Jeff Barth gets more free media, with five minutes on MSNBC with Chuck Todd this morning. Chuck Todd says that on a busy primary Tuesday, he says Barth's video and challenge to Matt Varilek deserve the attention of political junkies nationwide:
Todd asks Barth if the gay-marriage split was a turning point in the campaign. Barth says absolutely and works hard to turn a new phrase:
...I don't believe Matt thought through the whole thing correctly, and with an eye towards the November election he made his decision to support religious rites (r-i-t-e-s) instead of equal rights, and certainly, imnmediately that hurt him amongst Democrats [Jeff Barth, interview with Chuck Todd, The Daily Rundown, 2012.06.04].
Todd suggests that Barth sounds more like an Independent than a Democrat. Barth responds that economic class warfare may be less critical than political class warfare:
...the conflict is not between the upper class, lower class, and middle class. It's between all of us and the political class in Washington, D.C.... They are being bought and sold, we all know that, every day. The question is... when I was listening to your piece on Wisconsin, are we the citizens, are we for sale? As a regular South Dakotan, is he selling his vote to the highest amount of money? I hope not. I'm hoping to fight against that [Barth, 2012.06.04].
Barth closes with a another big-money dig against Varilek:
I'm running as a Democrat with a Democrat's budget of about 60 grand. My opponent is running as a Democrat with a Washington DC budget. I believe I can win in the fall against our incumbent Congresswoman Kristi Noem. I don't believe that my fellow Democrat can [Barth, 2012.06.04].
Careful, Jeff: whoever wins, the loser needs to be ready to come out Wednesday morning and say with total conviction, "Yes, we Dems can beat Noem! Let's do it!" As it stands right now, both Barth and Varilek have unique strengths and weaknesses that give them both an equal underdog shot in November.
Update 12:38 CDT: Tom Lawrence gives a good final profile of the Dem primary race in today's Mitchell Daily Republic. One baseball highlight: Barth says he hears someone's doing push-polls against him. Varilek campaign manager David Benson avers that Team Varilek is "not involved in that" and isn't "doing anything remotely close to that."
Hmmm... don't tell me Governor Daugaard's auto-dialer got hyperactive over the weekend....