John Tsitrian suggests that the South Dakota Democratic Party is crazy. That charge is dog-bites-man... but Tsitrian provokes a lively conversation by diagnosing craziness specifically in the party's apparent endorsement of Susan Wismer over Joe Lowe for governor. Tsitrian contends that Wismer lacks the Clintonesque/Warrenesque "muscular persona" necessary to persuade South Dakota voters to overturn decades of GOP dominance in Pierre. Tsitrian says Lowe has a better shot in this prize fight:
Re-locating to South Dakota back in the 1990s, Lowe honed his political skills in Southern California, taking over in the early '90s as Mayor of Mission Viejo in Orange County, where the politics are vicious and no prisoners are taken--I lived there myself until I was in my thirties and can still remember it as the land of dirty political tricks ("Tricky Dick" Nixon was a product of that tradition--you get the idea). If Lowe has retained the toughness that it took to be a winner a couple of decades ago, he'll match up just fine with Daugaard on any stage [John Tsitrian, "Memo to the SD Democratic Party: Are You Crazy?" The Constant Commoner, 2014.03.17].
Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, who introduced Rep. Wismer at her Capitol campaign kickoff, says Tsitrian is way off the mark in perceiving a "frosty reception" from the state Dems to Lowe:
...on the two occasions when he came to Pierre he was received very warmly by everyone, including Susan Wismer who speaks highly of him. I think all this is way off the mark. If Joe had chosen to announce in the capitol building during session by hunch is that a number of local Dems and legislators would have attended as they did for Susan [Bernie Hunhoff, comment, The Constant Commoner, 2014.03.18].
Note to candidates: do three announcements! Stop in Pierre for your Capitol photo op between your Sioux Falls and Rapid City launches!
The state Dems have apparently rectified their initial silence on Lowe, adding a laudatory post about Lowe to their website on February 18, three weeks after SDDP chair Deb Knecht made sweet press-release love to Wismer upon her well-coordinated announcement.
East River Dems will have a chance this weekend to see who's crazy and whom they're crazy for: Joe Lowe and Susan Wismer will both appear Saturday, March 22, at the Brookings County Democrats' big St. Patrick's fundraising dinner at the American Legion Hall (contact Lawrence Novotny, 605-692-6026, for tickets and time). That dinner and side-by-side comparison will be worth the price of admission.