Is Kristi Noem really afraid of everybody? She builds a fence around the Governor’s mansion in Pierre (which, come on, is too far away for any “antifa” to bother driving to throw water balloons), and her groomer Corey Lewandowski keeps a fence between her and any serious journalists. Reporter Henry Olsen tried to observe her New Hampshire events yesterday to see if she said anything newsworthy, but Lewandowski came storming out saying, no press:
The event had been billed as open to media, so I signed up with the state party and was put on the press list. Party officials were happy to see me when I arrived, and I picked up my badge with “media” emblazoned under my name. Everything was going well until I mentioned my primary interest was in writing about Noem. I was then pulled aside and told the event was closed to reporters and that I had to leave. The man who delivered that final message was as revealing as it was unexpected: former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski [Henry Olsen, “Kristi Noem Is Auditioning for the National Stage. But Is She Ready for Prime Time?” Washington Post, 2020.10.16].
Olsen concludes Lewandowski must recognize the same thing that any of us back home who’ve listened to Noem’s speches have known for years: she’s just not that good at the mic. After ten years in the spotlight, she’s still just a trainee:
It’s telling when a political strategist doesn’t trust his ward to pull off an easy performance when the spotlight is on.
Shrouding Noem from unscripted encounters, even with conservative-leaning journalists, has been par for her course thus far. She has rarely appeared on national media outside of Fox News, and her staff has been politely rejecting my requests for an interview since July. She has given interviews to reliably conservative personalities such as Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, but she’s being shielded from anything that might be remotely critical. That’s a clear sign that gatekeepers such as Lewandowski don’t think she’s ready for prime time [Olsen, 2020.10.16].
Noem’s not afraid to step out; Lewandowski’s afraid that she will before he has finished his painting and costuming.Down, Kristi
Lewandowski had it easy coaching Donald Trump to the White House. Trump didn’t have to hone any schtick; he just had to be himself—the loud, unscrupulous bully he’s been all of his life. With that trick played out, Lewandowski now turns to a bigger challenge: turning a lucky but aging small-town pageant queen who’s lived off government most of her life into a dynamic campaigner with something to say to anyone beyond the tractor crowd she grew up posing for.