Kristi Noem is the Republican Party challenger and Tea-Party candidate running against Democrat Herseth Sandlin in South Dakota. She skyrocketed to stardom in recent days after reports showed that she raised $1.1 million in the last three months-more than any other Republican congressional challenger.
Like her Democratic opponent, Kristi Noem is an avid hunter, opposes the healthcare bill, opposes the bailouts, and she’s critical of the Democratic leadership-Sandlin even went so far as to award President Obama a ‘C’ grade on ABC News.
Sandlin’s criticism appears to have forced the President’s hand in a tight election season, with the EPA now planning to announce a change in the allowed levels of ethanol in gasoline.
However, Noem has two things going for her that incumbent Herseth Sandlin does not. Noem is not friends or co-workers with Nancy Pelosi, and she has more money. Even after an aggressive quarter, Kristi Noem still has $777,000 in cash on hand. Compared to only $500,000 for Sandlin.
Kristi Noem like Sarah Palin is often associated with the Republican Party’s political marketing machine-the Tea Party. And like Palin, Kristi Noem looks good in ads and appears comfortable in a casual rural environment whether riding a horse on her ranch or hunting elk with a bow. What Krisit Noem has over Sarah Palin is competence.
Noem interviews well, can speak English coherently, and has a family that appears well adjusted and perfectly normal. Vastly different from the “Alaska Shore” antics of the Palins. Noem is also seen in public without her husband shepherding her every move and coaching her every tweet.
Noem is clearly not a first-class lunatic like several of her high-profile cohorts in the Republican political marketing organization known as the Tea Party.
If I were Herseth Sandlin or Sarah Palin, I’d be extremely worried right now.
Rachel Weiner, Kristi Noem raises $1.1 million, twice as much as Sandlin, Washington Post
Jonathan Karl and Gregory Simmons, In South Dakota: Another Sarah Palin?, ABC News
Stephen Power, More Ethanol to Be Allowed in Cars, Wall Street Journal