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.