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Kristi Does Comedy, Accurately Shows Broken Pipes and Scared Patients

Governor Kristi Noem has a new ad campaign splashing her face on top of a new website and two attempts at video humor to recruit workers to South Dakota. The new campaign is titled “Freedom Works Here”. The campaign’s most accurate aspect is showing Kristi Noem attempting to do work for which she is not qualified:

Here’s Kristi as plumber:

…and Kristi as dentist:

In some ways, these ads are pretty good. In both videos, Noem finally sheds her cold, boring delivery and warms to the camera. Her voice and face work together to show engagement with the text. She seems to be enjoying playing dress-up and riding the humor of the concept—watch her giggly shrug in the dentist video when she says “That’s why I’m lending a hand.” In the dentist video, she works in some subtle strip-tease, shedding first the mask and then the glasses, surely thrilling her easily aroused man-fanbase.

But both videos end up sending bad messages about the Governor and the state. The plumber video concludes with the voiceover saying “South Dakota—Freedom Works Here” at the same time that the pipe bursts. The vivid watery image contradicts the vocal message. The dentist video concludes with Noem looming over the patient, drill in hand. The patient’s face shows a look of growing fear as he opens wide to take whatever Kristi is about to give but appears to be thinking, like much of the electorate, What have I gotten myself into?

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be such a hard case. Noem is just having fun, right?

No, actually, she’s spending $5 million to put her face and South Dakota’s selling points all over the country. That’s serious business, and trying to be funny or provocative just to get attention hasn’t worked well for South Dakota in the past.

And it doesn’t work well here. In both videos, commitment to the gag crowds out conveyance of the message. Freedom is supposed to be working, but the ads show us a state with an unqualified leader doing shoddy work. That message is keenly accurate, but it’s not the message Noem is spending $5M of someone else’s money to convey.


  1. All Mammal 2023-06-22

    Warning! This ad causes NDS, which leads to adverse physical effects such as chapping.

  2. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-06-22

    I cannot force myself to watch these; I have an appointment at 8:00 am and don’t want to be homicidal.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-06-22

    As an Ex-Pat the idea of attracting and recruiting Americans in Kristi Noem’s voting block profile is a wonderful thing.
    i.e., More Republican voters does zero to help a state that already voted 79% for Trump and does much to help Purple states turn a little Bluer.

  4. Caroline 2023-06-22

    Freedom works here unless you are a farmer opposed to Summit Carbon Solutions putting a pipeline on your land. In that scenario, eminent domain trumps freedom every time.

  5. e platypus onion 2023-06-22

    No doubt abiut it, Noem is still on meth. Where did she get her professional grifter’s license? She softened her lie about the nation’s strongest economy, but, it is still fabricated. She also looks to have had her grandkid cut her hair.with an AR.

  6. Loren 2023-06-22

    Is there a commercial that shows a SD lawyer and a politician entering the exam room with the OB-GYN, or the one of Kristi at the doctor’s office recommending you forgo your vaccination and go to The Rally? Then again, if Kristi is so darn pro-SD, why doesn’t she spend more time here? ;-)

  7. 96Tears 2023-06-22

    From Dakota Territory, there’s one presidential campaign that’s staffed with real pros and has the feel and look of a serious effort. Most importantly, it’s launched with a candidate whose record as Governor actually has some substance.

    And it ain’t Kristi Noep.

    Here’s a story out of Politico about the impressive launch of Governor Doug Burgum’s presidential campaign. Yep, Burgum, not Noep and her laughable press release writer and lapdog Ian Furry.

    No ass-grabber has-beens like The Lew. Credible and serious campaign veterans on board to start the uphill climb to get the GOP nomination.

    So, what’s Noep doing?

    She’s bilking $5 million from the state treasury to pay for these national campaign commercials. Face it, they’re all about Kristi and very little about South Dakota.

    Isn’t it refreshing to see a governor from Dakota Territory who’s not a leach on the state treasury expecting taxpayers to bankroll an incompetent national campaign staff? And isn’t it nice to see a GOP presidential candidate who’s not wrecking the state universities as a gimmick to out-DiSanto and out-Boebert the dumb jackasses of today’s RNC?

  8. Francis Schaffer 2023-06-22

    Seems like every day is her first day.

  9. e platypus onion 2023-06-22

    Or lucrative campaign contributions come to you from industries opposed to cleaner energy.

  10. Mark B 2023-06-22

    Burgrum’s campaign seems to be where deep pocketed establishment oil money is being parlayed. No surprise with all the oil interests in North Dakota.

    I get where you are going, 96, but that money was going to be on the board somewhere. As much as I dislike Kristi, there was no deep old money river in our state to tap into like North Dakota, so she has to sing and dance for her supper and chase new money.

