Last updated on 2013.04.04
If Jeff Barth gained any advantage from launching his U.S. House campaign early, Matt Varilek has destroyed it. In the five weeks since announcing his candidacy, Varilek has raised over $100,000—maybe a tenth of what Congresskitten Kristi Noem has purred up, but possibly ten times more than what Barth has raised. Varilek has the endorsement of his former boss, Senator Tim Johnson. He has the endorsement of former Senator Tom Daschle.
In little more than a month, Varilek has lined up cash and clout behind his campaign. Barth has lined up YouTube videos... which I like, I really do! But if Barth wants a competitive primary, he'd better start producing names and numbers.
So Jeff, how about seeking Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's endorsement? She's been signalling since last March that she's not terribly interested in a rematch with Noem. Tom Lawrence said just the other day that SHS sounds more focused on being a mom than a candidate. Why not put her idle political capital to good use and endorse a candidate?
Herseth Sandlin has no need to rush into the endorsement game. But Barth had better hope Herseth Sandlin doesn't come out for Varilek; a trifecta of big Dem endorsements would go a long way toward sealing the deal for Varilek.
Bonus Barth Bing: The new study finding that good-looking candidates get more TV time (but not radio and newspaper coverage—oh bless you, sane and unsullied media!) also finds South Dakota does a good job of electing good-lookers, placing Herseth Sandlin and Thune in the top five for beauty in the 2007 Congress analyzed in the study. (And why else would Fox News keep putting do-nothing Noem on the air?) Varilek is just a bit cuter than Barth, wouldn't you say? If we want to keep getting that extra TV time for South Dakota, we are obliged to pick Varilek over Barth, aren't we?