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Noem Skips Electoral College for Private Chit-Chat with Donald and Melania in DC

I should have known better than to suggest that Kristi Noem would ever distance herself from Donald Trump. She didn’t shirk her duty to vote in the Electoral College yesterday as any signal that she’s recognizing Trump is toxic; to the contrary, she skipped town to jet to Washington D.C. again to visit the White House… with no mask, of course, despite signs in the White House saying masks are required.

Oddly, Noem does not appear alongside North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum on the roster of governors who attended a briefing with VP Pence, Dr. Fauci, FDA chief Hahn, CDC director Redfield, and other officials to talk about coronavirus. So it’s not like she skipped a profound Constitutional duty for any public service. Instead, just as she spent her Saturday hobnobbing with a Florida socialite on a private jet, Noem junketed to Washington for private face time with reality stars Donald and Melania:

Noem is meeting with Trump in Washington, D.C., and is expected to meet with First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday, according to her spokesman Ian Fury. He did not explain what they would be talking about or any other details about the governor’s visit.

The governor and others with her were seen getting a tour of the West Wing before attending a White House Christmas party, Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire tweeted Monday evening.

The group, wearing formal attire and no masks, was also seen taking photographs in the press briefing room, reported Nikki Schwab of the Daily Mail. There is a mask mandate in that room, according to AP reporter Zeke Miller [Arielle Zionts, “Noem Meeting with Trump on Monday Instead of Voting for Him in Electoral College,” Rapid City Journal, 2020.12.14].

I don’t know what’s more remarkable: that Governor Noem refuses to follow simple rules to protect others from catching the coronavirus that she could well be bringing from the South Dakota hot zone or that the White House doesn’t enforce its own rules to protect the health and lives of its staff and other important public servants. But Noem’s continued DC-jetsetting makes her priorities clear.

16 Comments

  1. Richard Schriever 2020-12-15

    Maybe they were interviewing her for a position as Baron’s new governess??

  2. mike from iowa 2020-12-15

    Maybe she was hoping to be photoed having a nude romp with Melanoma, to show her horse, of course of course.

    She might have been seeking tips on ow to bag a billionaire reality show mug.

  3. Gretchen Bray 2020-12-15

    On Monday, many states marked the arrival of the first doses of the vaccine. Gov. Walz was at the Minneapolis VA to observe the arrival of the first shipment of the vaccine there. Gov. Noem? AWOL again…and callously ignoring the pandemic. The “Mom of Influence” award should have gone to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff working grueling hours, sacrificing time with their own families for the greater good.

  4. Jenny 2020-12-15

    Noem was probably having her nails done with Melania and cozying up to Trump for campaign money.

  5. ds 2020-12-15

    Oh no she needed to get a first hand lesson on how to get rid of a problematic Attorney General. And she got to visit the ‘dream house’ in her bucket list. And she needed to sharpen her parroting talking points like ‘fake news, witch hunt, most corrupt election ever’, since she is determined to deny that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. Just like she denies that a masks is another virus protection tool.
    During her budget speech in Pierre she repeatedly demonized President-elect Biden. It is obvious she plans on dictating absolutely zero co-operation with the Biden administration and will repeatedly chirp her parrot song at every opportunity.

  6. Whitless 2020-12-15

    After the first wave of COVID virus infections, Kristi decided to follow her political ambitions, abandon the advice of the White House Task Force and the CDC, and cuddle up to Trump – mask denier in chief. Trump selfishly decided his path to victory was through an economic recovery. So he minimized the virus, poo-pooed the science, and Kristi followed right behind his large rump. Trump is like a gold painted turd. No matter how much gold paint is applied, it still is a turd, and its stench follows anyone who touches it. As with so many who have cast their lot with Trump, things rarely end well. For Kristi, her attachment to Trump has brought a legacy of unnecessary illness and death that will follow her into history.

  7. o 2020-12-15

    Whitless, although I agree absolutely with the tone you take on Governor Noem’s path, isn’t it objectively the correct thing for her to do politically? (For the moment, I am using only a political lens.) President Trump’s science denial and recovery focus lead him to outperform his 2016 win in SD. Wouldn’t the Governor be foolish to not use the same playbook? She is clearly being nationally touted as the leader in the “freedom” MAGA movement (aka spread-baby-spread), so as a political being, isn’t she giving the SD people what they want?

    I keep going back not to our politicians, but to the electorate that put them in office: what does SD want? How can anyone — any politician — get SD to rise above MAGA and listen to their better angels?

  8. jerry 2020-12-15

    Covid jumps from confined mink to the wild mink.

    “CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday that it confirmed the first known case of the coronavirus in a wild animal, a mink.

