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Varilek Ad Tougher Than You Think

Mr. Montgomery brings to our attention the first general election TV ad of South Dakota's Congressional race. Matt Varilek hits the TV airwaves before Rep. Kristi Noem, who has stuck to making stuff up about Varilek with cheaper radio spots. Here's Matt's vid:

Narrator: Matt Varilek: A new choice for Congress with South Dakota roots and middle-class values.

Matt: I worked my way through high school and college washing dishes, flipping burgers, and picking rocks. I like to throw horseshoes. Badly. I worked for Senator Tim Johnson on economic development, helping businesses and promoting opportunity. The special interests have their representatives. I'll work hard for you. I'm Matt Varilek, and I approved this message.

Mr. Montgomery characterizes Varilek's ad as "a positive 30-second biographical spot." But oh, my friends, read closely: he's zinging No-Show Noem right and left. Consider the words:

  1. and: The narrator lays the trap in that opener: both candidates in this race have South Dakota roots, but Matt has the right roots and middle-class values. His family didn't get by on more than three million dollars in handouts from Uncle Sam.
  2. work: Varilek uses that verb three times. He worked his way through high school and college... and finished college in less than the 20 years it took Kristi do do the same. He worked for Senator Johnson... quite possibly creating more economic opportunities than Rep. Noem has by skipping committee hearings and voting the way her obstructionist, do-nothing GOP leadership tells her to.
  3. horseshoes: This one's the pièce de résistance. Varilek subtly counterprograms Noem's ongoing rodeo princess act with word and image. He pitches a horseshoe badly and admits it. Then he talks about real accomplishments in Congress. The message: horseshoes and horsey rides aren't vital parts of the job we send our Representative to Washington to do for South Dakota.

Ah, metaphor. Contrary to the opinion of the GOP spin machine that can't find anything positive and true to say about their gal's record, Team Varilek totally gets it. But with Noem already throwing punches on things Varilek has never voted for, this ad may be as gentle as Varilek can afford to be. Keep swinging, Matt!


  1. Lee Schoenbeck 2012.09.04

    Corey --- even for you, I never could have imagined that level of centrifical force spin - that's like blue ribbon at the fair spin (an obvious metaphor about Varilek not having shown hogs in his youth).
    Maybe the "work" reference was a subtle statement that Noem has only run three or four businesses, while Varilek has toiled his professional career in the "work" of federal bureacracy?

    Corey - you are at a minimum committed, if not generally comittable :)

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.04

    Cut me some slack, Lee—I don't get to work with metaphor nearly as much in French class as I do in English class. ;-)

    But hey: Run three or four businesses? How'd those businesses do? And would she have had the financial wiggle room to launch those ventures without the federal government propping up her farm?

    "work" of federal bureaucracy? What, because a career of public service is wasted time? How would Chris Nelson respond to such a statement?

    I am definitely committed. I leave judgments of my sanity to others.

  3. Dougal 2012.09.04

    Lee, How do you know when you throw a rock and hit a sow? It squeals like hell! Noem is going home.

  4. Justin 2012.09.04

    Noem has "run" three or four businesses?

    Now we are talking spin.

  5. mike 2012.09.05

    The only budgets Noem has ever balanced were balanced with federal government dollars. Her farm and the state budget. Farm subsidies and stimulus money.

    The hunting lodge lasted only a couple years, the restaurant she was about 20 years old and did it for a year.

    We never hear about her last job she had before running for congress. Secretary of her Four Square Church in Watertown. Nothing against that but why doesn't she talk about that? If she was such a successful business owner why was she working at her church prior to running for Congress?

  6. Douglas Wiken 2012.09.05

    Noem ruins businesses and joins retrograde obstructionist Republicans in Washington who in the last 20 years or so have shut government down once, endorsed a needless, costly war, and voted 31 times against Affordable Care Act.
    She supported a SD bill praising astrologers while deriding rationality of energy conservation and need to control human contribution to global warming.

    Noem has done little if anything for SD in two years. She has had her pretty face plastered on Wingnut media however. I suppose a lot of Fox executives took time to visit Mt. Rushmore or at least look at it on the way flying between coasts.

  7. Michael Black 2012.09.05

    If you subscribe to the theory that whatever you are against, you attract, then Corey and the rest of you are doing a pretty good job of re-electing Mrs Noem.

    I'll vote FOR a candidate come election day.

    I want to hear more from Matt in the coming weeks. I don't know enough about him to form an opinion one way or another.

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