Stephanie on politics today

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin isn’t in politics anymore. At least as an elected, paid, empowered official.

SHS, still just 40 for another month, has an amazing six campaigns for Congress under her belt. Even out of office, she remains an informed, experienced observer of the South Dakota and national political scenes. The political world has evolved, she said recently, and it continues to do so as candidates consider campaigns.

She would know about the shifting sands of politics very well.

Think of it: George McGovern ran for Congress seven times, winning five, in his career from 1956 to 1980; Tom Daschle was on the ballot eight times, going 7-1, from 1978 to 2004 and Bill Janklow won six of seven races for three offices from 1974-2002, beating Herseth Sandlin in his final campaign.

It is impressive to note that SHS was in six elections just from 2002-2010, going 4-2. Herseth Sandlin won in landslides in 2006 and 2008 and lost in 2010, which she discussed during her appearance at her old school recently.

She was invited to a high-profile forum at Georgetown University, her alma mater, on Oct. 28, and offered interesting views on the 2012 presidential race, her past campaigns and the impact of outside dollars from hidden sources on campaigns.

Here’s my story on the event.

The event featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a prince, a former NFL commissioner (which is American royalty, it seems) and other Georgetown grads and government officials. If you watch it, and I recommend it, you will notice that SHS is often turned to as a source with smart insights.

It’s a long video. The segment with our former congresswoman starts at the 2 hour, 43 minute mark.

At one point, moderator E.J. Dionne, a Georgetown professor and Washington Post columnist, referred to SHS as a member of Congress.

“I’ll still think of you as Congresswoman Herseth until I think of you as Senator Herseth,” he said.

She just smiled.

Herseth Sandlin on PBS Wednesday

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will discuss the sweeping defeat of congressional Democrats on national TV Wednesday.

SHS was one of three departing Democratic House members who were interviewed for the PBS NewHour reports this week. Veteran reporter Judy Woodruff conducted the interviews. The show airs from 6-7 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who was beaten in his pursuit of a 19th term, and Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello, who lost in a bid for a second term, were also interviewed for the three-part series.

Herseth Sandlin lost to state Rep. Kristi Noem on Nov. 2. Noem, a Republican from Castlewood, will take office next week and Herseth Sandlin said she will return to Brookings.

For a video preview of the interviews, go to

Smart Politics: Did an Independent Turn South Dakota’s 2010 U.S. House Race?

Thanks to B. Thomas Marking supporter Jim Taylor for alerting me to an analysis of South Dakota’s U.S. House race by the Smart Politics blog. In part, the analysis says:

A Smart Politics analysis of South Dakota electoral history finds the 6 percent notched by Marking was the largest support directed to an independent or third party U.S. House candidate in 80 years.

Click here to read the post in its entirety.

Noem named to GOP leadership post

Kristi Noem is on the rise in Washington and she’s hasn’t even taken office yet.

According to a Politico report, Rep.-elect Noem, R-S.D., was named to a leadership position by House Republicans Wednesday afternoon. 

The report said both Noem and Rep.-elect Tim Scott of South Carolina will represent the huge GOP freshman class. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, was unanimously nominated to run for speaker of the House. Boehner would be elected by Republicans to lead the House when the next session opens Jan. 5, 2011.

For more, see

Here’s our interview with Noem Tuesday: