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Robinson on SDPB: Noem Not Getting it Done; Time to Move Forward

Corinna Robinson, Democratic candidate for U.S. House and friend of the blog, starts off another week of campaigning with an appearance on Monday's edition of South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Dakota Midday.

While the Rapid City native and U.S. Army veteran offered no big surprises in her 18-minute conversation with host Karl Gehrke, Robinson made good use of the program to deliver to a state-wide audience the same messages that she's brought to coffee shop and living room stops around the state in the last few months.

At the heart of that message is the theme that South Dakotans aren't getting anywhere near their full two terms worth of work out of U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), who currently fills South Dakota's lone House seat (and has filled it with a little more frequency since people pointed out her poor attendance).

Robinson laid out for her radio audience the impressive array of work experience—Sergeant First Class in the Army, Military Police Corps, command over Pentagon security, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Directorate, and more!—that serves as both biography and as line-by-line contrast to Noem's flimsy record of meaningless votes, Farm Bill fecklessness, and government shutdown. Robinson sees the record of the current Congress as one of inefficiency, indecision, and insularity:

They're just spending too much time not getting a lot done. It's kind of shameful that's the reputation that Congress has right now [Corinna Robinson, Interview with Karl Gehrke, Dakota Midday, 2014.04.28, timestamp 12:10].

Robinson said she would bring her reputation for getting things done within the complex domain of worldwide military operations—she admitted to earning the nickname "Gunslinger" for her action-oriented approach to various command assignments—to her service as a U.S. Representative. How would this metaphorical gunslinger (as opposed to this literal one) behave in the halls of Congress?

  • She would avoid getting hung up on dogged single-issue thinking like what the Republican caucus has exhibited around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

It's time now to just get on to a lot of other things. We need to take care of immigration, employment, better pay for our teachers, and we just can't spend the rest of this election cycle ... as if [the ACA is] the only issue our nation is facing. I really hope to just get past it, let it work, and get on to all those other things we need to care for [Corinna Robinson, Dakota Midday, 2014.04.28, timestamp 7:24].

  • She would get down to business, not just in ways that make it onto Fox News, but in the daily grind and the behind-the-scenes interactions that can help move things along:

I think that's my strength, is somehow realizing that even on any given business day in the halls of the Capitol or in the committee meeting hearings, you have to find time, perhaps, elsewhere to sit down over a cup of coffee or a beer at the bar or whatever and just come together and find how can we work through this. But not to drag it on, to make a decision and move forward [Corinna Robinson, Dakota Midday, 2014.04.28, timestamp 10:25].

  • She would work together across the lines that often serve as roadblocks to compromise:

I spent 30-plus years serving our nation, and it didn't matter what party, what religion, what ethnicity, what your sexual orientation was; we just had to come together and get a job done. And I think that's what we're lacking in Congress right now, is just having the people that will do it because it's for the betterment of the nation [Corinna Robinson, Dakota Midday, 2014.04.28, timestamp 11:45].

Touting her impressive résumé and positioning herself as an action-oriented alternative to No No Noem's voting record are what recent polling indicates Robinson needs to do if she hopes to end up winning this November. Her time on the public airwaves this midday was a good start, and she should keep pushing that message to South Dakota voters every single day. When the two women eventually share a straw-bale-strewn and bunting-draped dais for a late-summer debate, the challenger's best hope is if voters know at least as much about Robinson, the take-charge Army veteran, as they do about Noem, the AWOL Congresswoman.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.29

    "Corinna, Corinna, where you been so long?" Steppenwolf

    Same question in SD.

  2. shirley Harrington-Moore 2014.04.29

    send NOem home. Elect someone who has handled large budgets and who is curious about the things she doesn't know. Vote Blue; Vote Dem. Vote Corinna for the House.

  3. Randy Amundson 2014.04.29

    I ain't had no lovin'
    Since you been gone!!!!

  4. Randy Amundson 2014.04.29

    There is a reason that Noem is in there. People seem to soon forget the disingenuous manner in which the princess of the prairie ( who lived in Washington since right after high school) Stephanie Herseth approached. The voters of South Dakota showed her what happens when an elected representative pays more attention to the Nancy Pelosi's of the world than they do to South Dakota values. We really don't need someone who decided to spend her adult life outside South Dakota to try to represent people who have lived here all their lives.

  5. Jenny 2014.04.29

    That is the typical SD mentality to what Randy says. If you haven't lived in SD all your life you can't be our representative. That's so....well, so hick, really.

