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Rhoden Attacks Rounds on Stock-Photo Ad; Rounds Retreats!

On Friday, I reported that Marion Michael Rounds had posted a video for his U.S. Senate campaign consisting of himself delivering an over-polished, inauthentic pitch backed entirely by stock photographs of non-South Dakotans.

On Sunday, Roll Call caught the story and added that one of the photos was of a woman from (gasp!) France.

Shortly thereafter, Rounds challenger Larry Rhoden mistakenly said that Roll Call had revealed the embarrassing facts about the Rounds ad (come on, Larry! how about relying on South Dakota news sources?) and called on Rounds to pull the ad:

It’s disappointing that Mike Rounds’ first advertisement doesn’t use footage from South Dakota. We live in a great state and I’m very proud of this state and its people. I don’t know why Mike Rounds has decided to outsource his campaign’s photography to Paris of all places.... I call on Mike Rounds to pull the advertisement immediately because that’s what someone would do if they’re proud of our state and its people [Larry Rhoden, quoted by David Montgomery, "Rounds Under Fire for Stock Images in Ad," Political Smokeout, 2014.03.30].

There are two bits of remarkable news here:

  1. Larry Rhoden and I are on the same page. A conservative and a liberal agreeing? What could happen next?
  2. Rounds responded to Rhoden's charge by retreating. He pulled the glowing ad from YouTube yesterday.

Rhoden's charge shows the Rounds armor is thin. Challengers, keep telling your own stories, but if you can get Rounds to cave on an issue like this, you also need to expand your attacks and pound away at Rounds's inauthentic fiscal credentials and GOED/Benda/Bollen/EB-5.


  1. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.03.31

    Mr Heidelberger, look up the expression attributed to Abe Lincoln where he asks "if you call a calf's tail a leg, does a calf have 5 legs?" in regards to Mr Rhoden calling himself a "conservative." As your linked article points out, Rounds and Rhoden have identical records on raising taxes and fees, and increasing spending/ government. Both of them love crony-capitalism (see big EB5 scandal haunting Mike Rounbds). Neither is a conservative.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.31

    I promise zat my campaign ads will have all ze pretty French womens in zem. We shall bring ze many pretty French womens to South Dakota, toute de suite! Zey shall see ze Mount Rushmore, ze Sioux Falls, ze walleye, and zey shall cry, "Ooo la la! Nous aimons le Dakota du Sud! Nous restons ici!" Zey shall open ze French cafés and ze boulangeries in every town, zey shall make ze strong coffee and ze fresh baguettes, and South Dakota will be more French and more happy.

    South Dakota needs ze pretty French womens. Vote for me!

    I am Cory Allen Heidelberger, and I approve of zis message. Vive la Revolution!

  3. Tim 2014.03.31

    I have said before on other sites, Rounds is vulnerable, if he could be eliminated then the race is wide open for Mr. Weiland. Even tho voters here are conservative, they are not stupid right like down south. As far as Ms. Noem is concerned, I would like to see somebody point out her lockstep approach to legislating. She always votes the way her Washington leaders tell her, that isn't what is best for SD more often than not.

  4. chris 2014.03.31

    Paris? Was it more snaps of Joop & co. on vacation?

  5. Tara Volesky 2014.03.31

    The only way to eliminate Rounds is through is EB-5 scandals. Where is the FBI on this? Not a single word. A couple of reporters have filed a Freedom of Information complaint or lawsuit. Daugaard needs to be called out why he will not give the authority to release EB-5 information

  6. Winston 2014.03.31

    Didn't Noem film her first commercial back in 2010 in Texas? Maybe it was Paris, Texas…? I don't know about you, but the Republicans are just too French for me….. I think I'll just stick to my "Freedom Fries"….. I don't really care for Joop's view of the world…….

  7. Rorschach 2014.03.31

    I'm Mike Rounds - now with new & improved South Dakota certified pictures in my ad. I'm talking to you in my "nice kitty/nice doggy/nice baby/coochy coochy coo" voice because I always use it with my fake smile and together they help me sell more insurance. I'm running because of our grandchildren. We all like 'em - so vote for me.

  8. rick 2014.03.31

    Marion "Freedom Fries" Rounds needs to get his money back from his ad consultant and come up with something that isn't a national joke. On second thought, give that consultant five times the money and retain their services for more of the same!

  9. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.01

    Based on that special comment/ad from Cory, he's got my vote!!!!

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