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Smith Sharply Skewers Lonely Cowgirl Kristi on Travel, Nepotism

The Jamie Smith for Governor campaign turns Kristi Noem’s horsey image-making against her in this splendid new campaign video:

[Over country music, guy in cowboy hat]: Where’s she galloping off to this time?

[Guy in baseball cap]: Probably some national news show.

[Hat]: Thought she took our fancy new jet.

[Cap]: Probably does, but she doesn’t tell us nothin’.

[Hat]: Ridin’ alone—doesn’t she have any friends?

[Cap]: Her staff keeps quittin’.

[Hat, chuckling]: Maybe she should just hire another family member.

[chuckling; music continues; cut to Jamie Smith]: Isn’t time for a Governor who puts you ahead of her career? A Governor you can trust to stay home and get stuff done?

Accountable. Transparent. I’m Jamie Smith. Let’s focus on South Dakota.

[Jamie Smith for Governor, online campaign ad, released 2022.07.27; transcribed by DFP]

Now, now, fellas—we didn’t buy a jet for Kristi. We bought her a used 2015 King Air turboprop last year for just $4.5 million, characterized by the Associated Press as “one of the most luxurious state-owned planes in the region.”

Aeronautical technicalities aside, Jamie Smith looks like he’s having more fun in his 14 seconds on camera than Kristi Noem has during her entire three and a half years in office (I was going to say “in Pierre”, but, well, review the ad and Kristi’s travelogue). And the staged bar conversation laid over the images of lonely galloping Kristi brilliantly summarizes the critique of her inattentive, secretive, and corrupt management of state government.


  1. sx123 2022-07-27 11:32

    Ha, lots of truth in that.

  2. Curt 2022-07-27 11:37

    I hope the ad will actually run on TV – not just on his website.

  3. 96Tears 2022-07-27 12:41

    Noem weaponizes her appearance because she thinks folks like a sexy 50-something governor. But what people see is vapid vanity, and not so much the cartoon character she and The Lew have manufactured.

    Smith is handling this correctly. Noem’s vanity is laughable. Her accomplishments rate a zero. It’s why she’s lying about the state economy, “protecting mothers,” “protecting girls’ sports” and how much all those Biden buck are keeping state government afloat and good-paying infrastructure jobs increasing.

    George Mickelson and Bill Janklow were the last two governors we’ve had who actually set out to accomplish things — whether or not all of us would agree with their methods. Since then, South Dakota has had two caretaker governors and then Noem whose agenda is completely opposed to anything good happening in South Dakota because it’s critical to pandering to Trumpanzees outside South Dakota.

    Smith nails it. Folks are shopping for “a Governor you can trust to stay home and get stuff done.”

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-27 13:55

    “Laughable”— Note that keyword in 96’s analysis. The brilliance of this ad is that it shows the very fellas to whom Kristi is trying to appeal with her horse act, the good old boys in the bar wearing the caps and the cowboy hats that she persistently dons to fabricate her authenticity, responding to her obvious fakery with laughter. The ad doesn’t use darkened or manipulated images of Kristi or an ominous Hollywood voice over to tell us the governor is bringing serious doom. The ad uses Kristi’s own imagery, exactly as she presents it to us, and turns it into an object of easy ridicule.

    And then, instead of hiding behind actors or spokes people, Jamie Smith himself transitions seamlessly onto the screen, seeming to share the laughter of the good old boys at the bar, and punctuates his negative ad himself, in his own voice. With his jovial smile and eager, wide awake eyes, he makes this crushingly negative ad sound like a positive ad.

    Great script, great staging, and great delivery by the candidate himself.

  5. O 2022-07-27 14:48

    Bravo! THAT’s how a candidate comes out swinging.

    96 Tears, I could not agree with your historical perspective more.

  6. grudznick 2022-07-27 14:50

    Mr. Smith is indeed a clothes horse. Just like grudznick used to be.

  7. Ryan 2022-07-27 15:08

    Excellent stuff right here. Get this video out there, everywhere. I don’t socialize on the media, but if any of you people do, please share this!!!!

  8. scott 2022-07-27 17:55

    I just saw it air on Kelo during the CBS Evening news. Too bad he doesn’t have the money to run it every commercial break like Noem.

  9. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-07-27 18:37

    Kristi IS laughable, but this IS South Dakota in Hot Springs and Fall River County. All the men will vote for her because she’s acheivable pussy personified.

