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Bosworth Invokes God’s Will in Senate Bid

Dr. Annette Bosworth is following the arch-conservative playbook in her embryonic Senate bid. Fresh from her campaign-cash fishing expedition to Washington, D.C., she comes back to Sioux Falls saying God wants her to run:

She also said her faith is leading her toward the race.

“The trials of the last three years, I’ve really felt that God has been preparing me for something that I couldn’t see,” she said. “I still don’t have the vision of God, but I would like to have a conversation with South Dakota to see if they’re interested in a new generation of politicians in the Republican Party to lead South Dakota for the next six years” [David Montgomery, "Bosworth Says She Represents New Generation for Senate," Political Smokeout, 2013.06.10].

Memo to Team Bosworth: in the 2012 election, every candidate who claimed to be running for President because God said so lost.

Bosworth's chats with David Montgomery and Ben Dunsmoor both smell of inexperience cloaked in freshly adopted talking points. She indicts career politicians, which undermines the idea that dedicating one's life to public service has its merits. She speaks of being a Gen-X change agent, though the only policy position she makes clear in either conversation, her supposed "fierce" opposition to the Affordable Care Act, appears to advocate a return to the status quo ante Obama. And her early resort to God's will as a justification to run is a dog whistle to the evangelical Tea Party conservatives who think they are fighting Armageddon.

I've found that people claiming to be on a mission from God are often rationalizing their personal crusades. I'm not eager to see a Bosworth candidacy follow this course.

Update 11:27 MDT: Hold on: is that God's voice in Bosworth's ear, or is it Janklow?

“The idea [of running for office] actually was first introduced to me over three years ago by Bill Janklow,” Bosworth said. “He was my good friend and many times said, you’ve got a lot of great ideas for how health care and our community could be served better. He was the first person to plant the idea.”

At the time, Bosworth said she demurred. “I said no, Bill. You did politics. I’m meant to be a doctor” [David Montgomery, "Bosworth's Big Names," Political Smokeout, 2013.06.11].

Perhaps Bosworth has trouble telling the difference between Janklow and God. That would definitely make her a South Dakota Republican.


  1. Rick 2013.06.11

    There's something odd about her other than her mandate from God. Narcissistic? I don't mean that to insult her because she seems quite intelligent. What flags my curiosity is she's putting a huge effort into resolving a personnel issue that isn't very meaningful. Is this really why she wants to represent our state in the U.S. Senate? It seems that it's all about Doctor Annette and not so much about our nation and South Dakota's people.

  2. Owen Reitzel 2013.06.11

    She said her trials left her battle tested. But didn't she do something unethical and then when she was repremanded she didn't do what she was supposed to do and she nearly lost her license?
    Do we want someone in the Senate like that? I don't think so but I hope she runs.

  3. Rick 2013.06.11

    Owen, isn't that a bit odd? My understanding is that she did not cross the ethics line, but she's apparently holding a grudge and not willing to put it behind her and move along. However, she seems to think it's an incident that should compel voters to support her and that's just wrong. If voters are going to make a choice, they're most interested in what is the candidate going to do for South Dakota. She seems to be caught in the rut of an unfortunate but uninteresting personnel problem from the past. Other than that, she appears to be very intelligent, articulate and attractive person ... not unlike a lot of people who are intelligent, articulate and attractive. So what?

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    (Quick spellcheck, Rick: do you mean personnel problem, as in the physician's assistant she had treating patients in the SF VOA shelter without a practice agreement, the technical issue that triggered a Medicaid fraud investigation, or do you mean personal problem, as in something tied to her personality or personal life?)

  5. Donald Pay 2013.06.11

    This is a pretty telling statement that lays out exactly why she needs mature a bit. Believing that she "felt" God is "preparing" her for something shows a stunning lack of judgment, and a lack of historical perspective. Just about every Republican politician feels the need to tell us exactly the same thing.

    The Republican Party could use a new generation of leaders (not sure about her phrasing with the word "politicians"), but she seems to be following the same tired fake religious path that Republican "politicians" have gone down for the last 35 years. When a "politician" makes these vacuous statements, it's time to vote for the other guys.

  6. Owen Reitzel 2013.06.11

    to expand on what Cory said Rick I think (this came from the story) that she almost lost her license because she didn't follow the rules of the repremand. If I'm wrong or the story was wrong then I'll apologize.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    (And to be clear, I think the charges against Dr. Bosworth were bogus... and if they weren't, she likely wouldn't still have her license. I just want to check Rick's meaning... and focus on the silly things Bosworth is starting to say outside her field of expertise.)

