South Dakota Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin bucked her party and the interests of South Dakotans to vote in the minority against health insurance reform last night.
So the question again arises, Primary, anyone? Steve Hildebrand offered a possible yes last week. "If the vote is very, very close and we lose it or come close to losing it, I will take a seriously look at challenging her," Hildebrand told CNN last Tuesday.
Come close to losing it: 219–212. Three votes to spare... and the President had to give my hero Dennis Kucinich a ride on Air Force One to get there. Is that close enough?
Mr. Hildebrand, you could make it interesting. You could give us South Dakota Dems a chance to test drive that new open primary.
But you know—and I'm just spitballing here—instead of making SHS's life unpleasant for two months, why not drive her bonkers for seven... by running against Senator John Thune?
Maybe, Mr. Hildebrand, we need a good Wellstone Democrat (do I overstate the Blue you do?) to lead the public conversation, not just during the primary season in a thrilling but brief intraparty squabble, but in the big show, drawing money and press into our state right up until November 2. Sure, we should hold SHS accountable for not supporting the President and Democratic ideals on the big votes. But maybe the best way to do that is by challenging Senator Thune on his record on health care, student loans, and credit card reform... and thus spotlighting the fact that our Democratic Congresswoman voted the same way.
It could be a very enlightening conversation. And you could bring us that conversation for seven months instead of two.
Now if we have some mystery man or woman in the chute to challenge Thune, cool: send Steve after Stephanie and let's rumble. But if the Senate nomination is still open... well, Mr. Hildebrand, you might still get to hold SHS's feet to some fire and serve the greater good of draining Thune's war chest.
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