Tax avoider Daschle endorses Varilek

It is getting awkward for Herseth Sandlin. First Matt Varilek was drafted to run for congress by Steve Hildebrand (Daschle’s former campaign manager) who threatened to challenge Herseth Sandlin in a 2010 primary, then Varilek’s official congressional primary campaign was endorsed by Senator Johnson and now he’s being endorsed by former Senator Tom Daschle. From the Mitchell Daily Republic:

South Dakota?s prominent Democrats are lining up behind U.S. House candidate Matt Varilek.

Former Sen. Tom Daschle endorsed Varilek, the candidate announced Tuesday. Sen. Tim Johnson announced his support for Varilek late last year.

?Years ago, I thanked Senator Daschle for the opportunity to serve on his staff,? Varilek said in an e-mail to supporters. ?Today, I thank him again ? this time for his advice, encouragement, and his generous $1,000 contribution to my campaign.?

In one of the weakest South Dakota Democratic Parties I’ve seen in my lifetime it is amazing to me how fast the base and establishment has moved on from Herseth Sandlin.

In comparison, Republicans begged John Thune to run again in 2004, but Democrats don’t appear to even want to acknowledge the possibility of Herseth Sandlin’s return.

11 Replies to “Tax avoider Daschle endorses Varilek”

  1. troy jones

    I have been saying since the last election SHS would not run again unless KN messed up big. When she said she’d announce her decision by the end of December, I said I thought she’d miss the deadline (who pays attention during Christmas/New Years) but would announce before the Legislature.

    It appears the party apparatus had the same expectation. This effectively is the final nail in the SHS South Dakota political career. The hierarchy will never rally around her again.

    The Varilek endorsement makes sense for two reasons:

    1) He is well known among the faithful and getting behind him early will likely insure it isn’t an embarrassment. And, there is always a chance of a blow-up and a surprise win.

    2) The Dems do not want to give KN a pass as it will effectively give her the seat forever. They want the Senate race to be up in the air enough that both Rounds and KN compete giving them an opening in one of the races (House and Senate).

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with you Troy, But I don’t think this is the final nail. She would win a Senate Primary. Brendan should run for House.

  2. Winston

    First of all, in a Noem verus Rounds 2014 Senate primary, Noem would definitely win, because Rounds is nothing more than a product of the Kirby and Barnett “catfight” and not a success of his own design.

    Secondly, the Varilek candidacy is about winning and stopping Noem
    from being a serious challenger to a Brendan Johnson senate run in 2014, as well as using an elected Varilek as a tackle to any Sandlin run for the Democrat party nomination for the US Senate in 2014, prior to B. Johnson’s surprise candidacy in place of Representative Varilek for the Senate in 2014… and Johnson and Daschles’ early endorsements of
    the Varilek candidacy speak loudly to what Varilek owes to the
    Johnson family in 2014. Varilek’s candidacy is about stopping Noem
    and Sandlin, and positioning the surprise senate candidacy in 2014
    of Brendan Johnson. What does Varilek get out of this, if he wins in
    2012? He becomes a US Representative who can run for the senate
    in 2016 against a weak appointed Republican Senator (assuming
    Thune is a future VP or Presidential nominee in 2012 or 2016) or
    against a weaker and older John Thune, who would be running for a fourth term to the US Senate in 2022, a feat which only one South Dakotan, Karl Mundt, has successfully done.

    1. James

      First off Noem would not be a stronger general election candidate than Rounds. She would also have a hard time defeating him in a primary.

      I would have a hard time seeing the Democratic base abandoning Herseth Sandlin if she were to enter a primary now or later.

      And I do believe the Dems can beat Noem up in this hyper partisan climate. Obama is unpopular in South Dakota but Varilek will have issues to champion and the Dems seem energized behind him. However he will not win.

      If Obama is reelected in ’12 then the Republicans will win the Senate seat and any close election in SD in ’14. If Obama loses and Republicans make cuts and restructure medicare even for the better there would be a push back from the public.

      This would change the political climate and people out of politics would be viewed more favorably than those makign the changes or fighting the partisan fights. This is where people like Rounds can reemerge as a popular former Governor who served in relatively good times. Herseth can reemerge as a non partisan who worked across the aisle.

      It would only be if Republicans chose to fight a bitter uneeded senate primary between Rounds and Noem and then a free for all Congressional race where Dusty Johnson, Jarrod Johnson, Russ Olson, Shantel Krebs, Dan Lederman, Matt Michels, Gordon Howie and others chose to compete against each other for the nomination in an open seat.

      Bitter infighting is when the GOP will lose seats and nothing will make that more clear than to see a Rounds v Noem primary along with a free for all congressional primary.

      But maybe the D’s will help us out and have a primary of their own in ’14 the SHS and brendan Johnson.

  3. Anonymous

    Noem would get drilled in a rematch with Herseth (and I can’t stand SHS). Rounds would defeat her by double digits. People are tired of the partisan games and want some civility and ideas.

    Noem and Herseth are the same kind of political animal.

  4. Terry David

    I thought this was the best part of the story and shows what Daschle is really all about. “Daschle has spent little time in South Dakota since then and said in a 2010 interview that he no longer closely followed South Dakota politics.”

  5. caheidelberger

    Just how long has your lifetime been, “Bill Clay”? How are we to know that you aren’t simply some Teenage Republican keeping the blog on life support? How are we to put any personal comment like yours in meaningful context when you continue to hide behind a false name? How are we to properly measure any ad hominem attack like the one you make above against Tom Daschle when we can’t direct anything ad your hominem?

    Come out, come out, whoever you are….

    1. Anonymous

      Has the Democratic Party ever been this week Cory? By the way thanks (sarcastically) for helping to destroy it. You and your friends who hated Herseth really are the ones to blame. Before there was the Tea Party that was mad at the GOP there was Cory and his friends who decided they needed a perfect society with perfect reps who were socialists. Way to give us Kristi Noem. You should get the kaboot out of the party for being a phony and a GOP plant. I noticed you ripped on Herseth until she was gone. Now you ripp on Noem. If you’d have been smarter you wouldn’t have ripped on SHS.


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