    The discovery increases concerns about outbreaks in mink as the virus has killed more than 15,000 farmed mink in the United States since August.

    Global health officials are investigating the potential risk the animals may pose to people after Denmark last month embarked on a plan to eliminate its farmed mink population of 17 million, warning that a mutated coronavirus strain could move to humans.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-mink-idINKBN28O2UR

    Yikes, this vaccine cannot come soon enough.

  9. Ray Tysdal 2020-12-15

    Kristi Noem was elected Governor of South Dakota. That means she was elected to be a leader of every single person in the state. It may be that this was never explained to her. She is obviously more concerned with how she looks both in the mirror and to only those who like her She doesn’t take criticism very well, seeking only adulation from Fox and those social platforms which allow her to fashion her own image. She thinks she can do no wrong.

    Kristi Noem wants to be a star, a horse-riding queen. Has she earned the right? Does she measure up to the standards of those governors before her? In my 72 years there have been good ones, bad ones, several mediocre ones, even one Democrat. There was even one that may have been great if he hadn’t died. After two years It seems that Noem is bored with the job and the state (except during pheasant or rodeo season).

    It is entirely possible that Kristi Noem doesn’t even want to be Governor, oh, she likes the title and the power but as for a vision for South Dakota, she is lacking. It is more evident every day that her vision is for herself and it probably includes a vision of South Dakota in the rear view mirror. She has two years left. Can we stand it?

  10. Whitless 2020-12-15

    o, In a public health crisis, I believe the paramount duty of an elected public servant is to protect the citizens, and that duty is more important than any political calculus. However, even if a political lens is used solely, I believe Kristi’s path may have produced mixed results in South Dakota. Fervent Trump supporters no doubt approved. But Independents, moderate Republicans, particularly the elderly, and those who were impacted by the death of a loved one, may view her leadership as deficient. Had she followed the recommendations of the White House Task Force and CDC, I suspect that she would have survived any primary challenge for the 2022 Governor’s race.

    I do agree that if a political lens is used solely for her national political ambitions, then her adherence to Trump’s COVID strategy makes perfect sense. Clearly, she gained notice and approval nationally among Trump supporters, conservative media opinion manipulators and big money donors. It also illustrates why she is unfit to be the Governor of South Dakota or a candidate for president or vice-president.

    With regard to the MAGA mindset, dismantling the disinformation silo in which they exist would be the most effective but least possible because of constitutional free speech considerations. Somehow, a public discourse and debate of ideas needs to occur more frequently among the citizenry. How that happens in today’s information environment eludes me. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that the anger and perceived victimization among Trump supporters will diminish with Trump’s departure and if Biden maintains his calm, rational, “I’m here for all Americans” approach.

  11. Mark Anderson 2020-12-15

    You know Mike, I remembered that early photo session too, a repeat of that with Kristi would have been good. We can hope.

  12. mike from iowa 2020-12-15

    Mark Anderson, had I been a teenager or younger when I saw that layout , I probably would have been enamored with Melanoma. I am nearing 70 and have a more refined taste in NEKKID WOMEN!
    More like1970s leading men’s magazine playmates.

  13. Scott 2020-12-15

    I suspect Noem and Trump were coming up with more schemes to scam money from people for the so call “stop the steal” lawsuits. You know the ones where the money goes to the various Trump pacts or Kristi’s campaign fund.

  14. jerry 2020-12-15

    trump will need a place to live as he is getting his arse booted from Mar-a-large-o.

    “The Mar-a-Lago neighbors would be okay with Trump finding a new place to bunk. Their letter, written by West Palm Beach attorney Reginald Stambaugh, includes a zinger that harks to the vibe of the old money enclave on Florida’s east coast: “Palm Beach has many lovely estates for sale, and we are confident President Trump will find one which meets his needs.” Washington Post 12.15.20

    Booyah! Out on the street like he has put so many Americans. GNOem is probably thinking of some place that has a golf course, maybe Philip.

  15. ds 2020-12-15

    I just can’t imagine that the thousands of our heroes the South Dakota Physicians, registered nurses PA, CNA, ect would ever vote for noem again…while they are putting their lives at jeopardy and working 60 hour+ weeks doing their best to tramp down this plague, kristi is primping herself with the jet-set crowd and anti-maskers/anti-vaxers. Then to dissuade peoples from wearing a mask when that could make the life-or-death outcome of them or their loved ones…is beyond belief. If we buy her a new jet will she please leave South Dakota and not come back?
    And while she promotes her gal-pal ultra-conserative buddies, not a word of recognition nor congratulation to Kamala Harris— the one and only woman Vice President ever elected in the USA!

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