Kudos to Stricherz on bringing some enthusiasm and force to her presentation, as well as some good details on her support for Iran divestment and legislation to protect first responders' jobs (what? they don't already have that? what kind of a jerk boss penalizes an employee for being a volunteer fireman?). And on a personal note, I like the hair. (Of course, hair is not a voting issue: Stricherz's long locks won't win my vote any more than would Pastor Hickey's defiant whiskers!)
My Sarah Palin alarm goes off a little when I hear the decision to enter the race was made after "prayerful consideration." That sounds like code for, "The Lord told me to run! You have to vote for me; it's God's will!" But that's probably just atheist me being overly sensitive.
I do find it interesting that Stricherz's prayerful consideration leads Stricherz to go negative early. I don't have a problem with "going negative"—too many commentators and spin-sters use that term to dismiss what may be perfectly valid criticisms of a politician's record. But if you're going to go negative, you should be specific and be accurate. Play that tape again:
My opponent is a career politician quite set in his political ways. By repeatedly switching political parties, he has been allowed to stay in office for eighteen years [Patricia Stricherz, "Meet the Candidates" video, SDPB, 2010.08.11.
Hmm... just one opponent? Which one does she mean: Gerry Lange, Mitch Fargen, or Jason Bjorklund? Those of us paying attention know she means veteran legislator Gerry Lange, but voters just being introduced to the candidates and the race may have no idea which one she's talking about. If you're going to go negative, go full out. Say the guy's name.
Stricherz's text here also misleads. I'm not sure you can characterize any member of South Dakota's part-time Legislature as a "career politician." My neighbor Gerry didn't get involved in politics until he was in his 50s, after serving in the Army Signal Corps and making his living as teacher, professor, and farmer.
And as for "repeatedly" switching political parties, well, I think Gerry ran as an Independent once, but I'm not sure that counts as "repeatedly." What has really allowed Gerry to stay in office for so many terms has been his good public service and good relationships with his constituents.
I will grant that my neighbor Gerry may be "quite set in his political ways" on some issues. but if "set in your ways" is a reason to vote against someone, I can't wait to hear Stricherz advocate throwing out stuck-in-the-mud Republicans like Russell Olson, Roger Hunt, and Don Kopp.
Stricherz's video has its political stretch and spin, but it does show more polish than Stricherz's first political appearances in the 2008 race. It looks like she's ready to run harder this time around.