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6 Pretty Good Ideas for Beating Kristi Noem in 2022

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?

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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:

Pretty… Pretty Bad—South Dakota needs more than good looks; South Dakota needs Good Government.
I’d be making posters. Lots of posters….


  1. Lora Hubbel 2021-06-21 12:56

    Cory, why don’t you put up her Executive orders? I KNOW they will prove exactly what the left wanted…total rule by an imagined “benevolent” government that truly cares about you (sarc)…but to the conservatives that voted her in, Noem’s Executive orders are pure evil. Since very few South Dakotans, elected officials included, can read legalese, why don’t YOU expose her. YOU look up her EO #2020-12. You will find Noem declared several orders she falsely stated nationally that she never did. Most people call that lying. In EO 2020-12 Noem demands we all follow the CDC guidelines (even though the CDC is a disaster of an agency). Noem demands that businesses SUSPEND operations and even names the type of businesses that cannot operate under her reign. Heck, even Newsom did not do that! Noem shut down Schools, Smithfeild and a race track and lied about it (but I have the letter to Smithfield and article on the race track that proves she lied (again). Again Newsom did NOT have that heavy of a hand in shutting down California. BOTH Noem and Newsom gave their Sec of Health the power to shut down the state (Noem’s EO 2020-04). That is how California shut down. SD shut down per direct Executive orders.
    Noem also had a “Stay at home” order that she denies (EO 2020-13 and 2020-18), ALOS, how can Noem order the Pharmacy Board to NOT ALLOW HCQ for Covid sufferers in SD? She did that on April 2, 2020…and lied about about that also. Cory, PLEASE tell me how Noem can write legislation (she is an executive NOT a legislator) allowing her total dictatorial authority and demand the legisalture vote on it when it was illegally passed the time to present bill? She presented i think 10 bills on the LAST DAY OF SESSION!! UNHEARD OF!!! One gave the Dept of health the ability to force test and treat you if THEY feel the need is there. That is a dictatorship…written by Noem. Oh wait…another lie is the fact we have contaact tracing in SD put in early by Noem,. Its called Care 19 and we share it with ND. BUT SHE LIES ABOUT THAT ALSO!

  2. O 2021-06-21 13:15

    Lora, I feel the disapproval you spell out for Governor Noem’s actions. My question is: even given this disapproval, would you (and fellow GOP voters) cross the ballot aisle to vote for a Democrat candidate?

  3. Dicta 2021-06-21 13:24

    Lora will vote for herself before voting for a dem. Lest we forget, the female John Dale here is a hardcore conspiracy theorist that makes a run at some sort of office every other year. I can’t stand Noem, but Hubbel is no better.

  4. Donald Pay 2021-06-21 14:22

    I like 1 and 2, but I’d let Kristi have the national jet setting to herself, and do George McG/Tommy D style campaigning, hitting every small town in the state, rather than snuggle up with the money crowd. Yeah, you have to have some money, but no one likes as obvious a whore as Kristi is. Let the money come to you, but don’t spend a lot of time milking it. What a candidate really needs is for South Dakotans to know and trust the candidate.

  5. @Sam2 2021-06-21 16:14

    Noem 2024. Will win in a landslide.

  6. Lora Hubbel 2021-06-21 16:29

    I voted for Billy, does that answer your question?

  7. Lora Hubbel 2021-06-21 16:30

    Billy is MORE conservative than Noem, plus he is not a globalist

  8. mike from iowa 2021-06-21 17:03

    Noem doesn’t trust South Dakotans to do the right thing out of any great whizdumb on her part. Why can NASA fly electric copters on Mars and South Dakota can’t get electric vehicle refueling stations? Because NASA is run by scientists and South Dakota is run by magats.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:08

    Sam, on the basis of what evidence do you see Kristi Noem being able to push through the 2024 primary crowd, then appeal to a national audience to unseat an incumbent President?

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:10

    Donald, I note that the last time they ran, George and Tom both lost. Now’s no time to stand on nostalgia or principles. Now’s time to kick but by all available means.

    Plus, I say do both: Work this state all week long, then fly to Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, wherever the donors want to throw a big party for the South Dakotan who can shut Noem down.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:11

    Lora, a smart candidate will point out every executive order that shows Noem’s inability to govern according to good sense or even her own professed principles. I’ve also consistently pointed out how her “orders” aren’t really orders but posturing suggestions.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:12

    Dicta, if Lora could get me votes from conspiracy theorists who are sick of Kristi’s hogwash, I’d take ’em. I’d happily accept their invitation to speak at their next gathering. I’d also happily accept their money.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:13

    Donald, I also promise to fly commercially and campaign at the airport and on the plane.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-21 17:14

    I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to compare ideologies between Billy and Kristi. Kristi has no principles to which we may compare those of any principled man like Billy. She just does whatever it takes to get headlines and win elections, then hopes nobody notices that she’s not really doing the job for which she was elected.

