Today Governor Kristi Noem announced that following several weeks of medical treatment in South Dakota for a back injury, the Governor underwent successful back surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Her treating surgeon, Dr. Mohamad Bydon, described the treatment: “Governor Noem developed an acute condition impacting her lumbar spine. She underwent successful surgery and is well on her way to a full recovery. The Governor is in excellent health.”
Dr. Bydon is a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic and the Charles B. and Ann L. Johnson Professor of Neurosurgery [Office of the Governor, press release, 2022.09.13].
Bring on the cheap shots:
- Must have been all that spinning.
- Must have been too many takes galloping for her campaign ad.
- Must have been those darn cheap seats on the used plane we bought her; if we had bought her a nicer plane, she wouldn’t be in this fix!
- Funny: her back looked fine when she turned it on supporters of women’s rights.
- So that’s why she’s been lugging Larry Rhoden around everywhere: she needed someone to carry her out if her back spasmed.
- Noem says she’ll be “‘very limited’ in what she will be able to do for the next several months.” How will South Dakotans be able to tell the difference?
And one real take:
Going in for a back operation to address a back condition that didn’t appear to be cutting into Noem’s mobility for the last couple months is a pretty serious medical intervention. Knowing it would lay her up for several months had to raise questions of, “When can I afford to be out of commission for that long?” Noem chose to have this serious operation sooner rather than later, cutting into the height of the 2022 campaign season in hopes that she’ll be back at full strength some time after next winter or spring. That choice suggests the following calculations:
- Contrary to the wishful rumor-mongering of certain Twitterati, Noem’s internal polling shows that she leads Jamie Smith by 20 points. She can skip the one TV debate and coast to reëlection in November.
- She’s done enough to raise her national profile with the book tour and cross-country Republican fundraising. More national campaign efforts now amidst Republicans struggling to keep their seats in tougher races nationwide might be (a) lost in the noise and (b) viewed as contributing to certain Republican losses in November.
- She needs to be at full strength come spring 2023 when her real campaign begins: her campaign for President.