Saturday, September 29, 2012

How Important Is A Politician's Team?

Bob Mercer chronicles the recent political activity of the Mike Rounds team, "three amigos" or possibly "a gang of four" who are no longer young but still active.

Mercer's post reminded me of the Matt Varilek's falling out with Steve Hlldebrand over same-sex  marriage, a spat that got Politico's attention. One wonders if Hildebrand would have been able to help Varilek or if the "R" behind Representative Kristi Noem's name on the ballot would still have been enough. I suspect it's the latter, but I also have no doubt that an active Hildebrand would have made the race much closer.

In South Dakota, the "R" may be enough in a general election. In an intra-party election, however, the team will certainly matter. One other thing seems certain, Noem's team doesn't seem to match the talent that other Republican politicians like Senator John Thune, former Governor Mike Rounds, or Governor Dennis Daugaard have surrounded themselves with.


Forced Error said...

Noem has had some good oppurtunities to pick up some political hires. She's passed on all of them.

If you look at her campaign they are inexperienced.

Her campaign manager is a 28 year old Minnesota boy. I'm told her fundraiser is a hard worker but isn't interested in doing anything but raising money, her other campaign staffers are about as inexperienced as it gets.

2 years ago I'd have said she was going to route Rounds in a primary. Today I think she will get routed. She hasn't lived up to the expectations and I don't feel she has built relationships across this state. She is more distant to voters than our 2 term senator from Murdo who was a serious GOP presidential prospect and is number 3 in GOP Senate leadership. Explain that one to me?

LK said...

Thanks for stopping by. I agree with most of your analysis.

At the risk of playing political scientist without a license, I wonder if she wasn't following the Daschle, Johnson, Herseth-Sandlin playbook about how to act and have a long political career in Washington. That playbook works well if there aren't eager folk waiting in the wings to take over. There are far too many Repubs who want her job, so she needs both a team and connections.