Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, Political Eschatology, and Baseball

Political pundits existed long before the Chicago Tribune's famous headline error, "Dewey Defeats Truman." They continue to exist in the blogosphere. I have engaged in a little political prognostication myself.

Something about the sturm und drang over the possibility of a South Dakota Democratic Party primary between Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Brendan Johnson strikes me as something different than than normal punditry. It seems like political eschatology, the study of the end times.

When I was a young'un in Baptist Sunday School, many eschatological discussions began and ended with Matthew 24. The sermon began with verse 6: "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . " It concluded with verse 36: "But about that day and hour no one knows, . . . "

Of course bloggers also discuss temporal concerns like Herseth Sandlin's job and family.  The South Dakota blogosphere seems to delight in reports on  wars and rumors of wars within the South Dakota Democratic Party. Like Sunday School, readers are reminded no man knows the hour.

Work, family, and eschatology are well and good, but former Representative Herseth Sandlin should also consider baseball, at least the part about three strikes and you're out, as she decides whether to run in 2014. She lost to Janklow in 2002 and Noem in 2010. Both defeats offer an excuse. Janklow was a South Dakota political icon and 2010 was a terrible year for Democrats nationally. Even with those caveats, she has only one strike left. If she wants a political career after 2014, she needs to be sure that this election cycle doesn't produce her third strike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Certainly I agree that SHS shouldn't run if she doesn't think she has reasonable odds of winning whichever race she runs in.

But, I'd say that first "strike" is largely negated by winning four consecutive elections, and given the thinness of the SD Democratic bench, she can probably swing away as many times as she wants. It would be a long time before anyone compared her to Ron Volesky.