I’m not the only one who recognizes that Kristi Noem is a boring public speaker. In a richly detailed account of South Dakota’s succumbing to the Snow Queen and coronavirus, Stephen Rodrick quotes former Republican strategist Tim Miller in assessing Noem’s effort to rouse the Trump crowd. She’s hitting the right brutal notes for her sociopathic base:
The fact that the media have hammered her for botching South Dakota’s Covid response does not matter even a little bit.
“The MAGA crowd does not give a f— about that,” says former Republican strategist Tim Miller. “As long as Noem is making the right people angry, they’re happy, they don’t care about failures. She’s got the MAGA look.” Miller is a never-Trumper but respects the con.
“Look, she had one of the worst responses to coronavirus in the entire world,” Miller tells me. “And she’s wearing that as a positive! She’s going to troll and dunk on the wimps that cared about the fact that people were dying. MAGA World loves that” [Stephen Rodrick, “The Covid Queen of South Dakota,” Rolling Stone, 2021.03.16].
But she still hasn’t figured out how to fill that sleeveless red dress with a truly captivating stage performance:
Still, something essential is missing from her act. Noem is not a beguiling or charismatic public speaker. Nor has she exhibited an ability to go into full-rage mode like Trump. If she is going to keep the MAGA crowd entertained, that has to improve. “She’s learning the Trump language and using social media to go after people,” says Miller. “But her performance at CPAC was robotic. Maybe she’ll get better with time” [Rodrick, 2021.03.16].
Boring but deadly—that’s South Dakota’s Governor, Kristi Noem.