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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Heidepriem Challenges GOP to Debates; Daugaard and Knudson Accept

Both of Scott Heidepriem's sons competed in Lincoln HS speech activities... and hey! Heidepriem wrote a biography of NFL founder Karl E. Mundt—how could he not appreciate the value of debate?

Credit Heidepriem with calling on his GOP challengers in the South Dakota governor's race to debate... and credit Dennis Daugaard and David Knudson for already accepting. The Heidepriem folks have issued a press release saying that Knudson has accepted at least three debates in September and October and possibly a total of eight debates around the state. Daugaard sounds ready to go balls to the wall, accepting Heidepriem's challenge to a debate on June 15, just one week after the GOP primary. Daugaard also plans at least three debates in the fall, plus the State Fair and DakotaFest. Rock on!

Daugaard's acceptance is particularly intriguing. Like Knudson, he gives the easy answer of "Sure, I'll debate," and avoids giving Heidepriem an easy political hammer. (Darn—guess I'll have to send my chicken suit back.) But Daugaard shows even more moxie and takes Heidepriem's full offer, including the early debate.

What, no dickering? What does this move say? Here are my five reads, in descending order of importance and credibility:
  1. Daugaard knows he's got the primary in the bag and is ready to pivot to hammering on Heidepriem.
  2. Daugaard knows he doesn't have the general in the bag and needs to start hammering on Heidepriem. Someone 30 points ahead could afford to play haughty and decline to dignify Heidepriem with more than a minimum of side-by-side stage/camera time. Even if the Daugaard people think they have the general in the bag, they are too thorough (or superstitious) to play the frontrunner.
  3. Daugaard wants to shift attention from any lingering animosity from the five-way primary to unite the party, including any sour-grapes Sioux Falls Republicans who might slide from Knudson to Heidepriem. Holding a debate right after the primary says to party wafflers, "So you voted for Knudson, and Knudson lost. Get over it. Time for the main event—let's beat some Dems!"
  4. Daugaard is looking across ticket (Dennis is a nice guy; he does think of others) and setting a precedent for the GOP challengers to draw Herseth Sandlin out. GOPers have already made some hay criticizing SHS for not coming out to health care meetings and other public forums last year. Correct or not, it sure sounds good. Team Daugaard may be saying to Teams Nelson, Noem, and Curd, "Get ready, challenge SHS to debates, get all the stage time you can with her!" All three GOP challengers get a boost in ethos from appearing on the same stage as the sitting Congresswoman.
  5. Absolute skullduggery: Daugaard secretly supports SHS, knowing we need a Dem in Congress to get the Speaker's and President's ears and bring home the bacon. Daugaard knows SHS will eat anti-pork posers Noem and Curd alive in head-to-head policy debates... and he wants to set an example that they will foolishly follow. (Nelson might hold his own on policy... but Daugaard knows that when Nelson gets done pandering to the hardcore wingnut primary voters, he'll settle down and be a pragmatist again, so Daugaard isn't worried about him.)
GOP friends, there's one more reason to vote for Daugaard: more debates sooner! Bring it on!


  1. Just read an article about Heidepriem in the "Black Hills Pioneer."

    His take on things sounds pretty good to me!

    His one big flaw in my mind: He's a Democrat. He'll have to gain my trust if he wants my vote.

    You see, I'm prejudiced against Democrats. They make my antennae go up.

    "... SHS will eat anti-pork posers Noem and Curd alive in head-to-head policy debates ..."

    Careful, Cory. Watch out for Noem. I think she's gonna s'prise ya.

  2. The first GOP House candidate that challenges SHS to a debate has a unique opportunity. Who's gonna do it, Cory?

  3. Stan, I love it when people exceed my expectations. Tell Kristi to go for it.

    Bill, R. Blake is the one pouring $42K of his own money into a last-minute push; might be ready to swing that debate-challenge stick?

  4. Love to see how SHS would respond. Wouldn't you, Cory?

  5. Indeed I would... and if you buy #4 above, that's what Daugaard is thinking. He could be the mastermind of the whole political chessboard!

  6. We need to squeeze a debate in at the Buffalo Chip between the Kid Rock set and the Miss Buffalo Chip contest.


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