The Sound of Silence

Congress is in session.  Not the newly elected (although yes they are in Washington too) but the current Congress is back in to finish up business…..things like Defense authorization with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,  the extension of the Bush tax rates, sending $250 checks to Social Security recipients, Charlie Rangel’s ethics hearing….and a few other items including funding the government…..

So….has anyone heard from our Congresswoman….no I don’t mean the one we just elected….I mean the one who is still in office.  I’ve checked….the last time I found any interviews with SHS was on election night.  Word on the D.C. street is that she’s not responding to any media….now I get that she lost the election — but right now she’s still on the job for South Dakota and she still should be answering reporters calls — she isn’t off the clock until January.

68 Replies to “The Sound of Silence”

  1. Bill Fleming

    “…but right now she?s still on the job for South Dakota and she still should be answering reporters calls”

    Baloney. That’s not her job.
    Besides, what are you going to do about it?
    Not vote for her?

  2. grudznick

    Even my good friend Bill is hanging his head in shame over the implosion of his party in South Dakota. It is good he does not have a bad comb-over.

  3. Arrowhead

    I still wouldn’t be surprised to see SHS run again in 2012 or later because many of my friends were dumbfounded that SHS lost. I guess people who weren’t Republicans weren’t engaged and Kristi recieved less that 50% of the vote.

    They don’t really give Kristi credit for being a very good candidate as much as they attribute SHS’s loss to the GOP wave.

    If I was SHS or Brendan Johnson I’d run in 2 years before Kristi can become to entrenched in SD.

  4. Arrowhead

    I’ll also say that Kristi never really defined herself during the campaign as anything but anti Pelosi & Obama. Kristi has some work to do to erase the negative campaign that was run also.

    SHS was negative also but she had already built up an image. Kristi’s first intro to the state is not positive unless you are totally against SHS.

    I believe if Marking wouldn’t have been in that race SHS would have won because if you were against what was going on you wouldn’t waste your vote on Marking you would vote for Noem or keep what you already had.

  5. William


    I believe it’s a big part of her job to respond to reporters wanting to know what she’s doing, and how she plans to vote during the lame-duck session. I’m not positive she’s completely shut down her office, but if she’s in Washington DC voting, she’s still supposed to be representing her constituents. She’s supposed to respond to our state’s press because that IS part of her obligation to keep her constituents informed.

    If she’s failing to respond now, it indicates to me that she has no political future in this state and what political ambitions she had were focused on how political office benefited her, not the citizens of South Dakota.

  6. insomniac

    I just realized that Thune will not be the first President or VP from SD. It will be Kristi Noem. After 4 years in Congress she will move to the Senate and elevate her profile once again. She will only be 42 and then after a short time in the Senate she will be a front runner for VP or a candidate on her own.

    2016 VP or 2020 president or VP. How many attractive women are there in politics?

  7. William


    Kristi appears to be off to a good start and has two years in office to build her own record. I suspect, if she continues to handle herself as well as she’s done so far, she’ll win over many voters that were unsure of her or were comfortable maintaining the status quo.

    As for the the “Marking factor”, whoever voted for him was obviously making a protest vote, so they were comfortable with either Kristi or Stephanie winning the race, so it’s difficult to predict who they would support in the future.

  8. Seriously?

    House office buildings are transitioning right now…members who lost now have to move out to make way for the rookies. Kind of hard to work when you have freshman measuring the drapes.

  9. insomniac


    Good points.

    If SHS votes conservative now than she is coming back in 2012 for a rematch. If she votes liberal then she has always been a liberal or else she is just pouting and doing it out of spite. Either way she is done in SD politics.

    If she votes like a Blue Dog than I’d say Noem better gear up the team for 2012.

  10. Seriously?

    KN as VP – you guys are crazy! She hasn’t event voted yet, and you’re boosting her to ‘savior status’. Unbelievable.

  11. insomniac


    I agree with Arrowhead on the Marking factor. Marking was a syphon for those who thought Noem was a moron and a protest vote against SHS for not being liberal enough. Anyway it’s diced Noem recieved 99% of the votes out there for her. If you didn’t like what the Dems were doing you went passionatley with Noem if you thought they needed to grow up you would be with the incumbant. I bet 4% or more of the Marking vote would have defaulted with SHS rather than Noem.