  8. Rick 2013.06.11

    I meant personnel, and I am making reference to the PA under her supervision.

  9. Vincent Gormley 2013.06.11

    Shades of G.W.Bush, South Dakota style.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    Thank you, Rick, for your clarification. Indeed, it seems as if Bosworth will face questions about old grudges and quest for personal vindication just as I did when I ran for school board back in Madison. But aren't there easier ways to seek such vindication than running for a U.S. Senate seat? And if Bosworth is seeking some payback against whoever's been trying to push her out of medicine, wouldn't running for Senate (not to mention winning the seat) give those forces exactly what they want, as she would have to seriously cut back on her practice if not abandon it completely to run an effective statewide campaign?

  11. Rick 2013.06.11

    All good points Don and Vincent. God commanding politicos to run and narcissism are chronic occurrences in politics and in both parties. But there is something starkly artificial about Annette that is not political. She entered this cycle totally out of the blue. One day she's a doc and the next she's a candidate without credentials of public service, ranting about her legal/professional issues which gave her insights and strength worthy of the U.S. Senate. Isn't that a bit loopy?

    She seems unaware of how that looks to normal people. She seems unaware of normal people. She wants a public title just because she covets it, and there's little or no insight as to why the public should give it to her. She has no vision. She offers nothing other than a few tired, canned talking points about what she opposes. If she's opposed to ObamaCare, then if she's a new kind of Republican voice who is also a doctor, where the hell is her plan? She better cough one up because there is nothing distinguishing about her other than red flags that she's got a different grasp on reality than most folks.

  12. Rick 2013.06.11

    Thank you Cory. You filed your response while I was hammering out my last response. Good point about paybacks, because her focus on those past issues indicate she's out to set the record straight. That's not going to inspire anyone to help her or vote for her. Frankly, I hope she wins the primary because she seems to be someone who'll crack up under any significant pressure, and a serious Senate campaign is an immensely high pressure environment which would be a minefield for someone who can't control their messaging.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    Rick, she's going to need more than an endorsement from God to beat the Rounds machine. She's going to need exactly the clear policy agenda you cal for.

    She says she wants to have a conversation with South Dakotans to decide whether she should run and what issues matter... but notice that before she asked for a conversation with South Dakotans, she went to have a conversation with politicos in Washington. That offers all the more support to Rick's statement that she's not exactly a new kind of Republican. Geez, where's Stace Nelson when we need him?

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    Oops! Is that God whispering in Bosworth's ear, or is it Janklow? See update at bottom of post!

  15. Rick 2013.06.11

    Exactly. Talk about the right personna for the right moment. If you put that gung ho Marine in a Senate race, it could generate huge momentum. Having said that, he's also going to have similar difficulties with the messaging minefield. The DSCC research team is pretty thorough.

  16. Bill Dithmer 2013.06.11

    So my take is that she thinks she might be the equivalent of the "Christian" Ayatollah from South Dakota. Talking to God, or in her case having God talk to her.

    Or maybe it would be more like the urban usage of the word "Iatola" meaning to have totally flipped out by doing something completely outrageous that you have never done before, it could be good or it could be bad.

    Either way she seems to think that Wild Bill has his hand on her tiller to guide her through the rough waters of politics. Just imagine a female Bill Junklow, only without any real experience in the political world, with an axe to grind.

    What's next? Riding down the street in Sturgis riding a Harley with a sawed off shotgun across the handle bars and a bottle of Jack sticking out of the saddle bag.

    The republicans would have a choice between Mike the greasy, but boring, did nothing, ex gov Rounds, or someone who wants to invoke the ghost of Junklow. I will from this time forward think of her as Bojank, the new conservative from South Dakota.

    At least the campaign would be fun.

    Vote for Bos
    Bos for senate
    Bojank, its the new boss, the same as the old boss.
    Bosworth the new Janklow but prettier.

    How could anyone vote for someone whose idol was a convict? A murderer? A drunk driver? And that was after he left the Rosebud reservation.

    Go Stace.

    What the hell, did I just say that?

    I guess I did.

    The Blindman

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.11

    Bill, you're going to make me think that Annette is a decoy, a plant working for Stace to make some noise, fumble, and then open the door for Stace to walk in and save the anti-Rounds crowd's hopes.

  18. Jim 2013.06.11

    Mrs. Bojankles?

  19. John 2013.06.11

    Oh yes, yes, yes, Ms. Little high and mighty. Recall that the 9-11 bombsters also convinced themselves that god prepared them for their task.

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