Rep. Kristi Noem is just a good ol’ gal, riding free.
Meanwhile, Matt Varilek is attempting to put his brand on the race in his own way.
In her first TV ad of the 2012 campaign, Noem returns to an image she used two years ago: She is depicted riding a horse in a green field.
It’s a reliably Republican image for the past 30 or more years, as Illinois native and former actor Ronald Reagan loved to be seen riding a horse and wearing a cowboy hat. Reagan, the patron saint of the conservative movement, famously said there was nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.
Meanwhile, in his opening pair of TV spots, Matt Varilek is showing himself as an earnest family man who rubs shoulders with the hard-working people of South Dakota while also tossing a horseshoe or two. He uses the word “work” a lot and says he’s willing to prod the herd to move it along.
Both South Dakota candidates for our sole House seat are using horseshoes, it seems, while Varilek is also trying to round up votes.
So saddle up, put on your boots and start pitching, partner. The air war is on!