  12. insomniac


    R U 1 of those guys that didn’t think Noem would be a congresswoman when she got in the race?

    Look how everyone is falling all over her just because she is attractive. (There are 85 other people who are just as qualified as Kristi in her class but I bet they don’t look liker her) That will raise her profile and then someone will say look at that Babe who has all of these great credentials. She is qualified to be VP.

    Also she is articulate and not a bomb thrower.

  13. Bubba Man

    I bet if Kristi told Boehner she really wanted to be speaker and said pretty please he would step aside and endorse her for the job.

    I kid about the looks part but Kristi is a very talented individual and she is tough and willing to twist arms and lean on people if she has to. She might look cute but she is a tough broad you wouldn’t want to cross if you were running against her.

    She gets what she wants. PERIOD.

  14. Fillmore

    The Herseth “office” isn’t even answering the phone in Rapid City and Herseth is stiffing reporters who want an interview. Herseth has abandoned her state because she’s bitter, bitter, bitter. It’s sad. She’s has no future after this hissy fit. Good riddens.

  15. Arrowhead

    I don’t think a hissy fit makes any difference unless it becomes public in a Kevin Woster story or a John Ellis piece.

  16. Arrowhead

    I wouldn’t vote for SHS and I never have (I voted for Janklow, Diedrich, Diedrich, Whalen, Lien and Noem) but I think she is still extremely viable for 2012 unless she votes in a hissy this lame duck session.

  17. Anonymous

    John Stewart made her look rediculous. However I will say that throughout this general election Kristi has not shown hardly any ideas on what she wants to do. She apparently isn’t Marco Rubio but I still like her. The Kristi from the primary was much more outspoken and not so on message as she was through the general.

    I’m disappointed so far in her specifics and passion but I think maybe it will come back.

  18. Troy Jones

    Four comments:

    1) Anyone who thinks Marking cost SHS the election is dreaming. The guy spent $2,000 on his campaign and was nothing more than a gadfly opportunity for protest votes against the incumbent. Always works that way. If he wasn’t there, they’d have been under-votes (if they disliked both equally) or gone reluctantly with Noem.

    2) SHS’s staff should be trying to finish up existing work, putting files in order for KN to assume, or transfering the work to Thune/Johnson and not taking on new projects they won’t be able to finish. Should be answering the phone though. An existing case might be wondering what will be their status.

    3) Give SHS a break. She lost an election which hurts. I was with Abdnor a few weeks after he lost and it still hurt him. If she doesn’t want to talk to answer the stupid questoion “How do you feel?” when we know the answer (“it sucks”), I’m ok with her not talking to anyone.

    4) As a left of center incumbent in a right of center state, SHS was perpetually vulnerable to a strong candidate (which KN was). As a candidate against a right of center incumbent, she has no chance of winning. If she wants to do something in SD, she could help build a Democrat Party.

    Otherwise, I have no problem with her creating a new life with her husband and son. Life can and should go on for her without us and we can go on without her. People come and go in our lives and we in theirs. No crime for either party to move on.

    I sincerely wish her the best and thank her for her service.

  19. Stan Gibilisco

    I sent SHS an e-mail the other day asking her to support a bill in Congress that would deal with Web sites that pirate copyrighted intellectual property. (The pirates really love my stuff; just google on my name and see!) She responded right away. As far as I can see, she’s still hard at work.

  20. Ace-Reporter

    I can assure you that many reporters have contacted Herseth on more than one occasion and she is refusing to talk to anyone, just like during much of the past few years. They are boxing up her office.

  21. Anonymous

    First off Troy you are wrong about Marking. I bet most of those people who voted for Marking had voted for SHS in the past and now suddenly they decided that they wanted to protest because of the negativity. They didn’t like Kristi at all or they’d have voted for her. This was a change the course election so everyone supporting Noem voted for her.

    I didn’t like SHS so I voted Noem but a suprising number of my friends voted for Marking. Those people all disliked Noem and were disappointed with SHS. Bottom line is if Marking wasn’t there they’d have gone with the lesser of two evils to them.

