012. I thought it was strange at the time. Now she can get what’s coming to her for doing that.

  21. Debbo 2020-08-19 12:11

    This reminds me of Bill Jerklow telling South Dakotans that medical care instate was perfectly fine. He then hustled off to Mayo in Minnesota for his cancer treatment and threw a major bully tantrum when called on it.

  22. Kevin 2020-08-20 00:11

    Please, please, please someone say that they have a copy of that “attack” ad that Noem’s team ran against Varilek (that to a ‘normal’ person sounded like a 100% pro-Varilek ad)… I’ve been looking for it for YEARS – all the YouTube links that the various articles had from 2012 are all dead… I’d be the happiest Former SoDak Republican!

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-20 06:26

    Sorry, Kevin—I keep getting blank YouTube screens everywhere I look. But yes, I’d like to have a copy as well… so we could TikTok Kennedy and Booker’s faces onto them.

  24. jerry 2020-08-20 08:39

    The news media’s have a copy of that for sure and so does the SDGOP, they use the same stuff with the same attack voice each election cycle. They just photo shop in a head shot of who they want to make as corrupt as they are. What I wonder is who the composer was for that background music theme. Whenever you hear that you start to smell the bullcrap.

  25. mike from iowa 2020-08-20 09:32

    Kevin,that ad is in some archive somewhere right now. However, a peek at Noem’s congressiional political ads archives does not list it for 2012…

    Not listed under either name….”dueling visions or “corn dog radical”.

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