  15. grudznick 2021-06-21 17:42

    grudznick would vote for the young, pretty Ms. Hubbel, if she were only insaner than most. But she is the insanest of them all. Bat Sh!t Crazy!

  16. Mark Anderson 2021-06-21 17:58

    Come on, its a cult and cultists always drink the kool aid. Just think of trump and noem, that is without throwing up. Shes pretty and thats how trump ranks women, she’s ready to be grabbed.

  17. Dicta 2021-06-21 18:32

    I too have completely forgotten what happened to the GOP when it welcomed crazies into the fold, Cory. Strange bedfellows just set your house on fire.

  18. Donald Pay 2021-06-21 19:17

    I beg to retort, Cory. Yes, the last campaigns Tom Daschle and George McGovern lost, but in each case there was the a perception, based on reality in McGovern’s case, but not in Daschle’s, that both had lost touch with South Dakota. Noem’s values are not coming from South Dakota. They are coming from Texas and Florida, where her money comes from.

  19. grudznick 2021-06-21 19:38

    The people behind the Dump Daschle campaign would of course disagree with the fine gentleman from Wisconsin. Mr. Daschle wrote his own ending when he got into the beds of the D.C. libbies instead of staying a Blue Dogger from Dakota.

    Then Ms. Noem took out the other Blue Dogger, Ms. Herseth, who mostly hurt herself by her husband being a D.C. lobbist. grudznick liked Ms. Herseth. But she is happier now, and perhaps Ms. Noem will buck the trend of oust-ism for those in the beds of D.C., or at least prove it’s the D.C. libbies that are the millstone around the neck.

  20. Guy 2021-06-21 19:58

    I disagree. Herseth was the closest we ever had to an Independent Representative who put state over her own party. I remember Noem had it both ways on the Obama Stimulus when she vilified Stephanie for supporting the stimulus, but, then Noem turned around and campaigned on being proud of South Dakota’s balanced budget…which was balanced because of the stimulus Stephanie supported. I’ve never trusted Noem.

  21. Guy 2021-06-21 20:00

    South Dakota made a HUGE mistake choosing Noem over Herseth and I knew eventually we would begin to see and reap from making that mistake as we see today.

  22. Guy 2021-06-21 20:28

    Only a “Blue Dog” Democrat will beat Noem…or a very solid Independent candidate. Even if Herseth does not run again, we need a Blue Dog Democrat like her. One who has a proven record of putting South Dakota interests ahead of their own political party and themselves. I’m sure there is one out there and all they would have to highlight is how committed they are to advocate solutions and travel the state every opportunity they get, which will clearly show who’s in it for the right reasons. That kind of candidate would provide a clear contrast to what we have in the governorship now. What we have now is a “part-time” Governor who is more interested in promoting herself and using South Dakota as a 2-year stepping stone to the White House.

  23. O 2021-06-21 20:32

    Donald, both Daschel and McGovern were portrayed as having gone “DC.” That was the specific objection to them not being “SD” anymore. Does the same objection work with Gov. Noem? As much as I agree that she is not “SD” anymore, I have to acknowledge that South Dakota is not “SD” anymore. Our political identity — especially the Republican majority — has gone almost full MAGA. I don’t think connecting Gov. Noem with that hurts her; in fact, she will embrace that to her advantage.

    Laura, thank you for your answer on voting.

    However it make partisan tribalism even more troubling in a discussion of how to elect candidates in SD. Other than an “R” in front of her name, what did Gov. Noem really win the governor’s office with? I really don’t remember issues from her side of the campaign; she even ducked debates to have those discussions (as she did when running against Matt Varilek (someone I wish we could have in office for SD).

    I love to read articles like what Cory has here that takes a practical, critical, strategic look at elections, BUT I fear none if it matters in the partisan, tribal atmosphere of SD and that tribalism has doubled-down since the rise of MAGA and the cult of personality of Donald Trump.

  24. Guy 2021-06-21 20:41

    O, that is why I think it’s prime time for a true “Independent” candidate, one who is not tied to either political party and can speak to South Dakotans across political lines. Read my last comment before yours to find out how that type of candidate could win in South Dakota and temper this “tribalism” you are concerned over.

  25. John Dale 2021-06-21 21:30

    Lora and I disagree, here, and that’s okay.

    I thought Noem’s executive orders were nuanced and thoughtful while exposing local Mayoral tyrants (like in Watertown) and .. ahem .. elsewhere. Yes, I did read them. I covered them on the show.

    It was a difficult time and Governor Noem made some difficult decisions.

    I am clearly on Noem’s side, and I’ll work for her reelection.