  22. PennantChaser


    I think Marking stole more votes from Kristi rather than SHS. If you look at most of his statements, he is most similar to Kristi. So why would someone vote for someone similar to Kristi rather than voting for Kristi?

    I think voters were turned off by negative ads and that there are a good number of people who were sick of SHS who didn’t fill the dot for Kristi.

    Marking received 5.9% of the vote. If those people needed to make a choice between KN and SHS, I would guess 4.5% Kirsti and 1.4% SHS.


  23. anon

    I’d be interested to hear Krisi Golden’s take on how Pressler’s office responded to reporters and handled business during the lame duck after losing to Johnson.

  24. Bill Fleming

    Let’s look at a two counties. It’s possible Troy may be in denial about this, although I have previously tended to agree with his reasoning about Marking depressing the Noem vote more than SHS’s.

    Pennington (rounded): 58% Noem, 37% SHS, 5% Marking
    Minnehaha: 44% Noem, 50% SHS, 6% Marking

    Troy, are you really going to argue that most of the Marking vote would have gone to Noem? It sounds like even Marking himself would have voted for SHS had he not been running himself.

    To be sure, there may have been a Dem undervote. We certainly saw that happening in the Thune tally (by the way, JT’s name shouldn’t have been on the ballot in the first place, but the result of it being there is kind of interesting.)

    But given that there WAS an opportunity to cast a protest vote, I’m thinking more and more that a lot of Markings vote may otherwise have been Stephanie’s.

    In any case, as in Florida, Rubio and Noem would be mistaken to think they have a mandate. Neither of them was elected by a majority of the population of their respective states. In fact the majority voted AGAINST them.

    What they have instead is an opportunity. Hopefully they will pay close attention, listen to their constituents, and use it wisely by serving them well.

  25. Bill Fleming

    PennantChaser, by the way, I don’t think Marking STOLE any votes from anybody. That would imply that he had such an agenda, and I don’t really think he did. I think he thought of himself as a viable alternative to Brand X and Brand Y.

  26. Pierreite

    Yes I am shouting-AS A SOCIETY WE HAVE GOT TO QUIT PLACING STATUS ON LOOKS!! There are some very qualified people in every segment of our socity who are discounted because they are not “attractive”. You loose out on their genius, productivity, and contribution. Right now, say to yourself “That’s right and I need to remember that”. For the betterment of society, the best person for the job should to the job.

  27. springer

    I vote for the person I feel best represents my beliefs and desires for the direction of gov’t. I don’t care if they are thin, fat, ugly, or beautiful, black, white, brown, purple, or striped. And I think most people that are aware of the issues do the same. Just because I don’t care for Obama’s policies and don’t like him as President doesn’t mean I’m racist. Because I voted for Kristi does not mean that I voted for her looks. I never voted for Stephanie, and she was definitely the better looking of her previous candidates! I feel SD did vote for the best person for the job as representative this time.

  28. Arrowhead

    Notice how Marking did in Kristi’s legislative counties.

    Beadle 6.06%
    Clark 7.47%
    Coddington 6.56%
    Hamlin 8.31%
    Kingsbury 8.16%

    I thought this was interesting.

  29. Troy Jones

    Yes Bill. I will argue the historical experience: Independent candidates who aren’t viable (Marking didn’t even have a campaign) cost the challenger 3:1 because they are protest votes against the incumbent and would otherwise go to the challenger.

    This said, Arrowhead’s numbers actually support my thesis state-wide but not locally. In KN’s district those are likely protest votes against KN that otherwise would have gone to SHS because locally she has a percieved incumbant status but that only applies in her former legislative district. State-wide the principal applies to SHS.

    So, let’s assume Marking wasn’t in the race.

    SHS would have picked up roughly net of 500 votes in KN’s former district where KN was the percieved incumbant. But, using the same methodology, KN would have picked up a net of 10K votes statewide. On a combined basis, KN would have gotten another net of 9,500 votes.

    You can’t use KN’s district to SHS’s advantage without using the same methodology state-wide.

