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Rounds for Senate? Challengers Should All Shout “Yes, Please!”

M. Michael Rounds for Senate? Oh yes, please, Republicans, serve it up! Mr. Mercer reminds us of the plums we can pull out of that pie:

The 10 percent budget cuts that his successor, Gov. Dennis Daugaard, felt necessary to impose; the difficulties now surfacing within the South Dakota Retirement System because of policies encouraged during the 2000s; the deadlock over and shifting fate of the Homestake underground laboratory project; the second state-government jet that was purchased under the Rounds administration; the mini-controversy over Valhalla in Custer State Park; even the size and uses of the new governor's mansion are just some of the topics that will be considered by Democrats [Bob Mercer, "The 2014 U.S. Senate Election," Pure Pierre Politics, September 13, 2012].

We won't even have to resort to the hairline cracks that Dakota War College prefers. Anyone challenging Rounds in 2014, whether Democrat in the general or Howie-wingnut in the primary, can hammer Rounds on his visionless policies and fiscal foppery. Going rounds with Rounds will be fun. Bring it on!


  1. larry kurtz 2012.09.14

    Rounds' rant in Dakota Dunes was clearly racially charged; even the timing of his announcement is puzzling. Even KW chose to cover Thune rather than jump on the Rounds failures while he was governor.

    That the SDGOP is so fractured this dealio does indeed look like an effort designed at unifying a deeply divided party.

  2. Dougal 2012.09.14

    More gov't. jobs & contracts for Rounds family members ... and they've got the federal treasury to drain!

  3. JoeBoo 2012.09.14

    I have nothing against Rounds, I think he's a good guy, and was an alright governor, but some of the crap he pulled as governor just doesn't fly on the national scene. You can't give half your family prime fed jobs, you don't get to buy your own airplane, especially with unappropriated funds, you don't get your own private cabin, and a ton of other little things that just makes your state look bad on the national scene.

  4. Thad Wasson 2012.09.14

    Mike "Big Government" Rounds? Stacey Nelson for U.S. Senate 2014!

  5. Winston 2012.09.14

    Rounds is not a political entity of his own design. He is merely a by-product of the 2002 Kirby/Barnett cat fight. Any SD Republican Governor, with the exception of Farrar (Miller was an aberration) can get re-elected. Rounds cannot complete with the "Rock Star" stature of a Sandlin or Noem. If it becomes Johnson versus Rounds, which I think is unlikely. Then any thing is possible, neither one of them have ever lost a race.

  6. Roger Elgersma 2012.09.14

    It was both sad and funny when Rounds said that after years of normal South Dakota drought that after two years of rain that he had figured out how to manage the dam since the water level was back to normal since it rained. Then the next year it rained again and Daugaard had to deal with the mess. Those who like no government can depend on Rounds to do nothing and hope it works out.

  7. Douglas Wiken 2012.09.14

    What goes A Rounds, comes A Rounds.

    Would you really vote for a man who builds his house on a flood plain inches above the Missouri?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.14

    Douglas, fine slogan, even finer question.

  9. Stan Gibilisco 2012.09.14

    Cory, an awful lot of South Dakotans liked Gov. Rounds. He would make a formidable candidate for Senator. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin might beat him. But I doubt any other Democrat could.

  10. Justin 2012.09.14

    I think SD Republicans would vote for Eugene Debs if he smiled pretty and ran on the GOP ticket.

  11. G-Man 2012.09.14

    This is all wasted discussion because I believe it's going to be Stephanie's seat when she makes her comeback.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.14

    Stan: Ah, "like," one of your human emotions. What I wouldn't give for more Vulcans in our electorate.

  13. Les 2012.09.14

    As much as I've always respected Steph's intelligence, if she couldn't debate K Noem she can't debate Gov Rounds G-man. Though, I think it could be a most memorable battle.

  14. Justin 2012.09.14

    I'd like to see SHS run as a Republican. Not only because it makes sense given her record, but because it would be interesting to hear a Republican make some sense. She represents this state's values, not ALEC, Sheldon Adelstein or the Koch Bros. We might see the only election in the U.S. where the electorate outraises the bogeymen.

