Why won’t Noem debate at the State Fair?

Offering a politician a microphone, a stage and a large crowd is usually akin to providing steak to a hungry lion. They’re all over it in an instant.

Which brings us to the unusual matter of Rep. Kristi Noem declining a State Fair debate with Matt Varilek. Noem’s campaign manager. TomĀ Erickson, told the South Dakota Farmers Union that she will pass on the Sept. 1 debate.

Here areĀ the details.

Varilek and his staff said they were stunned. Frankly, so are we. The State Fair debates seem like a South Dakota tradition.

Noem, a freshman Republican, held her own against Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin during the 2010 campaign debates. And Noem has agreed to three other debates with Varilek: the first is Wednesday here in Mitchell at Dakotafest.

The other two are Oct. 18 on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Nov. 2 on KELO.

The Farmers Union is often seen as a Democratic-leaning organization, but still, this is at the State Fair. The audience will reflect South Dakota, and both parties always bring a lot of people to wear T-shirts and shout and wave to back their candidate.

The stalled farm bill is probably part of this reason. Noem wants to see it pass, but so far it has not even been scheduled for a vote in the full House. On Thursday morning, she released a letter she wrote to President Obama asking for his help to pass the bill.

That was curious, but this is even more so.

7 thoughts on “Why won’t Noem debate at the State Fair?

  1. Noem writes to Obama asking for his help to pass the Farm Bill? Why wouldn’t she talk to the Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, to simply schedule a floor vote on it! She can’t even get her own party to help her and her Tea Party colleagues are certainly no support to her on this.

    Time for Noem to go.

  2. Growing up on the farm during the 1920′s, 1930′s was a challenge do to drought,grasshoppers, blowing dirt and low prices for what one did produce. Our family consisted of four boys and three sisters. My brother and I visited one morning with a neighbor who was a very strong democrat who challenged us by asking if we were poor. This was during the 1930′s. We were barefoot, with holes in our bib overhauls. It seemed like all the neighbors were about in the same fix so we did not think of ourselves as being poor, but by today’s standards we were far below the poverty level. We told him that morning “if we were old enough to vote we sure would not vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt . He said, “your hearing stuff from your folks that is not true, think for yourself.”
    In late summer of 1936, Dad drove my brother and I to Lemmon S.D. to enroll us in High School. His advise was if we intended to become farmers that we should take all the classes we could that would help us in that field. If we were not interested in farming then it would be best to take commercial subjects. Farming was not for me at that time so I took, Journalism,typing, book keeping, and economics and social studies.
    Soon after high school, the draft board was looking down my neck, volunteering for the U.S.Navy seemed to be the best option after failing an entrance exam for the U.S Army Air force. When I was discharged in Nov. of 1945 I soon married a high school teacher who was a solid Democrat. We agreed on most things so I changed my registration . I have never been sorry as what my neighbor had said years ago was true then and it is even more true now.
    Now what has all this to do with Christi Noem. That women main financial support two years ago came mostly from the Koch brothers, and they have been calling in their markers the whole two years she was supposed to have been representing South Dakota in Washington. Let all of us get behind Varlick and make sure he represents (all) of us in Washington. Don Merriman P.S. I did return to the farm and have been a Farmers Union Member most of my life since.

  3. Maybe she thinks she can do the Nixon song and dance- run and hide- she certainly has little to show for her work in Congress- personally I think she is out of her league- maybe the tea-crack pots could have elected Pallin from South Dakota- would have made just as much sense!!!!

    • Depends on what year you’re talking about, but if it was the year he faced Joel Dykstra, Johnson was recovering from the brain condition that left his speech impaired. I’m not saying that justifies his dropping out of debates. Maybe so, maybe not. Just tossing it out there as a fact that’s important to the discussion.

  4. I don’t know about all of you but I prefer to believe Kristi Noem would rather follow in the footsteps of John Thune, Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard and debate at the state fair. Not say Tim Johnson didn’t debate so I don’t have to… Johnson doens’t exactly evoke strong praise from this Republican.

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