  30. PennantChaser

    Vernacular, BF. Marking was in the running to get votes, as all candidates are. It can be said then that he stole votes from each.

    Marking’s overall message was very much anti-Washington and anti-incumbent. So that leads me to think that many of the people who voted for him must share at least one of those qualities. SHS by virtue of being an incumbent is (rightfully or not) seen as a Washington jaded person. Likewise, I guess KN could be labeled ‘establishment’ due to her service in Pierre. But people are generally happy with Pierre. (Why is beyond me…)

    So it would follow that people with an anti establishment, anti Washington, anti incumbent view would vote for either Marking or KN. And if Marking was not in the race, the majority of his vote would have gone to KN.

  31. Doug Wiken

    Herseth-Sandlin would have lost decisively if she had been running against a moderate Republican. She did as well as she did only because Noem is a right-wing nut case who so far has done nothing but parrot Republican boilerplate mythology.

    I don’t know if Marking had or did not have much effect, but from my perhaps warped perspective, Herseth-Sandlin lost because to both right, middle, left, she appeared to be a waffler with no courage or ability to defend positions in ways which would have reduced the incredible political ignorance that is evident in South Dakota and too many blog posts and comments. Astroturf propaganda is accepted as political gospel even if nothing in the real world supports those assertions.

  32. Duh

    doug must be related to the vermillion buffoon who called us all “stupid”. SHS lost because of her voting record, spinless allegiance to Pelosi, unethical conduct in attempts to buy votes, her dishonesty and hypocrisy relating to her conduct and the fact that she had almost zero connection with those she was supposed to represent (i.e. Public forums on Oblablacare). That’s why she lost. I’ll take doug’s brand of ignorance over blind following and preposterous gullibility any day.

  33. duggersd

    Why should Thune have not been on the ballot? While I was in the process of voting, there was a gentleman who was looking for instructions for voting for a write-in. If a write-in candidate had received more votes than Thune, that person would be elected. I never did see how many write-in votes were cast and I did see Thune had 100%, but I would think it was only because the numbers were rounded up. Whether Thune was on the ballot or not would not have had an effect on this elections. I know of nobody who went to the polls specifically to vote for a Senate candidate.

  34. Bill Fleming

    duggerSD, because that’s what the (State) law says. If you don’t have an opponent, your name’s not supposed to be on the ballot. Thune’s “undervote” was about 90,000. I agree that it probably didn’t make much difference one way or the other.

  35. Bill Fleming

    For the race to have been a tie, and assuming the same number of people voted, SHS would have had to garner 2 out of every 3 “Marking” votes.

    Isn’t that another way to say it, Troy?

    You seem to be saying that what happened was the opposite. That only one out of every 3 Marking votes was a potential SHS vote.

    I don’t know how we can know that answer for sure. Do you?

  36. Troy Jones


    Exactly. And for it to happen, it would defy all experience.

    And frankly, I don’t understand the argument as I feel I’m defending SHS here against people who like SHS.

    Granted, hard core partisans, ideologues on both sides register their protest differently. But, this is a small % of the voting public (but high on political blogs). Most voters register their protest against someone. And the fact of the matter, incumbents accumulate protest votes over time (they keep their pro-votes they earn).

    If SHS didn’t have protest votes, she would have had to have been percieved as a nothing for a Representative. Yet, it is the Dem’s who think Marking got the most protest votes from the candidate and not the incumbent.

  37. Anonymous


    I don’t think your logic makes any sense at all. If voters didn’t lik SHS enough to vote for Noem they would have done so instead of voting for Marking. To protest the incumbant by voting for Marking is acceptable. To oppose the incumbant enough to vote for Kristi Noem is another thing.

    I voted for Noem. People who wanted something different would have voted for Noem, those who were indifferent would have gone at least 2 to 1 for SHS because for 1. they already have voted for her at least 2 elections prior and 2. They didn’t like Kristi Noem enough to protest SHS by voting for Noem.

    Your logic doesn’t make sense…

  38. My thoughts...

    In Nevada Harry Ried’s goal was not to increase his own popularity but to tear his opponent down so that voters would rather keep the devil they knew rather than the devil they didn’t.

