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Kristi Noem, Congressional Intern

Last updated on 2011.11.28

Oh! Now I get it! Kristi Lynn Arnold Noem is free to demonstrate an inability to grasp budget policy, consistency, and the English language because she isn't really our Congresswoman; she's just an intern:

Kristi Noem Milkshake Mustache
That's funny, boss! I told the barista, no cream! I'll pick a new one up for you on my way back from Kinko's.

One of the issues voters had to consider last year was whether they wanted to trade in their current congresswoman, who had a law degree and a master's degree, for Noem, who hadn't graduated from college. As a state lawmaker, Noem had been chipping away at the degree, though she had to take a break during her run for Congress.

Turns out she's back at it. Noem is taking an online political science class through the University of South Dakota. She's also earning intern credits. She hopes to finish her degree before the next campaign.

"It was always something I wanted to get accomplished," she said [emphasis mine; Jonathan Ellis, "Noem Marks First 100 Days," that Sioux Falls paper, 2011.04.17].

Considering Noem's usual use of the word accomplishment, her online course instructor might want to check that she's actually doing her homework, not just voting to do it.

But Kristi Noem, Congressional intern: what a great opportunity! Now I'm curious: whose intern is she? Who will write her verification letters? Who serves as the internship supervisor who must write her mid-term and final evaluations? In most internships, that supervisor would be the boss at the business where the eager undergrad schlepps coffee and copies. But Intern Kristi's boss... that's not Speaker Boehner. It is we! The people of South Dakota!

Nertz! We missed mid-terms. Intern Kristi may have to take an incomplete until we catch up. Finals week is coming fast! Fellow internship supervisors, send your final evaluations of Intern Kristi's performance to the USD political science department. Evaluation templates and supporting documents are available here, here, here, here, and here.


  1. David Newquist 2011.04.17

    Unfortunately, Ellis prefaces Noem's academic ventures with a series of analogies that do not reflect why the Democrats did not pass a budget prior to this year's Congressional term,

    However, that internship matter is a great puzzler. I cannot imagine signing off on an internship for which someone will receive credit under these circumstances. Students who actually have to do the work under mentoring circumstances and submit to the evaluative process have good reason to resent this arrangement. It puts USD in a position of favoritism that raises questions about academic integrity.

    I'll leave it to Larry Kurtz to draw any parallels with Lewinsky.

    {CAH: Don't do it, Larry....}

  2. larry kurtz 2011.04.17

    WordPress ate my first one, Doc; so i figured Erin made Cory block my cookie. Good thing, tho, as you have helped me to understand that Rep. Noem is really just another Mid-Intern Lewisky Finalist.

  3. larry kurtz 2011.04.17

    Sorry, cah; didn't see your note in Dave's comment.

    {CAH: How strange, Larry! I didn't set the spam filter to nab you, but it still blocked two of your four. Inexplicable! And I'd think you'd have more fun with her real initials.}

  4. larry kurtz 2011.04.17

    The War Toilet has blocking cookies on two of my computers including this one, could that be it? I saw the KLAN and left it alone, not my style so much. {CAH: No, I don't think it would be a blocking cookie from my end. All 4 comments had the same ip IP... and I wouldn't think my WordPress would read cookies from someone else's WordPress. But delete those cookies and let's see what happens!}

  5. John Hess 2011.04.17

    Oh, just admit it. She's cute!

  6. mike 2011.04.17

    I realized the other day that IF Donald Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination he will likely pick Kristi Noem as his VP. I'm certain he will want a lovely lady hanging on his arm where ever he goes as President. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out she is at the top of his list.

    (also on this issue - I wonder if Noem is taking classes from SHS on how to be a Congresswoman?)

  7. Stan Gibilisco 2011.04.18

    Yes, Rep. Noem is cute. So is Sarah Palin. So is Michele Bachmann. It's a liability for all three. Too many people continue to associate good looks with weak minds. I don't think any of these three women got where they are on account of their stupidity.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.04.18

    Cuteness a liability, Stan? Then why are those three getting all the Fox News face time while more homely GOP women labor in obscurity? I don't like to think about looks much, but you and John and Mike get me wondering why we don't hear the same "hotness" buzz about Democratic women. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, SHS... not the same language used in discussing their looks. Is there a difference in how the press and the public talk about the looks of women in the two big parties?

