Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kristi Noem’s Political Demise Is Less About Stories and More About Standards


As our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar explained, if South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is spending her tour for her latest political memoir “No Going Back,” defending a controversial tale about a dog she killed and half-truths about world leaders, then things are not going her way.


In these interviews she’s given more detail about what led to her decision to shoot Cricket in the head and dump her body in a gravel pit. Whether one agrees with Noem’s decision or not, the fact that the incident has to be explained is a problem. As RedState’s Andrew Malcolm has observed about politics, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

Van Laar’s article referenced Noem’s Sunday interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan, but subsequent interviews had Noem repeating and doubling down on the missteps resident in this supposed national launch. She continues to self-immolate, and not just over the Cricket story or that she never met Kim Jong Un or threw down with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. It is about the fact that for someone who claims to know how to handle the tough calls and has written a 272-page tome to instruct other leaders to do the same, Noem is failing spectacularly at living up to the standards she has set.

READ MORE: Kristi Noem Just Cricketed Her Career in Disastrous Interview

In interviews with Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.,” News Nation, and Newsmax, Noem has not only refused to discuss the story of poor, dispatched Cricket or the Kim Jong Un inaccuracy with any degree of honesty, but she has become visibly and verbally irritated with the journalists for having the unmitigated gall to keep bringing up what the American people are still talking about! Many of us were almost done with her after the Cricket story broke. After these few days of media malpractice, the American people — and potentially the Trump campaign team — are giving Noem and her leadership a very hard pass. Currently the title has a 2.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon, and it has been alleged that reviews of the book are being restricted. The fact that, as of this writing, only two reviews show at all (one positive, one negative) could well support this.


What a tragic demise. In terms of being a fierce and credible fighter for limited government and for Donald Trump, Noem was one of the best. And let’s face it — she is also not hard on the eyes. So to watch this rapid collapse, much of it due to her own hubris and self-inflicted wounds, is a bit stomach-churning. But it’s not like we didn’t see the cracks in the armor. After the story about her alleged affair with Trump advisor Corey Lewandowski resurfaced last year, I wrote:

Is this the GOP establishment culling the herd? Has Noem been determined a weak link to their aspirations and therefore expendable? Or is it the Democrats seeking to capitalize on chinks in Noem’s armor, and the divide between one sector of the Republican Party and Trump Republicans, in order to eliminate Noem’s strong presence on the national stage?

The herd is definitely being culled, and Noem can probably be deemed the weakest link. However, it is not by the GOP establishment or Democrats but by the voting public. More than an almost gleeful dog killer, what people really despise is someone who pretends they are something that they are not. Noem was able to play the conservative, limited government defender for only so long before the image started to crumble. Noem made claims to uphold a particular set of standards and values that conservatives and Republicans agreed to. The erosive work of time and exposure has revealed that she doesn’t even live up to or believe in these herself.

Because Noem was such a credible Trump surrogate, the Republican powers may have afforded her protection from the brunt of her cosplay. You see how quickly those affair allegations disappeared again. It does reflect that the GOP has the power and ability to do this opposition effectively, but how rarely they use it for elected officials and conservative candidates who actually stand for something. But no one can protect you from yourself. In terms of Noem’s view of her own self-importance, she got ahead of her skis. According to POLITICO, Noem’s former advisors had her pull the Cricket story from her first book.


Then, as now, Noem wanted the story in because it showed a decisive person who was unwilling to be bound by namby-pamby niceties, while others on the team — which included agents, editors and publicists at Hachette Book Group’s prestige Twelve imprint, and a ghostwriter — saw it as a bad-taste anecdote that would hurt her brand. The tale was ultimately cut, according to two people involved with the project.


This time around, Noem has a different team in place, as well as a different imprint, Hachette’s conservative-leaning Center Street. And the folks behind her new book, No Going Backdidn’t get in the way of sharing memories about gunning down an ill-trained puppy.

With the expanded national platform, Noem decided to get a new set of advisors who chose to do her bidding. Noem made the fatal mistake of believing her own press and pretended for too long to be something she is not. She developed tunnel vision, and along with tunnel vision comes the loss of perspective and periphery. Noem also lost the main plot point. Whether it is positioning yourself for a presidential cabinet or claiming moral authority to speak to leadership and the concerns of the American people, the first rule of thumb is that it is not about you. When you have failed at this and published a book with false and controversial stories, you cannot go on cable television, act like you’re being persecuted, and play the victim card. The most stark was her reaction to Stuart Varney’s questions on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.”


Then Noem doubled down on, of all people, Elizabeth Vargas. When you’ve lost News Nation…

Rob Finnerty over at Newsmax dared to tell Noem the unvarnished truth, shattering her inflated bubble. You could almost hear the final nail being driven in the coffin of her political aspirations.

In truth, Noem’s values reflect Democrat values. We have a serial fabulist in the White House who makes up stories about how his son died, marching for Civil Rights, and a fictional person named Corn Pop. Then you have former Secretary of State and presidential candidate loser Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tall tale about coming under sniper fire in Bosnia. And on the Republican side, the House of Representatives expelled former Congressman George Santos for manufacturing his entire political career.

So, why did Noem think that she wouldn’t come under scrutiny for her own fiction and cover-ups? Better yet, why not live up to that reputation of toughness, take the well-deserved hits, and reveal what you truly believe, rather than spouting well-rehearsed PR spin and pulling the victim card? Now that the veneer of authenticity has been scratched off and the plywood underneath revealed, it is safe to say that Noem can kiss the vice presidency goodbye, along with her future political prospects.


This post was originally published on this site


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