  11. Mark B 2023-06-22

    And it probably went Burgrums way only after Liz Cheney declined to run, or some calculus in that space. Certainly Bush-Cheney feel to the campaign.

    But agree, nice to see professionalism and class from Dakota Territory.

  12. Lakkan 2023-06-22

    Noem does and will do the impossible to get her latest new face out there.
    No matter the lies, the gaslighting, the misinformation campaigns, Barbie chugs on and on…
    Do the 70% plus who voted for her care about her misrepresenting FACTS about the economy, ghost whistleblowers trying to silence conservative voices, the millions moving house, flocking here to pay homage to her?
    There’s also big daddy, having been quiet since indicted, who needs to be nudged that Krispy is still available to be his Veep bride who try again for a July 4th do-over and a new statue.

  13. Lakkan 2023-06-22


    Thanks for also never not calling out Noem when she is even more ridiculous than usual.
    Her advisors must not like her much, judging how they let her publish these commercials.

  14. Steve Simons 2023-06-22

    On the 51st anniversary of Watergate Kristi becomes a plumber.

  15. Arlo Blundt 2023-06-22

    The Governor is full of herself. She is in dire need of an editor.

  16. Curt 2023-06-22

    Terrific. More State resources shoveled into the coffers of Lawrence & Schiller … most likely on another no-bid contract.

  17. larry kurtz 2023-06-22

    Kristi Noem is the Larry the Cable Guy of Kari Lakes.

  18. Jenny 2023-06-22

    Any sane woman college graduate is going to steer clear of South Dakota when their freedom to choose is taken away. It’s just not worth it when you have guaranteed rights and double the wages elsewhere.

  19. Scott Ehrisman 2023-06-22

    She probably tripped the breaker with all the air compressors running in her paint booth preparing for the shoot.

  20. grudznick 2023-06-23

    Commercials like this are entertaining. They are intended to bring out the NDS, and they do it well.

  21. All Mammal 2023-06-23

    Now I must get an app-happy homie to use some sorta phone AI download that combines images to produce Mr. Kurtz’s KN/Larry the Cable Guy/Karie Lake tubular creature. That one made me laugh. Out loud.

  22. Arletta 2023-06-23

    I have lived in South Dakota all my life .She spent Five Million on this. Why doesn’t she give incentives to the people living in South Dakota already. Such as going back to work and helping pay childcare. Also groceries, gas vouchers etc. Working with all the businesses to up with wages.

  23. Arlo Blundt 2023-06-23

    Is the Governor telling me that people are going to move here for 60% of what their presently making in wages and benefits for political reasons??
    Maybe I need to get out more but I just haven’t met any of those people.

  24. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-06-24

    Nor will you ever, Arlo, because Kristi is deluded and disturbed; these people don’t exist. Think of them as her imaginary friends.

  25. e platypus onion 2023-06-24

    Arletta, that wouldesocialism for themless fortunate and magats only love socialist programs that benefit the worthy, aka the well to do.

  26. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-06-25

    Arlo Blundt and others: I was (trying) to enter Bomgaars yesterday, and three cluelessly rude men were clumped in the entrance, ranting about Clinton. Don’t know if it was Bill or Hillary.

    Anyhoo, one of them remarked that his wife made nearly $67.00 in tips Thursday and Friday, and they were going to Walmart in Rapid to “get us some targets for Cody” (presumably their son).

    Imagine wifey’s salary if the high point of the week was nearly $67.00. in tips. I don’t know why everyone isn’t stampeding to SD for lavish salaries and benefits.

  27. 96Tears 2023-06-25

    These two ads are classic campaign introductory ads, bankrolled by $5 million of OUR money. The objective is to get your attention, humanize the candidate, leave a favorable impression and name the candidate twice to build name identification.

    Kristi Noep has only one marketable skill. Stand there and look purty. It’s all she learned growing up, culminating with winning the title Miss S.D. Snow Queen in 1990.

    Since then she just stands there and looks purty. (And repeat your name so primary voters remember it.) While candidates like Doug Burgum beg for money online, in person and at events, Kristi just pulls $5 million dollars out of the State Treasury and gets on TV in targeted states.

    Kristi Noep hasn’t spent one day working for South Dakota. She invests her time and our money in running for higher office. Period.

  28. leslie 2023-06-26

    Yeah, “freedumb” works here. Sure.

    “…government officials who not only failed to consult with experts in public health, but ridiculed expert opinion and circled the wagons [in Sweden] to defend Anders Tegnell, the government epidemiologist who reigned as the architect of the country’s approach, against mounting criticism. [who was that department secretary of SD Public Health that was so muzzled by Kristi?]

