I offer a sincere golf clap to South Dakota GOP gubernatorial contender Scott Munsterman. On a big back-from-holiday newsday when Democrat Scott Heidepriem picks Republican Ben Arndt as his running mate and when headline-hungry games-player Gordon Howie gets ready to pick Sioux Falls mayoral also-ran Kermit Staggers for his number two (yes, please do double the meaning), Munsterman manages to carve himself some daylight on picking a lieutenant governor. In a press release, Munsterman says he'll let the delegates to the state GOP convention pick his running mate.
Munsterman says letting the delegates decide reflects his "belief in open government and ending the political insider game." Ending the political insider game? Scott, who do you think attends the Republican convention?
Don't get me wrong: I like this ploy. Instead of picking a guy now for folks to throw tomatoes at, Munsterman gives every wing of the party a chance to lobby for their guy (or gal!) at the convention. He also shows he's not worried about ending up with an Adams-Jefferson odd couple; he's saying he can work with anyone the party puts beside him.
Hmmm... maybe he's really saying that he can work with anyone the party puts him beside... i.e., he recognizes he can't win on Tuesday, but whoever does win, he'd be happy to be that guy's louie (lute?). And in case of defeat on Tuesday, Munsterman doesn't drag anyone else down with him just for some press... unlike Howie, whose impending Staggers announcement will only erode Staggers's remaining support.
Either way, I appreciate Munsterman's effort to come up with a headline grabber. He practices campaign zen, deciding by not deciding. He decides to tap the wisdom of a crowd of party faithful, likely a bunch of backslappers and networkers, to pick a running mate who will serve primarily as a backslapper, networker, and fundraiser before the election. And if Munsterman were to win the primary, letting the delegates pick lieutenant governor might actually add some excitement to the convention. What fun!
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