Just a couple weeks into her second term, Governor Kristi Noem is busy applying for her next job, Presidential candidate. Rather than ruling out such a bid and saying she has nothing on her agenda but serving in Pierre for the four more years 63.1% of South Dakota voters demanded, Noem is inviting supporters to convince her to run:
Governor Noem has not ruled out a run for president in 2024 but told CBS News that at this moment, she is “not convinced that she needs to run for president.”
“I want the very best individual that is the strongest decision maker, that loves America, to be the person that can lead us into the future,” she said.
In an interview with Robert Costa, the chief election and campaign correspondent for CBS News, Noem said she doesn’t feel rushed “at all” to make a decision on a 2024 run. Noem indicated the presidential field is wide open at this point.
“I believe anybody can be competitive. We are a year and a half two years out from deciding who the next leader of this country should be,” said Noem. “So it’s super early for people to be choosing who they think should be the next leader of this United States of America” [Tom Hanson, “Noem Answers Questions About Possible Presidential Run,” KELO-TV, 2023.01.18].
All the convincing Noem needs is for Trump to drop his candidacy. Noem tells CBS that she hasn’t talked to the only announced 2024 Presidential candidate “in quite a long time.” But while the menace from Mar-a-Lago stays in, Noem may keep auditioning for the VP slot so she can run for President in 2028. And how better to do that than by acting as Trump’s primary attack dog against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis?
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and her allies are taking potshots at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — and according to The Daily Beast, she has the explicit backing of former President Donald Trump to do so.
…As DeSantis’ star burns brighter, Trumpworld is looking for someone to dampen the light — which is where Noem comes in,” said the report. “According to three GOP sources with behind-the-scenes knowledge of the quarrel, Noem has Trump’s blessing to take some shots across the DeSantis bow. And Noem’s efforts haven’t been going unnoticed as Trump continues filling out his VP shortlist. When asked for their thoughts on the DeSantis-Noem dustup, one source close to Trump responded simply with a popcorn emoji before later elaborating. ‘Any experienced primary campaign operative will tell you arguments between potential opponents are best left to roil, fester, and spread,’ the longtime friend of Trump’s told The Daily Beast” [Matthew Chapman, “Trump Gave Kristi Noem His Blessing to Declare ‘One-Way Feud’ with Ron DeSantis: Report,” Raw Story, 2023.01.16].
Given Noem’s focus on DeSantis, Trump, and the national stage, maybe we ought to get nervous about the prospects of Noem paying enough attention to ensure passage of her food-tax repeal. With her own party balking, this is no time for the Governor to be beaming into the bright national lights and traveling to primary states.