    SHS tried to decrease Kristi’s popularity and I think for the most part it worked. The speeding ticket stuff caused Kristi to go even harder negative against SHS and a large portion of the voters became disgusted with both.

    The only problem for SHS was that the disgusted didn’t have to stick with her. They could vote for Marking when they found Noem to be upsetting and they didn’t have to vote for SHS because of the third option.

    SHS’s strategy would have been much more affective if Marking wouldn’t have been in the race.

    Summary: in the end the voters who were disgusted by both didn’t have to go with the devil they knew or the devil they didn’t they could go with the guy who sounded reasonable and calm and it didn’t matter what he wanted to do because he wasn’t one of the two cats in the fight.

    I feel Marking cost SHS the race by making it impossible for her to keep it close.

  39. Bill Fleming

    I hear this same debate about Nader and Gore all the time. Nobody ever has figured it out, as far as I know. Even so, I still think of Nader as the spoiler for Gore, although I suppose it could have just as well have Bush (if only this and a little of that…)

    Oh well, on to the next round, huh? Oh wait, They’re still counting votes in Alaska. I think SHS should DEMAND a recount. The ballots were flawed! They had a name on them that shouldn’t have been there (,,,and stuff.)


  40. Jeff J.

    Troy – I can’t say anything about your take on the Marking votes as I honestly don’t know anyone who voted for him, so I can’t say what it meant. I do however agree with your post at 1:38. Why anyone would look to SHS for assistance at this point is beyond me, since she won’t be there to follow-up, but she should pass it on to one of the others if someone does.

    And people, at this point we won. She’s not going to be there to kick around anymore. Let her box up her stuff, say her goodbyes and head out of town. I don’t know her personally, but I’m sure for the most part she worked hard for the state. I just couldn’t continue seeing SD’s lone representative continue voting for the liberal agenda as she has. I wish her well in whatever she does next.

  41. Doug Wiken

    Sure would like to know what part of Noem’s and DC GOP leadership agenda makes any sense whatsoever in the real world. I sure sucks in suckers, but ignores history of trickle-down failure and laissez-faire regulation and the incredible waste in military expenditures.

  42. DDC

    “…laissez-faire regulation…”

    There hasn’t been anything even closely resembling laissez-faire regulation in this country in at least 100 years. “Tickle down” economics would work if it was actually tried instead of the crony capitalism that we’ve been doing. “Defense” spending is a DC-wide problem. The Democrats have controlled the House (the people that write the budget) since 2007 and DoD spending has increased (even after adjusting for inflation) every single year since.

    Much of what the GOP claims to be for (fiscally) is sound policy, but their actual execution is terrible. Almost nothing in the Democrat’s fiscal agenda (except cutting “defense” spending) makes any sense whatsoever, and real-world history has shown this time and time again. In fact, you don’t even have to go back in history, as much of it is playing out in parts of Europe right now. It sure does suck in the suckers, though.

  43. Arrowhead


    I would like to know what “tickle down” economics is… Sounds like something Bill Clinton would implement.

  44. Troy Jones


    I think you could be right on Nader/Gore. Different dynamics.

    No incumbent, Nader had a following (vs. Marking), Nader campaigned in swing states, etc.

    None of my comments are a reflection on either KN or SHS as candidates, people or anything else. My comments are purely clinical and I would say the same thing if KN were the incumbent and SHS were the candidate.

    I’ve explained this numerous ways on numerous threads. If it doesn’t make sense, either I’m too stupid to explain it correctly or you’re too stupid to understand it.

    And, to prove the stupid one is problably me, I’ll take one more run at it another way.

    Elections, election polling and voting trends are deeply studied not only by political pollsters (for whom it is their job) but statisticians because there is so much data for which they can filter out anomalies (important for good analysis).

    And in the end the conclusions reached over time in which exceptions are so rare, they virtually don’t exist. For close races, they are:

    1) Incumbents don’t like high levels of undecideds at the end because they go 75% to the challenger. Reason: Most undecideds have decided not to go with the well known incumbent but aren’t ready to declare for the challenger. The longer the incumbent is in office it can be larger than 75% and the shorter or if the challenger is almost as well known (ala Thune against Daschle) with a record it can be smaller. But never does it favor the incumbent.