    But something that I hope Lora and others respect, while stumping for her continuity in office, I will espouse much of the same information that Lora and I share and won’t back down from speaking this truth to power.

    I think the reason that Noem had a close election last time was that she appeared to be too bipartisan in her LG selection. I see that as as strength, and when it comes to the anonymous casting of the ballot, I expect conscience will dictate another win assuming a free and fair election (I have my doubts).

    I do reserve the right to change my mind as I see primaries unfold.

    I’m most interested in Thune’s race .. that’s where we can make the most real progress toward restoring American values in South Dakota’s overtaken cities.

    All that being said, Noem will have a very big 5G issue up-coming.

    If she doesn’t stand-up to At&t (I’m sending her intellectual reinforcements as we speak), I will be very disappointed.

  26. RST Tribal Member 2021-06-21 21:55

    America’s Governor has her eye on November 2022. This is make or break time. If she isn’t able to continue as America’s Governor she becomes irrelevant. She needs to lead a backwards inbred legislative state to support her run up the political ladder. Unfortunately, she brings a 3 foot ladder to a 10 foot climb. Such the luck of her lobbies.

    The 5 points are well thought out and could be taken seriously. The unknown 11.20% voters floating around Indian strong holds in SD could be what is needed to unseat America’s Governor. The only challenge is getting them to follow the Indian fighter leading the Democratic Party. It could be Congratulations America’s Governor in 2022, as the Indian fighter and Democratic Party scratch their collective hollow heads in denial. Democrats better act fast and rid their leadership of the asshat… sooner or America’s Governor will be off to the races.

  27. John Dale 2021-06-21 22:01

    Noem’s national status just notched-up after it was discovered FL governor signed law in May allowing forced vaccinations.

  28. Lora Hubbel 2021-06-21 23:48

    John Dale did not read Noem’s Executive Orders…. he just so wants the pretty girl to be real …. and she is not. She is a liar. IF he would read her Executive orders he would find that she has lied her way to the top. But like so many skirt sniffers in SD…it’s so fun to just keep dreaming and ignore her bills and her Executive Orders…. just like it was too hard to believe evil really did exist on both sides of our 2 world wars ( 3 if you count the war we are in now)

  29. Lora Hubbel 2021-06-22 00:27

    John Dale just proved he doesn’t read Noem’s EOs. She, in fact, has paved the way for forced vaccinations in case you would burden yourself to read her Executive orders instead of just believing her slight of hand. For example, Noem’s EO that she claims bans forced “jabs” (they are not vaccines in any medically or scientific definition) she states her office cannot mandate Covid passports….YET the same EO paved the way for local governments and big corporations to use forced medical experiments jabs veiled as “vaccinations” as a passport for services. In the same deceptive EO, Noem also allows a “vaccination” list (a precursor to a passport?) for nursing homes to compile on their residents… regardless of an assumed right to medical privacy. But Noem also refused to kill socialist Obamacare so what can we expect?

  30. Lottie 2021-06-22 00:37

    Cory has my vote!…KN has got to go.

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-22 06:37

    Dicta, I’m not saying I’ll make Lora my running mate and appoint John Dale to be my Secretary of Health. (You, though, I might consider for a Cabinet post. Send your résumé.) I’m just saying I’ll take their money and their votes to beat Noem and restore good government.

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-22 06:46

    Guy, the Blue Dog distinction is overrated in this contest. Blue Dogs triangulate in Congressional races by displaying their loyalty to South Dakota over DC party leadership. That takes the personal form of running against Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. That tack doesn’t distinguish a gubernatorial candidate from Noem in 2022; it makes the candidate sound just like Noem. That tack also reinforces Noem’s core strategy of nationalizing the election and distracting from her local failures. There is no reason candidates for Governor of South Dakota should be talking about Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. They don’t take orders from or negotiate with Congressional leadership on a daily basis.

    Remember: Kristi leapt onto the national stage by running against and beating a Blue Dog 11 years ago. She’s run against similar candidates who’ve truck similar tones and won each time. Repeating that battle doesn’t strike me as a good idea. True liberal Democratic candidates can distinguish themselves from Kristi Noem better than Blue Dogs, and by their distinction, they might bring more supporters to the polls.

    But first, they need to do the things I list above, which you’ll notice have nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with hard work and practical campaigning.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-22 06:51

    O, I don’t know what mix of policy, message, talent, and charm can overcome the deep partisan tribalism that Noem is trying to ride to national glory. There may be too many rabid SDGOPers willing to burn the Constitution in our electorate to allow an honest patriot to win an election here. But I’m fairly confident that they won’t win if they don’t assemble an amazing campaign team, a huge campaign fund from all willing donors across the country, and a media campaign that seeks to completely destroy Noem’s rodeo-queen image.