  10. Guy 2022-07-27 19:33

    What 96 Tears said.

  11. Jenny 2022-07-27 21:14

    The ad is pretty good but it will be Kristi Noem by double digits. Too bad Jamie Smith doesn’t live in MN. Nice honest hardworking Democrats that actually fight for the working class get elected governor here.

  12. RST Tribal Member 2022-07-27 23:13

    Watching Annie Oak-Noem riding a horse all over Wakan Tanka’s (God to others) creation in heavy clothing making it hard to see where she dismounts and the double mount for the speed runs, one has to wonder about the “tell or image”.

    Oak-Noem turns into Kim Kardassneom businesswoman walking through a photo shot visit from a business somewhere; maybe SD, yea SD.

    Political ads tell about the candidates. The inept inbred Republican rides around on a horse on drought green grass, avoiding work, and probably looking for the next speaking gig to fill her pac pockets. The democrat is telling his story by telling her story. He will not, she does. His story is about SD for SD. Her’s is about her for her and her founding of SD or Mars depending on the paying or voting listeners.

    By November 2022 calamity Noem might have galloped into the unemployment line. It will be close. She should start screaming stolen election like mentor 45 just in case she comes up short in the ballot count.

    The next ad by Noemmatic could be about being everywhere breathing city air. Cannot wait to see what is done with that ad. Haha.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 08:32

    But you’ve got to keep your facts tight: the SDGOP spin blog, sponsored by Noem, predictably ignores the full power of this ad’s brilliant assault on Noem’s many failings and focuses on accusing Smith of lying about the state plane by saying she got a jet instead of a turboprop.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 08:34

    RST, on breathing city air: I would imagine Team Smith is looking for Twitter pix and video of Noem in the big city and elsewhere outside of South Dakota. They could compose another ad along the lines of this one, hanging Noem with her own pictures and video, untouched, showing her constant traveling and grasping for celebrity… not to mention all those pictures of her with Corey Lewandowski.

  15. mike from iowa 2022-07-28 08:38

    Video of Noem and her horse should be titled “Phony Express!” Plus, she is a liar!

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 09:15

    “Phony Express”—brilliant, Mike!

    Worth noting: several commenters on the SDGOP spin blog recognize that Pat’s nitpicking about jet vs. plane ignores the several hard punches that Smith lands on Noem in this outstanding ad.

  17. Sheila Larson 2022-07-28 09:29

    Yes, Jamie Smith needs to keep on addressing ol’ Noem’s fobiles of which there are many.
    Cory, did you see the article in July 27, 2022 Madison Daily Leader ? She spoke at the Heartland Summer Conference this week there.
    Notice one of her statements read: “Miss Addie just turned one. She has her pony and her gun.”
    Can you fathom that ? Now using the one year old granddaughter for political points. Despicable. Is there no limit to her dust crawling ?

  18. Matt Rosburg 2022-07-28 09:42

    Very good production. They should work on making sure they are scripting true statements, though… South Dakota still doesn’t have a jet…

  19. Bob Newland 2022-07-28 09:52

    Tried to look at Phat Phough’s war college. Got this:

    “Access denied Error code 1020
    You do not have access to
    The site owner may have set restrictions that prevent you from accessing the site. Contact the site owner for access or try loading the page again.”

    “Contact the site owner for access….” Right.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 10:02

    We’ve already identified that jet/plane misstatement, Matt. Any other errors you’d like to correct?

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 10:03

    Bob, try opening a private browser window, see if SDWC blocks you there, too. Does that error come up on any device you try accessing the spin blog with, computer or phone?

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-28 10:43

    Noem really said that? Neither an actual pony nor an actual gun seems an appropriate gift for a one-year-old.

  23. jim 2022-07-28 16:57

    She has made a lot of mistakes. I believe that this race is going to be close, like it was four years ago. If Smith can keep the pressure on her and the money starts to flow in, he will make it a long election night. Possibly win.

    She simply isn’t that likable. He is.

  24. oldtimerDon 2022-07-28 18:02

    Kaching! Wham, pow. Right on Mr. Smith. This is great humor messaging and I am confident (at least hopeful) that it hit Ms. Nomind like a burr in the saddle. Use her own words and actions to illustrate her ineptitude

  25. Dave Baumeister 2022-07-28 22:45

    Pony Girl is really Phony Girl. Yep, that about sums it up.

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