    2) Because the incumbent is better known, they have a higher percentage of “protest votes” in the election. For this reason, incumbents benefit from independents (like Marking) who don’t have large natural base. This gives people a place to vote who desire to protest the better known incumbent other than voting for the opponent. Remember a vote not for the incumbent but with the independent who won’t win anyway is preferred by the incumbent as opposed to a vote for the challenger who is viable.

    In the end, KN and SHS got about what the polls said they’d get. The difference is Marking got the bulk of the undecideds.

    KN got 7,244 votes more than SHS. For SHS to win, she’d have had to get almost 69% of Markings votes.

    For SHS to have won if there had been no Marking contrasts with all history (69% going to incumbent vs. the historical standard 75% going to the challenger) by such a large number to be virtually impossible.

    In the end, undecided went Marking. But, for SHS, they weren’t going to be votes for her to help her close the gap. It defies all historic measures of thousands of elections. SHS and KN might be considered unique (good and bad depending on perspective) but they really aren’t.

    Classic race between a left of center incumbent against a right of center candidate in a right of center district. Damn near predictable.

  45. Bill Fleming

    So Troy, are you thus saying that if Marking could have gotten maybe 10%, Stephanie might have won? Or am I still reading you wrong?

  46. Bill Fleming

    …generic bumper sticker/yard sign: “Elect Stephanie… vote Marking!”

    According to my main main, Troy, anybody could have used it, each for his/her own reasons.

    I LOVE it!

  47. j rae

    Back to the original topic…is South Da Cola and Detroit Lewis correct that Kristi missed the official photo and had to be photo shopped into the picture? Which of course leads to the next question, will there be a “team” photo of the outgoing reps? Will Stephanie show up?

  48. DDC

    “Comment by Arrowhead on November 19, 2010 @ 5:57 pm


    I would like to know what ?tickle down? economics is? Sounds like something Bill Clinton would implement.”

    It’s a really bad way of saying that when those evil rich people make money it’s good for everyone.

    Comment by j rae on November 19, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    Back to the original topic?is South Da Cola and Detroit Lewis correct that Kristi missed the official photo and had to be photo shopped into the picture? Which of course leads to the next question, will there be a ?team? photo of the outgoing reps? Will Stephanie show up?

    That’s not what he’s saying. He’s making a joke because she’s standing in the back and is obscured by another person so you can only see her head. She’s dead center in the back row. You can only see her head in that photo because they were posing for a camera that was to the left of the one that took that photo.

  49. j rae

    Thanks, but it sure looks photo shopped to me, but you have a lot more expertise than I, so we’ll go with your version. I’m sure if she was double booked that her staff would say that they had to photo shop her in anyway. Do they take an outgoing group photo? Like with suit cases and holding one way tickets.

  50. Anonymous

    What does everyone think of the fact that of the two new positions in GOP leadership 1 is a woman and the other is a black guy? Whatever happened to the white guy? ha!

  51. DDC

    Comment by j rae on November 19, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    Thanks, but it sure looks photo shopped to me, but you have a lot more expertise than I, so we?ll go with your version. I?m sure if she was double booked that her staff would say that they had to photo shop her in anyway. Do they take an outgoing group photo? Like with suit cases and holding one way tickets.

    Well, here’s several other photos of the same scene, all with her magically in the same place and some even have more than just her head (including one with her and her husband on the steps and another with her and the other new female Reps).

    If she’s photoshopped into the other one, Getty images has some serious explaining to do. Photoshopping news photos is a serious ethical breach for wire services and whoever altered the image would be fired and Getty’s reputation would be seriously compromised. I’m not sure why Getty would feel the need to photoshop a Representative-elect from South Dakota anyways.

  52. Troy Jones

    yes Bill,

    I think if Marking would have gotten that high, it would have diminished KN to the point I think she’d have lost.

  53. William


    I think it’s great that orange people now have someone in a leadership position. Think of what it will do to their self-esteem and that of their children.


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