  6. Jenny 2014.04.29

    South Dakotans have to realize that since it is such a small rural state you sometimes have to venture out to stake your path. Robinson joined the military and stayed for 25 years because of opportunity, but she was out of SD during her time in it, and I suppose there are some who will put that against her because she wasn't on SD soil.

  7. Tim 2014.04.29

    Jenny, being out serving our country is different from packing up and moving as SHS did. Staying at home and not going to Washington to do the job you were hired for, as Noem did until people started noticing, isn't the answer either.

  8. Jaka 2014.04.29

    Robinson is like a warm spring day with fresh air and green grass and meadowlarks singing in the political arena today.

  9. mike from iowa 2014.04.29

    Of course if you are a son or daughter of privilege,you can afford to "stay" in South Dakota,at least as your primary residence. Others less fortunate don't have that "privilege" and must seek their fortunes elsewhere. Just exactly what are South Dakota values? Is one born with them or are they inherited?Or bought?

  10. caheidelberger 2014.04.29

    Randy, do you dismiss Stace Nelson with the same thinking? He spent two decades away from South Dakota before coming back to run for office. Is there any difference between Stace Nelson's commitment to South Dakota and Corinna Robinson's?

  11. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.29

    You over analyzed Herseth and her residency.
    As a blue dog Democrat, she did not support ACA and as a result lost her liberal base in South Dakota. Plain and simple.

  12. Richard Schriever 2014.04.29

    Randy - leaving South Dakota for opportunity - and then returning IS a South Dakota Value. How many of your high school classmates still live here? I can tell you about 15% of mine do. Pretty typical.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.29

    Contradictions annoy the hell out of me.

    We continually bemoan the fact that so many young people leave South Dakota for better opportunities.

    Next we spend money in attempt to lure them home because our labor resources are diminishing.

    When they do come home and wish to enter public service, we call them carpetbaggers, or worse.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.29

    I have no problem with anyone coming and going in SD. I think a great deal of one's core values are formed when quite young. A variety of experiences, plus age and wisdom, refine those beliefs.

    Here's another thing about SD Values: They are very broad in scope. SD Values are not monolithic. We have something like 800,000 different versions of SD Values. No one political party, income group, geographic location, race, occupation, or anything else has ownership of SD's Values!

    If the citizens of SD are determined to force a very narrow definition of SD Values on the state's residents, outmigration will continue to pick up speed.

    I want to be represented by someone who is for all SDans, not just those of a certain type. I want someone who is familiar with the values of most of America because, as a Congresswoman, she'd better be able to work collaboratively with others outside of what her party leadership demands. Otherwise she won't get anything done, like Michelle Bachman.

    SDans who believe SD is terminally unique, will get just that - termination of SD as anything but a poor cousin to Mississippi.

  15. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.29

    Ms. Strong, who is "we"?

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.29

    Isn't Strong the illiterate "people's grand jury" guru?

    What Stephanie Strong and Republicans continually dismiss is that it is free market medical care that has gotten us into this mess in the first place.

    If the free market could be trusted to provide affordable and equitable healthcare, I'd be all for it.

  17. Stephanie Strong 2014.04.29

    my husband Curtis and I

  18. Douglas Wiken 2014.04.29

    Bring Nancy Pelosi to SD and let her rip the idiots apart who think she is the tool of the devil. Herseth's other mistake was letting the GOP paint her as a tool of Pelosi and then not using Pelosi to shred the GOP nonsense. It is still the case.

    Pelosi is a very articulate advocate of common sense and smart enough to make most of SD press and GOP apologists look like average first graders.

  19. Stephanie Strong 2014.04.29

    Roger if you got rid of the over reaching regulations, the free market will work. Take a look at the video posted, did you look at it?

  20. mike from iowa 2014.04.30

    Daniel J Mitchell considers Paul Krugman his greatest enemy. I noticed how well de-regulation works.......for those at the top and higher ups.

  21. caheidelberger 2014.04.30

    Stephanie, you can't have a free market in health care until we know what the prices are. Do you support Mike Myers's proposal to require hospitals to publish their prices?

  22. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.30

    MN is continuing to write more laws and policies requiring transparency in all matters medical. It's working very well. Part of that is due to aggressive investigations by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Hospital, doctor and Nurse records are available. Not all of it is easy to access - yet.

    More price comparisons for fairly routine procedures are available; appendectomies, knee replacements, gall bladder, simple bone breaks, etc. There is also info for how frequently each facility has complications, infections, etc.

    I don't recall all the details, but the argument that it's not doable is simply not true.

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