    Intern Kristi taking classes from SHS? If only! But maybe Kristi sought to avoid that by switching from SDSU to USD.

    Curious: Maybe Intern Kristi actually reports to former intern, now phone-answerer Katie Douglas. She's a USD grad with lots of experience in the poli-sci intern program. Possibly more qualified than Noem.

  9. John Hess 2011.04.18

    Oh Stan, do you really think Sarah Palin would be where she is without her visual assets? Her brain power and good judgment got her there? My friend's grandmother in her 90's talks about Mitt Romney: "He looks presidential." Like that matters. It shouldn't, but let's not pretend looks don't garner attention and votes. You can't hold it against them, but the cuties always have an edge.

  10. Stan Gibilisco 2011.04.18

    Well, the media (and especially Fox News) seems to favor attractive women. No doubt about it.

    I suspect that good looks constitutes an asset for men in politics, and a liability for women.

    Maybe that sounds "chauvinistic," but it's true, ain't it?

    Look at Mitch Daniels. Do you think he has a prayer against the likes of Huckabee or Romney? Daniels has some good ideas, but he ain't no Adonis, and he's short to boot!

    Hillary Clinton is certainly no dog, but she's not up to Palin or Noem or Bachmann in that department. However, if Clinton ran against any of those three Republican women in a race for president, Clinton would win by a landslide, don't you think?

    I think that it's only a matter of time before some solid women candidate makes a serious run for President (or as a running mate, at least). She'll be average in the looks department -- and she'll have an edge because of it.

  11. John Hess 2011.04.18

    It's kind of like cars. Do you want a red sports cars, or a tan minivan? If you're thinking about substance, and being realistic, then you make the practical choice (maybe an old S-10 pickup). But if you're emotionally charged, and both Palin and Bachmann know how to play those strings, then for a time you'll play along. And let's throw Glenn Beck in there. But more importantly, why right now can they pull people in to their scare machine? Like others have done. Joe McCarthy, etc. Something is missing, and we all feel it. It's the middle loosing ground. Letting it all go to the top. Talk about income redistribution. In the meantime, much of America listens to the bimbos that have about one valid sentence to their name. But those legs and that extreme rhetoric keeps it all going.

  12. mike 2011.04.18

    I've noticed most women dislike Noem much more than men. Men think she's attractive and if they don't like her they at least kid around about her looks. If women don't like Noem they really dislike her because she is attractive. women really are Noem's biggest liability and I would say a lot of that is because she is too good looking that they feel threatened men at least sit back and enjoy her looks if nothing else.

    Noem is good looking for a women in politics (or not). Her nose is kind of long though.

    Herseth was cute and much less threatening. She was attractive but not HOT like Noem!

  13. mike 2011.04.18

    Seems like Noem is getting a pretty sweet oppurtunity to intern while serving for Congress. I wish we all could go through college so easily.

    I wonder if they gave her the same oppurtunity to intern while she was Assistant Majority Leader or if this is just a new thing to help her relieve some of the work load with actual classes.

  14. Jon 2011.04.18

    On the bright side, at least she's curious about government!

    Wait...would that make her a liberal now?

    Tea Party Politics are so confusing.

  15. Douglas Wiken 2011.04.18

    Time for another joke.

    Larry King told this one a few days ago. Seems a man and woman were waiting to get on a night train, but no singles were available so they got on as man and wife. She got into the upper berth and he crawled into the lower.

    After about 30 minutes, he said, "You know, it is cold down here. Could you toss down a blanket?" The woman said, "You know, we are just together for this one night, but why don't we just act like husband and wife? He was very interested (maybe she looked like Noem) and said,"Sounds good to me."

    Then she said, "Well in that case, get your own damn blanket."

    Women seem to laugh more at that joke.

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