On the angst state Democrats may feel over not being able to start their own campaigns until they know which way Herseth Sandlin will run, our Congresswoman says, essentially, nuts to that:
There’s plenty of time for me or anyone else to make a decision. … Those individuals who’ve expessed interest are already taking steps in the event I decide not to run for governor, to put operations in place, to let their work and ideas be known among South Dakota voters. The fact that I haven’t made a decision isn’t holding anyone else from taking those initial steps [Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, press conference call, 2009.04.23].
Sounds like something I said last month over in Todd Epp's neighborhood:
I know, I know, pragmatics like fundraising matter. But the idealist in me still wishes SHS could do nothing but her current job for a whole nother year, then announce next March what, if anything, she wants to run for next.
And in the meantime, fellow Dems, if you really want to run, saddle up! There is no one Democrat who gets to tell the rest of us what seats to run for. Show your moxie, start that fundraising! [CAH, comment to Todd Epp, "Stephanie Does What's Best for Stephanie," South Dakota Watch, 2009.03.27]
Pony up, Dems. Our party should not be dominated by any one political figure. Perhaps the first real test of leadership among the possible Democratic candidates for high South Dakota office in 2010 will be jumping in the ring without waiting to see what Herseth Sandlin does. If all the Dems in the chute (we have some, don't we?) are so timid that they won't dip a toe in the water until SHS dives in, well, then maybe we'll deserve another whoopin'.
But let's not fret too much. SHS is still signaling a decision by the end of the summer. That still strikes me as absurdly early; next March would be fine with me. But this coming September should still be plenty of time for other Dems to look up from their day jobs and pick something to run for.