  34. Guy 2021-06-22 08:55

    Cory, that’s the point of my message: we are not a liberal state and no matter how well-funded or organized a liberal candidate is, they are simply not going to win the governorship. I will maintain that is the only way Democrats have ever won in this state: to seek the common ground, which is in the center – where most everyone in South Dakota is politically. We are not Oregon or California. Its going to take a “Blue Dog” Democrat, who were the successful candidates up until 2010 or a solid Independent candidate. You can’t fight and win in Moderate South Dakota against a right wing radical by being radical yourself.

  35. Kyle 2021-06-22 12:53

    A bit different list:
    1) Be more South Dakota than Noem. Don’t leave the state to raise funds (solicit them online and through surrogates), and point out every time Noem is out of the state raising money. Talk to the local media constantly and point out that Noem won’t talk to them. Point out all the out-of-state hires she makes. Point out that she does not need a new jet to get anywhere in South Dakota. South Dakotans tend to turn on people who lose focus on South Dakota. It will be hard to run for President and Governor at the same time.

    2) Focus on economic issues. Unemployment is low, but so are wages. Noem’s administration handed out over half a million dollars to her own family members, who are much wealthier than most South Dakotans. Make the economic case for Medicaid expansion and early childhood education.

    3) Don’t be afraid to play dirty. Noem definitely will. There are plenty of things to attack her with.

  36. Guy 2021-06-22 13:12

    Kyle, I agree with most of what you say. All excellent points and I would include: more affordable housing, co-op business developments, and MORE SUSTAINABLE economic development.

  37. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-22 15:07

    Governor Noem can be beaten. It will take a lot of money.

  38. Donald Pay 2021-06-22 15:55

    Interesting discussion. I give the Bingo to Kyle. It’s not so much political ideology, though you can’t be as left as I am and expect to win. But it’s even more clear that what you can’t do in South Dakota, and which Herseth-Sandlin did, was vote against your own values (on a big issue like health care) for political expediency. She came out looking like a fake and a weakling. Her father, Lars, who had one of the biggest hearts in politics, would have voted for the ACA, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Noem is a fake of a different sort. Herseth-Sandlin was a fake on one big issue, and it cost her. Noem is a total fake. You can tell a fake because they wrap themselves in the flag and flog their own piety. Anyone really believe Noem thinks up and believes the things the righty press quote her about? She’s just mouthing the words someone like Corey Lewandowski wrote for her. She’s as fake as her next press release. Everyone smells it.

    Whoever runs against Noem must be a genuine person with real South Dakota values, not those values she borrows from the money boys in Florida and Texas.

  39. Guy 2021-06-22 16:43

    I would whole-heartedly disagree that Herseth was a “fake” and “weakling” as Donald expresses. Herseth was very truthful and it took alot of courage for her to buck her party on the Affordable Care Act, which was very controversial and not supported by most South Dakotans, including myself, who found it unconstitutional to force people to buy health insurance from private companies. Herseth was correct in voting against it.

  40. Mark Anderson 2021-06-22 17:35

    Well Guy, it sure is popular now isn’t it. 11 years of trying to replace it and where are the pubs? As far as beating the Republicans for governor, how about just adopting all the liberal ideas that have been voted on in red states throughout the country. Tie elitism where it belongs. I mean really, why vote for someone who always cancels your vote out? It should be easy to point out. A simple I Will Vote with the People bumper sticker would work. Peoples Representative is a good one. By the way folks McGovern got beat by nastiness in which he refused to engage. You can be just as nasty, thats not going away.

  41. John Dale 2021-06-25 13:51

    I do my best with these types of things and I make mistakes, but to say I didn’t read the executive orders is not a true statement. Here’s a show I did regarding Noem’s executive orders 11/29/2020:

    I started out very skeptical of Governor Noem and even somewhat embarrassingly overly-critical of her, but she earned my support.

    I think that Governor Noem, and many other politicians, are being politically trafficked by the deep state, which uses elected officials to increase power and over-regulation.

  42. John Dale 2021-06-26 08:13

    I am a married and faithful man with children. Suggesting that I have a romantic attraction to Governor Noem, who I recognize is beautiful, principled, and intelligent, is deplorable.

  43. mike from iowa 2021-06-26 09:21

    September 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm ET

    E-mail to a friend
    A record-high 62% of voters support the Affordable Care Act, including 85% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans.

    56% of voters say the ACA should be improved and strengthened, while 20% say the law should be struck down and 9% say it should be left alone.

    79% of voters support health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and 61% of voters trust Joe Biden over Donald Trump to protect this coverage.

  44. Maurice Brandt 2021-07-30 13:40

    Gee, I sense a lot of apprehension/fear on the part of a lot of people that Kristi might get to be President or attain some appointed position in Trump’s next administration. There are A LOT of TRUE CONSERVATIVES who would be very pleased by either of those and I am one of them.

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