    The bottom line is that Swedes suffered grievously from Tegnell’s policies. According to the authoritative Johns Hopkins pandemic tracker, while its total death rate from February 2020 through this week, 1,790 per million population, is better than that of the U.S. (2,939), Britain (2,420) and France (2,107), it’s worse than that of Germany (1,539), Canada (984) and Japan (220).

  29. Anne Beal 2023-06-26

    The ads are funny, and underscore the difficulties we are facing finding skilled workers.

    Between covid and the derecho it can take years to get a contractor out to your property.
    It took us a year to get the big tree that fell down in May 2022 cut up and pushed into a pile. It took 6 months to get a new generator installed.
    I had damage to my house caused by an ice dam on the roof in the winter of 2019-2020 I was up on the roof that year installing thawing cables myself. A large section of one wall was badly damaged and finally the demolition work got done in June 2022, the exterior wall and siding were replaced by September, but it was not until April of this year that they finished the sheetrock on the interior; we lived with a wall of exposed studs and insulation for 8 months, and then I painted the entire room myself because I couldn’t stand it any more.. I am 73, and I am a lousy painter. (I was 70 when I was crawling around on my gabled roof, while my husband held on to the other end of a tether to keep me from falling off. )

    Now we have to learn how to do small engine repair because the people who used to service our lawnmowers retired and nobody bought their business.

    This isn’t just a Red State’s problem, though. I am sure you think people in Blue States don’t have any trouble finding younger people to do things for them, but my brother in Massachusetts bought a property over two years ago with the idea that he could have the existing structure demolished and build a new house on it. He has given up finding contractors to do any of the work. There’s nobody out there, either.

    This is what happens when an entire generation is told to go to college, amass enormous student loan debt, and are not taught any marketable skills. (In fact, teaching your kid how to perform household chores is now called “parentification” and is considered child neglect, teaching them how to use power tools is child endangerment.)

    Skilled workers are in high demand, and there’s nothing wrong with the Governor advertising for more of them.

  30. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-06-26

    My question, regarding the hiring and availability of skilled workers, is: what do you think is a fair wage NOW? I’m a skilled geezer, and I remember the $6.50/hour of the mid-nineties in Denver. Drive a forklift, run and maintain a diazo machine, “some” airbrushing, provide your own tools for light construction, you CAN use your own chainsaw with a 36″ bar, CAN’T you?; the lists of skill requirements were endless.

    When you, as a consumer of skilled labor today or soon, are required to fill out a check for labor (some businesses in town don’t take credit cards and others will only take financial institution checks or cash) how much are you willing to spend per hour? I saw jobs within the last four years in Hot Springs that paid the princely sum of $8.00/hour.

    What does Kristi Lynn expect to pay out of her own pocket for goods and services? Oh, wait–South Dakota tax payers are deleriously happy to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to support that worthless twit squatting in the governor’s mansion.

  31. Colleen Weber 2023-07-17

    Kristi Noem is the best thing that ever happened to South Dakota. Just because she wants to protect the life of unborn children, you think it’s necessary to make up lies and call her names. Wake up. You all sound like a bunch of 8 year- olds who had their blankies taken away.

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-07-17

    Colleen, you appear to be reading something other than the post above. I didn’t make up any lies about Kristi Noem. This post isn’t about her effort to ban abortion and make women second-class citizens (although that misogyny could have something to do with the ongoing difficulty the state has in recruiting workers). This post is about the fact that she made a ridiculously bad advertisement. Do you have anything to say about the contents of the ad itself? Do you have any specific responses to the actual critique offered here?

  33. Dicta 2023-07-17

    “The best thing to ever happen to South Dakota.”

    She uses this sort of hyperbole and accuses others of childish tactics.

  34. e platypus onion 2023-07-17

    Forcing women to give birth against their will protects no one’s rights. A detus has no rights and neither does a forced birth baby. untril a child reaches the age iof majority, its parents make decisions for it.

    You over godding do gooders care nothing once that clump of cells is forcibly brought into this world. Phony kristians don’t want their taxes used to house, clothe, feed or educate that fetus at birth. magats in many red states refuse to expand Medicaid or hand out food stamps without draconian rules to make sure the neediest can’t successfully apply.

    You magats are a joke and should be forced to adopt every fetus forced to be born, imho.

  35. Lou Sassle 2023-08-17

    What a dumb article. Enjoy the fun and try not to be so cynical.

  36. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-08-18

    What a dumb comment. Enjoy the accurate analysis and try not to be so accepting of Governor Noem’s poorly written and taxpayer-funded narcissism.

  37. P. Aitch 2023-08-18

    Lou Sassle – A look at your Facebook page is a lesson in racism. Welcome to your demise, pig.

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