    But I also had to laugh at the comment that she couldn't debate Kristi Noem. If SHS had run on the GOP ticket last time, Kristi wouldn't have broken single digits.

  15. Justin 2012.09.14

    Caveat: I wouldn't vote for her if she does, because I'm sure the Democrats would run a better candidate. But I would register GOP and vote for her in the primary.

  16. G-Man 2012.09.14

    Stephanie does not need to run as a Republican to win. She will win on her own merits come 2014. It will be a much different electoral environment by then in my opinion.

  17. Justin 2012.09.14

    I don't think she needs to do it to win.

    I just think it would be an incredibly gratifying debunking of the argument that what are politicians say and do has anything to do with the will of our people.

    Witness the debate over platform principles we have seen among the GOP with no interest whatsoever in the interest of our residents.

  18. Les 2012.09.14

    Thoughtful comment stating the die hard GOP primary voters giving Noem single digits against SHS had that dream happened.

    Get satisfied with Hersth, she is not only the best you have but the only electable.

  19. Justin 2012.09.14

    That would be "our" not "are".

    It's so painful when you try to say something poignant but don't edit diligently.

  20. Justin 2012.09.14

    I've heard as much from many business leaders in the state. They love SHS.

    If Brett Favre can play for the Vikings, SHS can play for the GOP. JMO.

  21. Les 2012.09.15

    The debates were all about the election or vice versa Cory.

    Know your audience and tell them what they want to hear.

    A hard lessons for SHS and many others. Isn't that what makes politics so wonderful.

  22. Justin 2012.09.15

    Based on what the Republicans said to me, I could have sworn it was about who they would rather have touch them on the shoulder.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.15

    Justin's right, Les: Noem did not win the State Fair debate. She won the election despite her demonstrated infacility with facts and policy by riding image, false ads, and the brief surge of Tea Party sentiment.

  24. LK 2012.09.15

    "Know your audience and tell them what they want to hear."

    Add the phrase "bread and circuses" and you have a perfect illustration of why Americans political system is broken.

  25. G-Man 2012.09.15

    So, I will very briefly explain why I believe 2014 will shape up to be a "different electoral environment" than 2010:

    1) 4 years will almost have passed.
    2) The old Tea from 2010 has long since lost it's steam, is cold, and growing mold.
    3) 2012 Elections put a huge dent in the GOP Tea Party wing, thus, making them influential.
    4) Those who originally drank the Tea, find it old, disgusting, and weak.
    5) After four years of infighting in the South Dakota GOP, the Party is left in a weakend state and with a much more fragile shell of itself.
    6) After everything stated above, 2014 will be a midterm election as well and the old hateful motivations that kept the Tea hot in 2010 are long gone. Instead, most of the electorate in South Dakota will have moved on and those politicos that drank the Tea and brewed it, will have nothing to show as far as action is concerned.

  26. G-Man 2012.09.15

    I think Stephanie should run as an Independent for U.S. Senate in 2014.

  27. Les 2012.09.15

    She possibly said what enough voters wanted to hear Cory.

    I feel SHS did not say what voters wanted to hear.

    Yes G-man, it's a well known fact party jumpers can win in SD.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.15

    Enough fuzzy generalizations, Les. Why not review the debate notes and tell me what specific answers Noem gave that were superior to Herseth Sandlin's and would have struck South Dakotans as evidence that Noem would be a better, smarter, more capable Congresswoman. I didn't hear any.

  29. Les 2012.09.15

    Anyone who knows me darn sure knows I feel Steph is one of the most intelligent

  30. Les 2012.09.15

    people we have sent to DC. My opinion of which you are aware, matters little in the merits of either in their past performance. Im saying their performance was seen, heard and judged as we will see with Verilek, one debate an election does not make.

    I will say a new hairdo doesn't constitute voter manipulation and you know well I have opinions on that subject Cory.

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