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Herseth Sandlin Not Running in 2012

I'm not running! says Stephanie Herseth Sandlin on Facebook:

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, mom, working woman, not a candidate in 2012
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, mom, working woman, not a candidate in 2012

...It's been great to see and hear from so many of you over the past couple of months. Please know how much I appreciate the kindness you always extend to my family and all the encouragement I've received to consider a run for public office in 2012. This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision. My desire to serve South Dakota will always be strong, and I will always give serious consideration to opportunities to serve again, but I will not be a candidate for office in 2012... [Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Facebook post, 2012.01.21].

SHS says she's having a great time being a mom and enjoying her new professional opportunities.

Looks like Dakota War College is going to need some new talking points. Run hard, Jeff and Matt!


  1. Charlie Johnson 2012.01.21

    SHS is doing the right thing--not because of what I or others think-rather because she as a mother and a person is making the choice. Young children need their parents and vice versa. SHS with her youth and intellect will be seen and heard again. That time frame will be of her choosing.

  2. mike 2012.01.21

    She made the right choice. She'll be much stronger if Obama is off the ballot.

  3. Jeff barth 2012.01.21

    In speaking with SHS about her plans for 2012 my sense was always that she was busy as a mom and was taking a longer view, a longer view on her political future. Now that she has made that position clear I hope that her many supporters will examine my positions and grow to support me.
    I am running hard, I plan to win the primary and I plan to work for the United States and the State of South Dakota in the US Congress. With my pragmatic views and lifetime of experience I am just the right person to do that.

  4. larry kurtz 2012.01.21

    So, Mr. Barth: if you win the primary, where in South Dakota would you like take President Obama?

  5. larry kurtz 2012.01.21

    If either Varilek or Barth learned anything from the 2010 race hopefully it will be that Democrats can’t run against our President or our party.

    Matt, Jeff: embrace what we stand for or pay at the polls. Voters want to know that you will be loyal to the people with whom you will caucus.

    South Dakota is hardly a better place since 2010 having sent a warm body to fill a chair in DC.

  6. Donald Pay 2012.01.21

    A lot of things change when you become a parent. I have hope that parenthood will change SHS for the better. She seemed way too eager to please the power structure, rather than try to change it. When you have a kid you start thinking beyond yourself and the people who give you money. It doesn't mean you drop out, though. It's a good time to engage in "cause" politics at the grassroots level or local.

  7. David Newquist 2012.01.22

    In conjecturing about Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's reasons for deciding not to run, one of our fellow bloggers says, "I see no general trends or specific vulnerabilities that make Noem look beatable." Beyond the usual political bravado (this blogger joins the GOP chant squad in dismissing the viability of the announced Democratic candidates), there lurks an astute observation. It is not about the strength of Kristi Noem, but about those who dominate the electorate, which is the real reason behind the brain drain. And now Ms. Herseth Sandlin joins that migration. Her comments about focusing on her professional career, in which she has the satisfaction of working on issues that matter to her, are clear expressions of where her focus is, and it is obviously where she can use her considerable talents.

    Ms. Herseth Sandlin tried earnestly to accommodate the conservative nature of the state and in so doing she lost the energy of her prime constituency. The realities of the intellectual, social, and political climate of South Dakota force people to center their lives elsewhere. It has happened to other politicians who lost elections here. That general trend is gathering force. And so is the outmigration of the young, educated, and talented. Education is a passport out.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.22

    Commissioner Barth, I look forward to some solid pragmatism to take on Noem's pathetic sycophancy to the ideological GOP leadership. Now, how about disavowing your support for the very unpragmatic Keystone XL pipeline?

    David, is South Dakota really doomed to lose all of its intelligentsia? How did we get into this vicious cycle, and how can we reverse it?

  9. Stace Nelson 2012.01.22

    I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Varilek at several events in Pierre over the last several weeks. He seemed like a nice fella. Smart candidate to be hitting the events in Pierre that atract a lot of people from all corners of the state.

    I wished him well and thanked him for running. Nelson family still supports Congresswoman Noem though.

  10. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.22

    Hopefully Stephanie will run for Governor. I think she'd beat our present Governor.

    I'm anxious to meet Varilek. Looks like he would be very good.

