Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Powers Runs Political Blog Bootleg To Perfection

I love seeing a misdirection play done well, and Pat Powers at Dakota War College has just pulled the blog equivalent of a naked bootleg for a first down. Since March 1, Powers has published nearly two dozen posts about a possible Democratic primary race for the U, S, Senate between Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Brendan Johnson.

That choice struck me as a bit odd; Dakota War College is a de facto Republican Party organ, so Powers wasn't going to gain any Democratic readers. Outside of angering Democrats for the sake of angering Democrats, it was tough to see why Powers seemed so interested in a race that Republicans will probably win handily unless they shoot themselves in the foot.

Now, it all makes sense;  David Montgomery provides a Roll Call link that points to a Republican primary fight that might equal the rancor Powers suggests is being created as Johnson and Herseth Sandlin look at running for the Democratic nomination:
The potential for a high-profile Democratic squabble to succeed South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson — who is widely expected to retire — has grabbed the spotlight of the race so far.
But the possibility of an equally contentious Republican primary is brewing beneath the surface.
For now, the Republican field remains a party of one. Former Gov. Mike Rounds, who jumped into the race in November, is viewed by Republican leaders from Washington, D.C., to Sioux Falls, S.D., as a top-tier recruit. If nominated, Republicans believe Rounds would put the party in a strong position to win one of the GOP’s best pickup opportunities.
However, Rounds is highly unlikely to have a free ride to the nomination, local GOP sources said. South Dakota conservative activists are desperately seeking an alternative to Rounds, a moderate whose eight-year tenure enraged many in the right wing of the party.
While they await a decision from Rep. Kristi Noem, who would offer Rounds a stiff challenge in the primary, one other potential candidate is state Senate Majority Whip Larry Rhoden.
Powers apparently was trying to keep everyone's eyes on Herseth Sandlin or Johnson and off Rhoden, Rounds or Noem.  For two weeks, he succeeded.

A naked bootleg works well with a good fake hand off to a runner going into the heart of the defense, getting the opposition sweeping to the left and then running to right. Powers ran this political equivalent perfectly. It's almost as if he fears that a Republican primary battle for the Senate nomination would be a 3-yards and a cloud of dust slugfest.

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