SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Speculation surrounding Gov. Kristi Noem’s political future is the subject of a national story published Monday morning.
South Dakota’s Republican governor has announced her plans to run for re-election in 2022 and faces a primary challenge from Sioux Falls lawyer and lawmaker Steve Haugaard. But the story, published by POLITICO, focuses on Noem’s possible chances as a Presidential or Vice President candidate. POLITICO, which was created in 2007, calls itself “a global news and information company at the intersection of politics and policy.”
The headline for the story is “Kristi Noem’s on a Political Rocket Ship. But Don’t Rule out a Crash” and it is written by David Siders. Noem declined to be interviewed for the story.
Siders’ 4,700-word story stems from an October visit to South Dakota where he covered Governor Noem’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt and the Hobo Day parade in Brookings.
The story quotes South Dakotans throughout including comments from Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, Rep. Taffy Howard (R-Rapid City) as well as other current and former state lawmakers.
The story says while, “President Donald Trump is still firmly in charge of the GOP,” Noem is “running to stay on his radar as a potential asset.” Quoting an anonymous “Trump ally” the story says, “There is a widely held appreciation for Noem’s ‘star quality’.”
Another anonymous “person close to Trump’s operation” is quoted saying Noem “may not be seasoned enough for a national campaign.”
Siders says Noem has “built-in disadvantages as a national candidate” because South Dakota is not “the locus of coastal media attention” and the “small agricultural economy limits her natural fundraising base.”
The story shares highlights from Noem’s first term as governor including her COVID-19 response, the delayed social studies standards review and her involvement in her daughter, Kassidy Peters, receiving an agreement related to Peters’ application to be a certified residential appraiser.
Rep. Howard, who is running against incumbent Congressman Dusty Johnson for the U.S. House, told Siders Noem isn’t “the governor that people think she is.” Howard say conservatives in South Dakota’s legislature deserve credit for not shutting down the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The story ends by quoting a Los Angeles-based businessman Dan Genter, who called Noem a politician with “strong self-awareness.” Genter says Noem has 25 years more of political life, but noted she can’t “ride COVID policy forever.”