George McGovern endorsed Matt Varilek for U.S. House this week. MDR's Tom Lawrence offers some tantalizing though non-binding historical parallels between Varilek's challenge and McGovern's first win against a Hamlin County incumbent.
The Republican spin machine can only recycle the old Pat Powers meme about McGovern sitting down with Fidel Castro (yeah, yeah, and Nixon's a hero for going to China). Fake blogger "Bill Clay" manages to croak something about Varilek being "over-hyped and over-endorsed." As usual, "Clay" is simply moving his/her lips, not actually quantifying what constitutes "too many" endorsements.
Back when the War College actually purported to educate us on how politics work, it would have told us that endorsements from heavy-hitters in the party is a good thing, unless for some reason you have to prove you are an anti-Establishment candidate, even within your own party. That's the tack Stace Nelson, Steve Sibson, and likelyÂ Bill Cissell are taking against the perceived failures of their own party leaders to be true to the party platform (and bless them all for their electoral efforts!).
But if you're running for U.S. House in a Democratic primary in South Dakota, and three prominent Democrats, all well-liked and respected within the party, all throw their names behind your campaign, you freak out in a happy way. The losses of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Scott Heidepriem in 2010 showed that downplaying your Democratic cred is not a winning strategy in South Dakota. Varilek is right on to go the other direction and embrace the Democratic brand and the party fathers as they embrace him. And George McGovern, Tom Daschle, and Tim Johnson are sending the signal that Dems should embrace Varilek. (Now, where's Stephanie?)
Over-endorsed? Oh, I wish I had such problems.
Related: Perhaps DWC should consider why their GOP candidates for President are under-endorsed. Governor Dennis Daugaard has stayed mum, and Rep. Kristi Noem is waiting for the party to tell her whom to support (nothing new there).