    And the Reitzel family still is totally against Noem.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.22

    Hey, "SDprogressive", who are you? Readers want to know if you're working for the Barth campaign.

    [Update 2012.05.18 05:05 MDT: "SDProgressive" submits non-functional e-mail address, making it impossible for me to contact her/him and verify identity. Banished!]

  12. Michael Black 2012.01.22

    Delete the post Cory. If they don't have enough courtesy to identify themselves, then they should not be allowed to contribute.

  13. David Newquist 2012.01.23

    Cory, I don't think South Dakota is necessarily doomed, but it is on a trajectory which has a desolate termination point. For example, how do young college students in education respond to the Daugaard proposal? Ones I talk to have quite specific plans. Their job objectives are focused on a limited number of states, and South Dakota is not one of them because of its deprofessionalizing of teaching. The students' thinking is, if they cannot find work in the states that are trying to bolster teaching as a profession, they are making contingency plans for other kinds of work which can utilize their disciplinary studies and, perhaps, their teaching education. I wonder if anyone in the Governor's camp has bothered to ask these students or established teachers what they see as the effects of his plan. Teaching has been one of the areas which, despite the level of pay, has provided a professional environment in which people work with some autonomy. That seems about to end and teaching becomes just another job where success depends on one's willingness to submit to arbitrary and spirit-killing work rules designed to purge self-initiative. South Dakota leaders are determined to make South Dakota a lousy place to work. That;s why as a new beef processing plant gears up in Aberdeen, the company concedes that the great majority of its workers will have to be immigrants looking to get an economic toehold in America. Established workers will find better options elsewhere.

    Another case in point is the Sanford Underground Laboratory. When conversion of the Homestake into a science lab was first proposed, the support within the scientific community was almost unanimous. When Barrick Gold allowed the mine to flood, all but a very few scientists saw that another opportunity for science was being quashed by corporate interests, and the state compounded their wariness and skepticism by trying to revive the conversion as an economic development enterprise. Finally, the mine's most influential backer,, the National Science Foundation, suddenly withdrew its support when there were very few scientists left who wanted to do experiments there and the emphasis changed from the actual research to the physical restoration and construction of a facility. A much-reduced version will begin some experiments this spring with $15 million from the Department of Energy budget. The scientific scope has been vastly reduced.

    South Dakota is much more interested, as are other areas of the nation, in controlling and limiting workers than in promoting the conditions that produce research, effective teaching, and personal autonomy. At this point, the state is disqualifying itself as a place where robust intellectual work gets done. Rather, it clings to its favorite response to critics of the state rather than change and improve its attitudes: it you don't like it here, move. And the intellectual workers generally move. Possibly something may produce a flash of enlightenment and the state will change its trajectory, but as things are going now, there is mostly gloom on the horizon.

  14. Jeff Barth 2012.01.23

    David Newquist brings up some excellent points.. Clearly the only way Tea Party candidates can win election in this state is be sure that we don't do too much to educate.
    An example of this is where Noem asks for more spending on Lewis & Clark, more spending on Missouri flood relief, more money for Pine Beetles, etc., more tax cuts for business and billionaires and then purports to want a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. All that from our current trillion dollar deficit position.
    Simple arithmetic would show that you can't spend more, reduce your income and balance the budget. But perhaps that is too difficult for those who remain in the state to comprehend. The mentality of quit your job and go shopping at the mall to pay off your credit card. Really? Arithmetic? Thinking…? Anybody?

  15. larry kurtz 2012.01.23

    Mr. Barth: where would you take President Obama when he visits the state later this year?

  16. Charlie Johnson 2012.01.23

    One can add subsidized crop insurance and ethanol incentives to the list of things that KN wants to continue spending money on. From the time she was elected, Noem math never added up to her rhetoric.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.24

    Good points, Jeff! Hammer on that contradiction!

  18. UnionCo 2012.01.24

    Barth - Please read FOX News - Six reasons Keystone XL was a bad deal all along. I quote the main points. 1) KXL would not reduce foreign oil dependency. 2) KXL would have increased domestic oil prices. 3) KXL overstated number of jobs to be created 4) Current Keystone pipeline leaked 12 times in last year. 5) The environmental concerns about oil leaks are justified. 6) Mining tar sands would worsen global warming.

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