After witnessing Corey Lewandowski sexually harass Republican donor Trashelle Odom at a fundraising dinner in Las Vegas last September, Governor Kristi Noem’s team said she would distance herself from Lewandowski and promised Lewandowski “will not be advising the Governor in regard to the campaign or official office.”
That distance went to three feet at a Texas fundraiser in April, and now Lewandowski is back on Team Noem, giving her political advice and slaking her thirst at the hotel:
Three eyewitnesses spotted Noem and Lewandowski — along with several other people professionally associated with the strategist — on Wednesday morning at the Republican Governors Association meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Nashville. One source told Daniel that Lewandowski was staffing or supporting Noem at the event. An aide to Lewandowski was seen fetching water for Noem at the hotel. He attended her panel at the RGA, according to a photo obtained by Playbook, and was also seen with her on a trip she made to California in April, according to a person familiar with the matter [Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, and Rachael Bade, “POLITICO Playbook: New Poll Shows Huge Support for Gun Restrictions,” Politico, 2022.05.26].
Why would Noem let a serial groper back on her team? Perhaps because it takes a groper to connect with a groper:
Political analysts say Lewandowski, who remains close with many in former President Trump’s orbit, has helped open doors for Noem on the national stage.
“I think Lewandowski, by having been the campaign manager around the 2016 election, certainly knows the characters that are in Trump world,” said former University of South Dakota Political Science professor Michael Card. “I think that is likely what Governor Noem is trying to capitalize on by having him around” [Austin Goss, “Governor Kristi Noem Brings Corey Lewandowski Back On,” KOTA-TV, 2022.05.27].
Noem has made plenty of money from her national jet-setting without Lewandowski visibly at her side during the last seven months, and it’s not like she needs his East Coast advice to beat Steven Haugaard in the gubernatorial primary. But with her polling numbers for 2024 still not breaking out of statistical insignificance (when pollsters bother to include her name in their research at all), Noem evidently feels compelled to reuse the sleaziest bucket she can find to carry her water.