Saturday, August 6 2022

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is learning this lesson the hard way, as she recently drew attention to her – as she begins to be seen as a potentially strong candidate in 2024 for the Republican presidential candidate. .

The first one came Associated Press report Monday that Noem had arranged – and attended – a meeting with his daughter, Kassidy Peters, who was facing denial of her certification as a real estate appraiser when the meeting took place, and several senior state officials, including the agent responsible for issuing these licenses. Peters was then approved for this several months later after completing the additional licensing requirements.

Noem’s office declined to answer detailed questions about the meeting. A spokesperson for Noem said that “The Associated Press denigrates the governor’s daughter in order to attack the governor politically – no wonder Americans’ confidence in the media is at an all-time low.”

On Wednesday, Noem tweeted that she “never asked for special treatment for Kassidy. Others went through the same process as Kassidy.” She also said she had tried for years to “fix” how difficult it was to become an appraiser in South Dakota and pointed to legislation she recently signed on the process.

Despite the denunciations, the story is not going to go away any time soon. South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, said earlier this week that his office is reviewing the meeting and “will follow the steps prescribed in the codified law in relation to these matters.”
(Note: Noem called on Ravnsborg to step down in February following a September 2020 accident in which he hit and killed a pedestrian. Ravnsborg indisputably pleaded two misdemeanor charges in August to avoid a trial.)
Then, even as Noem was trying to get out of that cloud, a report from American Greatness, a conservative website, came in on Wednesday that Noem had an affair with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Noem, inexplicably, fueled the rumor when she replied to it via tweet. “These rumors are total garbage and a disgusting lie”, she wrote. “These tired old attacks on conservative women are based on a lie that we can’t accomplish anything without a man’s help. I love Bryon. I’m proud of the God-fearing family we’ve raised together. Now , I’m back to work. “
Noem and her husband, Bryon, were married since 1992 and father of three children. CNN has reached out to Lewandowski for comment.
CNN hasn’t checked all of the AP’s reports and the American Greatness screed has had little pickup until Noem denies it. But the twin shots against Noem come after months of positive publicity for her in Republican circles. Noem has worked aggressively to position herself as the Trump woman over the past year – going after everything from Covid-19 mitigation efforts to, uh, Lil Nas X’s sneakers.
While Noem insists his only goal is to run for re-election in South Dakota in 2022 – a race likely to be a cinch given the state’s strong GOP trend – its extensive out-of-state trip suggests otherwise. She made stops in critical early voting states like Iowa and Caroline from the south and campaigning in Georgia in the run-off election there earlier this year.

The search for a national profile – and potentially the exploration of a 2024 candidacy – is a double-edged sword for every politician. Running as a future leader of a national party necessarily means you’re going to get a lot more attention – not quite good.

Successful national politicians are finding ways to ride this wave, minimizing the damage to their ambitions along the way.

These new titles present Noem with the first major challenge in his efforts to become a leading voice in the GOP over the next few years. And they send a very clear message: none of this is easy.


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