If I were running for Governor—and obviously, I’m not, because I haven’t filed any official campaign finance papers to organize my campaign committee—what would I be doing right now?
- Prepping my Independence Day weekend campaign launch: Kristi loves attention on the Fourth of July; how better to get under her skin than by scooping up some of her spotlight. Plan a statewide launch party: hit Mount Rushmore (where we thank the Forest Service and wildfire professionals for their tireless protection of our valuable trees from reckless firebugs), the Black Hills Roundup, and Pine Ridge and Rosebud Friday and Saturday, then work East River Sunday and Monday. Brand the launch tour, “First, Independence from Covid—Next, Independence from Kristi!”
- Milking Kristi’s social media: Noem’s gubernatorial Twitter has 423K followers; her campaign Tweets have 220K followers. A lot of those followers are mostly useless QAnon bots, but a lot are political opponents and disgusted South Dakotans watching for the next stupid things she says for attention. A smart candidate will watch those feeds of Lewandowski pot-stirring drivel and hop on with replies and retweets that will get lots of free eyeballs, trigger her base, and inspire lots of her watching opponents.
- Working national campaign donors: Kristi’s been flying out of state throughout her part-time governorship to raise money for her next big campaign (and that means her 2024 Presidential bid in which she assumes she can easily beat whatever underfunded leftist agitator is foolish enough to run against an incumbent Republican in South Dakota); her opponent and vanquisher should do the same. Nationwide there are Democrats who are appalled by the thought of some substanceless South Dakota rodeo queen riding celebrity- and sedition-drunk Trumpism to the White House in 2024. Perhaps more importantly, there are Republican Presidential contenders and their backers who don’t like the prospect of another Lewandowski-coached image candidate jumping ahead of more competent Republicans for the nomination. A smart South Dakota candidate could easily parlay that anti-Kristi-ism from both sides into big contributions aiming to end the Snow Queen’s White aspirations early with a stunning defeat on her home turf in 2022. Even if interested Republicans won’t donate directly to my liberal coffers, they could act on our shared interest in toppling Kristi by supporting a viable Republican primary challenger (Jackley, TenHaken, Allender, Johnson, Venhuizen…), and the enemy of my enemy is my friend, at least until June 7, 2022.
- Recruiting campaign talent for the most newsworthy South Dakota campaign ever: Sure, everyone’s supposedly having a hard time hiring right now. But working a campaign against Kristi Noem isn’t flipping burgers or selling tickets at Al and Dave’s summer go-kart palace. It’s serious political work in a campaign that Kristi surely will want to be the highest-profile gubernatorial race in the country. We’ll be glad to help raise that profile. Serious campaigners willing to drop everything and work full-time for this campaign will get excellent pay (see the preceding point on fundraising) and big attention from national politicos. So come on, young campaigners: prove that you can take down an incumbent Republican with a giant war chest in South Dakota, and you will have a great in to bigger campaigns elsewhere (assuming, of course, you don’t want to stick around and be policy analysts, special counsels, or GOED commissioner in the most exciting and over-achieving South Dakota Executive Branch since the Kneip Administration).
- Clearing the decks for 16 months of full-time, non-stop campaigning: Ensuring Kristi gets no cakewalk will itself be no cakewalk. Defeating Noem in 2022 means dropping every other project and being on the road and on the Twitters every darn day, pounding home through every available channel how really awful a job part-time Kristi is doing of governing this state and proposing the alternative policies that would drag this state out of Kristi’s mud. Saving South Dakota from Kristi’s self-obsessed incompetence is vitally important work: the candidate committed to that work must lead by example and show South Dakotans how hard a real governor would be working to serve this state.
That’s how the next Governor of South Dakota can take the Second Floor away from our current Fox News poster girl and put South Dakota back on track. That’s what I’d be up to, if I were running to be that next Governor.
Oh yeah, and #6: